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Dr. Dalton is new Federal Programs supervisor

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Dr. Janet Dalton, principal, teacher, and children’s advocate, began a challenging new role this school year as Hamblen County Schools supervisor of Federal Programs.

Noting Dalton “is a veteran administrator with a wealth of valuable experiences,” Dr. Jeff Perry, superintendent of schools, said, “She is highly committed to public education and does everything within her power to help others.  She cares deeply about the children of Hamblen County and she is relentless in her efforts to improve our district.”

“She is a proven leader, a successful school principal, and a strong advocate for students,” said Brantley Smith, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. “The relationships she has developed over the years here in Hamblen County Schools and the credibility she brings to the Federal Programs Supervisor position will serve our students and teachers well.”


Dr. Dalton, before joining the leadership team at Central Office, spent 16 years as principal of Lincoln Heights Elementary School. She will miss her Patriots at LHES, but this job will allow her to benefit students across the district.


Dr. Perry continued, “She possesses a thorough knowledge of the school district and has been able to make a number of positive changes.  She has accepted a position which requires significant work and attention to detail.  Dr. Dalton has already proven she is up to that challenge and I am confident she will do a wonderful job.”  


Her responsibility on HCDOE’s Leadership team is as director of the ESSA Act (Every Student Succeeds Act), and providing oversight for implementation of the district’s ESSA plan. She manages the Title 1 program, oversees the development of comprehensive program plans, provides guidance for the implementation of planned programs, and monitors budgets in accordance with established local, state and federal policies.


She and her counterparts across the state ensure compliance with all local, state and federal laws, TN Department of Education rules and regulations, and the policies of HCDOE. 


Moving to Central Office in a supervisory role was difficult for Dalton and she even described leaving her kids at Lincoln Elementary as “a grieving process.”


The advantage is helping more kids, she shared. “Here I can impact all 10,000 of our students and our 1,100-plus teachers and staff. I also am in the position to assist my colleagues - my principal buddies I’ve worked with for years.”


“It’s exciting to visit other schools and see what is going on,” she said. “As an elementary school principal, you can find yourself on an island.”


This move to Federal Programs is probably a continuation of her need to impact more and more children. “When I started teaching in special education, I was limited as some students didn’t quality for SPED services. As a principal at Lincoln, I could make sure that every kid in my building received what they needed.”


Dalton has always known her calling is working with kids. Now she is working “for” kids.  “I hope to impact all students across the district, at both Title and non-Title schools,” she said.


The downside?

Losing the intimate relationships with the children.


“I spent 16 years with the Lincoln students, faculty, staff, and community. They became my family,” she said. “I can still visit, but it’s not the same. While I was there I watched students grow from preschool to fifth grade. I knew them by name, knew where they excelled and knew their struggles,” she said. “Ultimately, I am giving that up and the grief process comes in learning to move on.”


Dalton replaces Kim Fox who retired earlier in the summer. “I have a tremendous respect for Kim and her leadership in this position,” Dalton said. “I still rely on her when I have a question or concerns.” 


One of Dalton’s passions is preschool instruction and her goal is to maintain and expand Hamblen County’s already successful PreK program. “I believe PreK is good for students and I join Dr. Perry in knowing the impact it has on students’ educational careers.”


Dalton noted educators have long realized the importance of high quality preschool programs in helping children enter school ready to learn and optimize their full potential.  “The benefits of PreK impact the brain’s performance throughout life,” she said.


Unfortunately, many children do not have the advantage of preschool, she said, mentioning that Hamblen County DOE plans to add classes at other schools each school year.  


Hamblen County’s early learning program began in 2004 with a class at Manley Elementary. Since, it has grown with classes at Russellville, Lincoln Elementary, West Elementary, and Witt. A new class was opened this year at Union Heights.  


A three-year assistant administrator at Lincoln Heights Middle School before becoming principal at the elementary school, Dalton began her career in education as a special education teacher at West Elementary School.


Her extensive experience also includes serving children as a social worker with the Department of Human Services and working with the Hamblen County Juvenile Court.


A native of Morristown, she also attended Hamblen County Schools.

Earning her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 2013, she holds an Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision and an M.Ed from Lincoln Memorial University. Her undergraduate degree in music and music education is from Carson Newman University. 


When she’s not poring through federal guidelines and data, Dalton can be found hanging out in the great outdoors with her best canine friends Lucy and Jake, kayaking, hiking, sharing her testimony with her beautiful singing voice, or working with black bears at Appalachian Bear Rescue.


 “That’s my stress relief … that’s my golf,” she said of her job as assistant curator at ABR.


Her love for bears grew from a fear of the animals. “Bears scared me to death. I wouldn’t go hiking because I was so frightened. When I wanted to chicken out, my daddy reprimanded me, telling me he didn’t raise me to be afraid.”


Her dad told to educate herself and enjoy nature.

She did just that by studying, taking classes, putting herself outside her comfort zone, and volunteering.


“Bears are my family, just like the kids,” she said. “The only difference is one is furry and the other is not. They are just two different forms or wildlife.”


Dalton is a member of First Baptist Church where she sings in the choir and serves on the personnel committee.  In fact, she is providing a hymn medley solo this Sunday for worship service.


She also will be serving on dissertation committees for doctoral candidates at Carson-Newman University and someday hopes to work on the college level with future teachers and education administrators. 



 “Mobility and Student Achievement in High Poverty Schools” was the subject of her doctoral dissertation.