Be a Mentor; Start a Ripple Effect

By becoming a Principal Leadership Academy (PLA) mentor, a business leader provides the benefit of valuable management experience to an assistant principal or administrator who aspires to become a principal.

The PLA, established in 2010, pairs participants with business mentors. More than 44 local businesses have provided mentors since the program’s inception. Unum, an original funding partner, has generously provided multiple mentors every year.

Charles Mitchell, assistant principal at Brainerd High School, worked with mentor Steve Zabel of Unum and Mitchell graduated with the 5th cohort of the PLA. Mitchell exemplifies how skills he learned ripple through the lives of his students.

Gov-Haslam-Meets-Charles-Mitchell
Brainerd Principal Charles Mitchell takes students in the Leadership Exchange Program to Nashville to hear from Gov. Bill Haslam and see government in action.

For example, after completing the PLA, Mitchell developed a Leadership Exchange Program for emerging leaders from Brainerd High School, pairing them with students from Baylor and GPS. The students meet regularly to discuss leadership topics and learn from one another. On a recent trip to Nashville, GPS/Brainerd Leadership Exchange students met Gov. Bill Haslam and learned more about the state’s legislative process.

Unum executives have been impressed with PLA program results and have invited Mitchell to present to colleagues at their campus in Portland, Maine, to talk about replicat
ing the program in Portland’s public schools.

Would you like to begin a mentoring relationship? Please call the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce at 423-763-4344 to learn more about volunteering.

Cheryl Millsaps
Vice President of Finance and Administration
Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce

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