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iZone leader Sharon Griffin named Tennessee supervisor of the year

Sharon Griffin, a longtime leader at Shelby County Schools, is the next leader of the state’s turnaround district.
Sharon Griffin, a longtime leader at Shelby County Schools, is the next leader of the state’s turnaround district.
SCS

Sharon Griffin, who helped to create the Innovation Zone for Shelby County Schools in 2013, is Tennessee’s 2015 supervisor of the year.

Griffin received the award from the State Department of Education Tuesday during a statewide conference in Nashville for education leaders.

Honored as Tennessee principal of the year was Peggy Greene, chief administrator of Ridgeview Elementary School in Johnson City.

A 24-year educator, Griffin is regional superintendent of the iZone in Memphis. She oversees 18 underperforming schools and uses intense interventions in an effort to turn them around. Much like with the state-run Achievement School District, iZone school leaders have autonomy under state law to hire and fire their own staff, lengthen the school day, and change curriculums entirely.

Under Griffin’s leadership, nearly every Memphis iZone school saw gains in math and science on this year’s state test, the TCAP exam. While schools across the state saw dips in reading proficiency, some iZone schools improved their reading scores by more than 6 percent. And three schools landed on the state’s list of 2015 rewards schools, which are the state’s top 5 percent of schools for academic growth.

Greene helped open Ridgeview seven years ago in Washington County Schools. The Johnson City school has since seen significant increases in proficiency in all subject areas and was recognized as a state reward school for 2014.

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