Longtime WCS volunteer Janine Hopkins is one of 15 individuals chosen as a member of the Tennessee Department of Education’s inaugural Parent Advisory Council.
The goal of the Parent Advisory Council is to effectively engage parents with leaders at the Tennessee Department of Education, as they work together to support the students of Tennessee. The council will regularly share feedback on current issues in education, district implementation of state policy and the department’s parent communications strategies.
“I am looking forward to better understanding the mission and current goals of the Department of Education under Commission McQueen and determining how I can best contribute to their success,” said Hopkins. “I am most passionate about better understanding roadblocks to academic achievement and seeking solutions for academic interventions at the secondary level of education.”
Additionally, council members will share important information with other parents in their communities.
Over 200 applications were received to fill the 15 positions on the council. Because of the unique makeup of school districts across the state, the Department sought a council that included urban, suburban and rural perspectives from its members. Principals were asked by the Department of Education to nominate one parent to apply. Applications were reviewed for local school community involvement, leadership capacity and communication skills.
Five applicants were selected from each Grand Division in Tennessee – West, Middle and East. Hopkins will represent Williamson County Schools, where her children are current students and where she has invested significant time and effort as a volunteer.
“I began volunteering when my oldest daughter was a kindergartner at Crockett Elementary and progressed to room mom and PTO member,” said Hopkins. “That year, I was asked to join a team of parents to open Sunset Elementary and Sunset Middle and tasked with starting the PTO under principal Lynn Winters. Fast forward 12 years later, that daughter is a senior graduating from Ravenwood High in May and I will finish my 11th year as a PTO officer.”
The first meeting of the Council is February 20. Additional commitments throughout the one-year term include attending one more in-person meeting, facilitating a local parent engagement event and participating in several email conversations and conference calls throughout the year.