The often-honored Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) has earned more national recognition.

Dr. Jill Berkowics, an associate of the National Principals Leadership Institute (NPLI) in New York City, visited CGLA to officially name the school as a 2017 recipient of the School Innovation and Change Award. The award includes a $10,000 prize, which Berkowics presented on Tuesday.
Founded in 1998, the National Principals Leadership Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to leadership development and school transformation.

Through the School Innovation and Change Award (SICA), NPLI celebrates school transformation by spotlighting the pioneering practices and extraordinary improvements of schools previously designated as failing.   According to the NPLI application process, “achieving significant school change is challenging and hard won,  and SICA recognizes failing schools that managed to become exemplary. Saluting the innovative strategies of these schools provides verification that change leaders can make a difference.” 
After reviewing 32 applications, NPLI selected CGLA as one of four 2017 SICA winners. “The application process for SICA was rigorous and detailed,” said Dr. Elaine Swafford, executive director of CGLA. “NPLI requires school administrators to evaluate the transition from failing to success in relation to four change dimensions: a useful exercise that demanded we reflect, measure, and quantify our efforts.”

Swafford continued by noting the award was also “an endorsement of the school’s decision to establish a project-based curriculum that integrates science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math into the overall academic program. At CGLA, student success is foremost, and we know that offering exciting, interactive experiences engages students and awakens curiosity. Receiving this award allows us to celebrate the institutional shifts that invite interest, spark learning, and lead to educational excellence.”