Hamilton County Schools
The Hamilton County School District covers 576-square miles in southeastern Tennessee with a population of 357,738 residents. There are 79 schools in the district serving Pre-K through grade twelve with nearly 2,800 full-time teachers responsible for educating over 44,500 students. The HCS Opportunity Zone is the district’s 12 highest needs schools. Jill Levine is Chief of Opportunity Zone.
What inspires you to do your work at Hamilton County Schools?
I believe in the tremendous potential of our students, particularly those who attend one of our Opportunity Zone schools. I believe it is up to us to provide students with every possible learning experience and engagement opportunity in order to expand their talents.
Can you describe an a-ha moment when you knew you were on the right track? Or needed to pivot?
Several months after dedicating some of our Footprint grant funding to creating Science Sparks (a hands-on, high interest science curriculum), the NEA Foundation recognized this great work and provided us with additional funding to continue the work.
I have watched our Opportunity Zone principals come together to support one another as they lead the very challenging work of school turnaround. The Footprint Foundation has provided funding for retreats and collaborative dinners that allow principals the time to think, plan and problem solve together.
What is one wish you have for your work? For Chattanooga?
I wish that we could guarantee and outstanding education to every child in Chattanooga, regardless of neighborhood, race or income level. We are working hard at this, but there is so much more to do.