TPA Membership Update

Tennessee Principal Association - May 2023

President's Message

Tennessee Principals,

I hope this finds you doing well while you are balancing all the unique demands of the principal-ship. I recently did an activity with our faculty and staff where I took a paper plate and wrote my name on it. I held it up to the group and shared that we all have a plate, but there are so many things on top of it that we never see the bottom. I placed two files on top to represent IEP and 504 meetings I had been in earlier that day. I used a laptop to represent the demands of job-related technology and my phone to represent being overly connected to the world. I continued to pile things on top until the pile fell over onto the floor. I shared with our faculty that the plate was crushed a long time ago as the weight of the pile flattened it. I reminded them that when we try to hold it all on our own then we will often get overwhelmed by the weight of the principal-ship. We can’t hold the unbearable weight of being a school leader on our own. Each of us have a village in our school communities and sometimes even the principal needs to ask for help. It’s not an act of humility that causes us to ask for help, but rather a characteristic of an effective leader. Stay strong for yourself, others, and the state where you all serve.

Tyler Salyer

TPA President

NAESP National Distinguished Principals for Tennessee

Congratulations to the following TN Principals for being selected as the 2023 NAESP National Distinguished Principals for Tennessee:

Elementary Level: Dr. Tara Loba, Principal, Andrew Jackson Elementary (Metro Nashville Public Schools) located in Old Hickory, Tennessee.

Middle Level: Mr. Tyler Salyer, Principal, West Collierville Middle School (Collierville Schools) located in Collierville, Tennessee.

2023 TPA Conference Registration is Open

The 2023 TPA Conference is scheduled to be in Memphis, Tennessee at the Peabody Hotel November 12-14, 2023. The online registration is open for attendees and can be accessed on our website by clicking HERE.

The Room Block is open on a first-come-first--served basis until October 13, 2023 at 5:00p.m or until the block is sold out. Individuals may call 1-800-PEABODY (732-2639) to make reservations. To ensure the convention rate listed below, you must let them know you are with the Tennessee Principals Association.

Room Rates Available:

Superior Double Guest Room: $210.00 per night + applicable taxes, a Tourism District Improvement Fee and The Peabody's Hotel Service Fee.

Traditional Queen Guest Room: $230.00 per night + applicable taxes, a Tourism District Improvement Fee and The Peabody's Hotel Service Fee.

Parking Rates:

Special Self-Parking Rate: $18.00 per day, plus taxes

Valet Rate: $33.00 per day, plus taxes

Note: Early Bird Rates are available until October 1, 2023.

Membership Update

TPA and NAESP are committed to providing the resources you need to serve your students, school, and community to your full potential. Your annual MEMBERSHIP, will literally allow you to receive thousands of dollars in benefits to use throughout the year.

Some of the benefits of a TPA / NAESP membership include:

  • Legal Benefits Program (In-dues plan includes up to $2 million for damages arising from professional liability and employment liability lawsuits)
  • Advocacy effort at the national and state level
  • Professional learning opportunities - Tennessee Principals Conference - NAESP Pre-K-8 Principals Conference - Virtual Learning Opportunities - NAESP National Mentor Program - NAESP National Aspiring Principals Academy - PreK - 3 Leadership Academy - NAESP Centers for Advancing Leadership > Center for Innovative Leadership > Center for Women in Leadership > Center for Middle-Level Leadership > Center for Diversity in Leadership ● Principal Magazine (5 x year)
  • Tennessee Principal Journal
  • Communicator e-Newsletter (monthly) - Practical resources for you, your teachers and your schools
  • Principal Insights - the latest on education and leadership
  • NAESP’s report to parents
  • Member discounts and special promotions … and more!

If you have colleagues who have not join, please share this membership update with them and encourage them to visit: for more information.

You may also contact your District Representative, who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Access NAESP Member Discounts

Save big on brands you know and love, like Apple, Target, and Kohl’s. Planning a vacation? Access discounts on travel, hotels, and theme parks. Plus, get deals on tech, school supplies, restaurants, gym memberships, and much more.

Click HERE for more information.

*Note: Discounts may not be available for all membership categories.

2023-2024 Membership Online Renewal Link is Open

The 2023-2024 TPA Membership platform is open and ready for membership renewals. You may access the online payment link from our membership page found on website or by clicking on this online payment link.

TPA Advocacy Updates

Recently principals from our TPA board attended the National School Leaders Advocacy Conference in Washington D.C. Our joint partner, NAESP hosted the event for over 400 school leaders across the nation. Our time in D.C. was focused on three major issues impacting students, teachers and families today. After learning more about the impact of these issues, your TPA team learned how to share our stories, use social media, and be the best advocates we could be on Capitol Hill. The following issues are pressing topics for the National Association of Elementary School Principals as they advocate on our behalf.

