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Cleveland Educator Recognized for Making Parent Engagement a Priority

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For Tracy Hill, parents must become trusted partners with teachers for students to be able to achieve academic success.

The executive director of family and community engagement for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District has made it her mission to ensure that parents' voices are heard—from the classroom to the school board conference room.

Hill's work in Cleveland is highlighted in Education Week's annual Leaders To Learn From report. This series' goal is to share the stories and strategies of district leaders across the nation to inspire and inform educators and future leaders to succeed in surpassing their objectives within their own school systems.

Among the signature family-engagement programs in Cleveland, is the Parent University College Tours, which allows parents to join their children on college campus visits. Hill told me that she credits parent-engagement leaders like Boston Public Schools' Assistant Superintendent Michele Brooks for being her mentor and providing guidance about which family-engagement approaches may be effective in her community when she joined Cleveland schools more than three years ago. Brooks was featured in Education Week's 2013 Leaders To Learn From. Today, Hill is considered a mentor to others.

Along with Hill, leaders profiled in this report include a director of nutrition services who increased school lunch program participation by transforming cafeterias into working kitchens run by professional chefs and serving healthier and tastier meals; and  a Mississippi Delta-region superintendent who crafted a far-reaching plan aimed at raising academic expectations and achievement in his impoverished community.

To be inspired by Hill and the other educators featured in the 2014 Leaders To Learn From, read our report here. Also join Education Week editors at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C., on April 1 to applaud these outstanding leaders and hear more about their efforts.

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