Stephanie Welch joined the Great Schools Partnership in July 2013 to develop and implement Knox County’s Community Schools Initiative. Since that time, the initiative has expanded from three pilot sites to 12 community schools located in Knoxville’s most challenged neighborhoods, and Stephanie has provided oversight for several additional programs that support Great Schools’ mission to make Knox County Schools the best district in the southeast. In June 2016, Stephanie stepped into the role of Interim President of Great Schools Partnership while Buzz Thomas serves as Interim Superintendent of Knox County Schools.
Prior to joining Great Schools, Stephanie worked in local and regional public health in East Tennessee for 15 years, with a focus on community engagement, strategic planning, nutrition, physical activity, and health inequities.
Stephanie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from the University of New Hampshire and a dual Masters in Public Health and Nutrition from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She serves as a Major in the United States Army Reserve, and is the Executive Officer of a Medical Support Unit in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Stephanie is a runner, hiker, bicyclist, and reader and lives in South Knoxville’s Island Home Park Neighborhood with her three dogs – Suttree, Chester and Sprout.