  • Educator and principal shortages: In August 2022, NASSP released its Survey of America’s School Leaders and High School Students which revealed that one out of two school leaders expect to leave the profession within three years. Three out of four state their stress level is so high they are considering a career change or retirement. 16% of principals left their schools last school year according to a new RAND research brief survey. Among high-poverty districts, the report found 23% of principals left their schools, and 21% of rural areas saw principals depart last year. We asked our congress to consider loan forgiveness models, outreach efforts for future teachers, and Grow Your Own program expansions.

  • Improving School Mental Health, Wellness and Safety: Students and school staff are struggling. According to NASSP’s 2022 survey, three-quarters of school leaders (73%) and students (74%) report they needed help with their mental or emotional health last year. Oftentimes students’ mental health challenges manifest themselves as behavioral issues, putting further stress on educators who are already stretched too thin. One-half of school leaders report student behavior is worse than before the pandemic, with more than 80% concerned about bullying and/or drug use in their school. We asked our congress to increase funding to effectively staff elementary and secondary schools with mental health service providers, establish new grant programs to promote mental health and wellness support among the education professional workforce, and provide on-site licensed mental health professionals in schools across the country.

  • Federal funding for K-12 budgets: Emergency pandemic relief funding provided by Congress had a direct and immediate impact in schools for the purpose it was intended—Covid mitigation. However, Congress must also strongly fund programs under ESSA through the normal annual appropriations process at levels that match the gravity of the ongoing crisis in schools and supports efforts to ensure every child is college, career, and citizenship ready. We asked our congress to increase funding for Title I, II (part A and B), and IV, increase IDEA state grants, and increase CTE state grants.
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TPA President-Elect and Vice President Elections

Voting ballots will for TPA President-Elect and Vice President are forthcoming. The election will only run for one week once emailed, so please be on the lookout and be sure to cast your vote once you receive your ballot.

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Partnership Update

There are many partnerships within the TPA community that help us achieve and advance the mission of our organization. Perhaps one of the most important partnerships we hold is the one we have with our TPA Conference Vendors. Vendors play a significant part in moving us forward each year. Through their partnerships, professional learning and financial contributions, our organization learns collectively.

Each year as we reach out to principals across Tennessee, partnerships and collaboration are always cited as one of the top reasons to be a part of the Tennessee Principals Association. Our partnerships with our vendors are invaluable. Through conversations and relationships that are developed over time we all have made connections that have improved education in our state. Staying on top of the latest research based approaches betters our schools and improves Tennessee student outcomes.

It is highly likely that each of us identifies as a lifelong learner-- and as lifelong learners, we are always looking for ways to professionally develop ourselves. Interacting with vendors is always a sure way to learn something new. Our vendors come from all over the United States, and contribute many things to our field. TPA Vendor partners bring up to date technology, Social Emotional Learning (SEL)/ programing, curriculums with various scopes and sequences, and more. Each year as we talk to our vendors, we learn some thing from them that connects to our organizational goals and our building level goals. Their products and services offer us ways of looking at problem-solving we might not have thought of otherwise.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the financial contributions that our vendors make toward our association. Each year our vendors sign up to present to us in the vendor hall, make travel arrangements, and spend their time with us. Our vendors pour their knowledge and efforts into improving education in Tennessee. We are so lucky to have them join us each year. Some vendors have joined us year after year and many of us use their products in our schools.

It is a pleasure each year to send out the information about our TPA events to our vendors and receive their responses. Having hosted our vendors as our Vendor Hall Coordinator for several years I always enjoy hearing from our good friends that they will join us again, and bring their products and services back to our organization. As we re-establish our partnerships, look toward our own learning, and appreciate their financial contributions, please remember to make note of the vendors listed in our magazines, programs, and on our website. They are truly our partners as we all move TPA forward.

Hope you all are well!

Janice Irvin

Proud Principal, Kennedy Elementary

TPA President-Elect

AI Literacy in the Classroom and for Educators

Building AI literacy: What one district has learned

Education Week

More than three years before the arrival of the latest version of ChatGPT ignited a national fascination with artificial intelligence, Georgia's Gwinnett County public schools set out to take on a challenge that few — if any — districts had up to that point: Create a cluster of public schools that all taught an AI-oriented curriculum. Read More

Are educators using ChatGPT to write lesson plans?

eSchool News
A whopping 97% of respondents in a recent survey say they "frequently" or "sometimes" use ChatGPT to write lesson plans. Likewise, 93% of teachers say they use the AI platform to grade and provide feedback for students, 91% say to write emails, and 89% say to write letters of recommendation. Read More

2023 NAESP National Conference - Registration Open

Tennessee Principal Association

The Tennessee Principals Association (TPA) was founded in 1939 as a support system for Tennessee school leaders. Over the decades, TPA has evolved as the premier professional association for K-8 Tennessee principals as well as district leaders.