Powell principal lobbies for kids

Sandra ClarkOur Town Youth

​Powell High School principal Dr. Chad Smith spent his spring break visiting Washington, D.C., to encourage Tennessee’s members of Congress to pass laws that enhance the nation’s public schools. The visit was part of the annual Advocacy Conference, sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Smith met with staff of Sens. Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn. While Congress was in official recess, the principals were still able to advocate for public schools, as well as Tennessee’s teachers and students.

Specifically, Smith was seeking support for Title IV grants, which are used to support mental-health initiatives in schools, as well as the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act grants, which provide support for special-education students. Additionally, he pushed for safer schools by advocating for more access to mental-health supports and community resources to support today’s high school student.

“As a principal, my job is to provide each student in my school every resource and opportunity possible so they can reach their full potential,” he said in a release to knoxtntoday. “That job extends to advocating for my students at the highest levels of government. I believe my conversations with members of Congress and their staff gave them a clearer impression of the impact their decisions have on Powell High School and all schools in the Knoxville area.”

Smith was one of 180 school leaders from across the country who converged on Washington March 18-20 for the annual NASSP Advocacy Conference. The event included a series of presentations and panel discussions on the most pressing federal policies affecting education and culminated with a day of visits to elected officials at their offices on Capitol Hill.

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