Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 24, 2020

Newsmakers: Hayes appointed chief of staff to mayor

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has appointed Kerry Hayes as his chief of staff. He will replace Stacy Richardson, who has served as the mayor’s chief of staff since November 2015. Hayes had served as the deputy chief of staff since December 2017.

Previously, Hayes was a special assistant to Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton, Jr. after serving as the communications director for Wharton’s 2009 campaign. He later founded Key Public Strategies, a public policy and communications consulting firm.

Richardson has accepted a role as director of urban innovation with the National League of Cities in Washington, D.C. Before being named chief of staff, she was the chief policy officer for Mayor Berke and campaign manager for the 2013 Berke campaign.

Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute announces 2020 board

Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute has named Julie Baumgardner the chair of its 2020 board of directors. Tangela Johnson, president of North Georgia Corporate Consulting, will serve as vice-chair. CWLI has also added two new board members: Jessica Oliva-Calderin, managing attorney at Calderin & Oliva in Dalton, Georgia, and Joyce Ann Williams, tax manager at Tennessee-based CPA firm LBMC.

Baumgardner is the president and CEO of First Things First. A frequent speaker to local and state groups, she serves on the Hamilton County Juvenile Court Commission and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Chattanooga curriculum committee.

Her honors include the International Smart Marriages’ Impact Award, the NARME Vision and Leadership award, the Chattanooga Bar Association’s Liberty Bell award, the American Lung Association’s Woman of Distinction award and 2017 Chattanooga Manager of the Year award.

Harper to lead North River Learning Community

Red Bank High School principal Elaine Harper is the new executive director of the North River Learning Community for Hamilton County Schools. Harper succeeds Dr. Neelie Parker, who took over as chief schools officer for Hamilton County Schools in December.

Harper established Hamilton County’s first Community School at Red Bank High through a partnership with Northside Neighborhood House. In 2019, she launched the BlueCross Technology Academy, a Future Ready Institute focused on engineering and computer science, at Red Bank High. Harper also served as assistant principal at Red Bank High.

Harper graduated from Hixson High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She received an education specialist degree in instructional leadership from Tennessee Technological University in 2012.

After working as a professional chemist, her career in education began in 2000 as a chemistry teacher at 21st Century Academy. In 2005, Harper was accepted into the Leadership Fellows Program with the Public Education Foundation of Chattanooga to train as an instructional leader. She was in the classroom until 2012, when she started her administrative career as an assistant principal at Dalewood Middle School.

During the 2014-15 school year, Harper was accepted into the Principal’s Leadership Academy, a joint venture between Hamilton County Schools, the Public Education Foundation of Chattanooga, UTC and the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. She has served as a mentor principal in the Rock Point Learning Community since 2018.

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson introduced the concept of placing schools in Hamilton County Schools into learning communities to encourage cooperation between schools and build strong relationships with the surrounding neighborhoods. The learning communities are Harrison Bay, North River, Missionary Ridge, the Opportunity Zone and Rock Point.

The North River Learning Community includes Hixson High, Sale Creek Middle and High, Sequoyah High, Soddy Daisy High, Hixson Middle, Loftis Middle, Soddy Daisy Middle, Soddy Elementary, Daisy Elementary, Hixson Elementary, Allen Elementary, Big Ridge Elementary, DuPont Elementary, McConnell Elementary, Middle Valley Elementary and North Hamilton County Elementary.

Wendell Weathers, assistant principal at Red Bank High, will be the interim principal at the school while the district searches for a new principal.

Community service award given to Germ

The Chickamauga chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has honored John Germ with its Community Service Award.

Germ has helped to establish a number of location organizations, including Blood Assurance, Orange Grove Recycling and the Chattanooga State Technical Community College Foundation.

As chairman of the Miracle League of Chattanooga, Germ helped to secure funds for the ballfield for families with special needs. Germ has also served as president of Rotary International.