Challener is the president of the Public Education Foundation in
Chattanooga, Tennessee. As president, Dr. Challener oversees the
Foundationís efforts to strengthen student achievement in Hamilton
Countyís public schools. Among these programs are the Benwood
Initiative, which has yielded dramatic improvement in the districtís
nine most challenged elementary schools, Schools for a New Society
Initiative, which brings about innovative improvements in Hamilton
Countyís seventeen public high schools, and Hamilton County Leadership
Initiative, which provides training and learning opportunities for
experienced, new, and future leaders in all schools.
Before coming to
Chattanooga, Dr. Challener served for seven years as CEO of the
Providence Blueprint for Education (PROBE), a community-based advocacy
and research project that involved communities in the improvement of
public schools in Providence, Rhode Island.
holds a bachelors degree from Princeton University and a masters and
Ph.D. in English from Brown University. He is the author of Narratives
of Resilience (Garland Press, 1997), a study of what builds strength in
young people. He has taught high school in New Jersey and served as
adjunct faculty of both Brown University and Johnson and Wales
Dr. Challener is
married to the former Melinda Cragg. They have three children, all of
whom attend Hamilton County public schools.