Press Releases

Dropout Prevention Director Wins Second Term With Alternative Education Assoc.

State of Tennessee Press Release; Mar. 7, 2011:

NASHVILLE, TN— James V. Witty, current Director of the Center for Dropout Prevention with the Tennessee Department of Education, will share his expertise in alternative education on a national stage. For a second term, Witty has been re-elected as Vice President of the National Alternative Education Association (NAEA).

“Alternative education provides options to suspension, expulsion, and dropping out of school,” said Acting Education Commissioner Patrick Smith. “James’ work contributes to our overarching mission of helping students continue their education, graduate from high school, and become productive citizens.”

Witty has over ten years experience working with at-risk students as a teacher, district administrator, and state director. In his role with the department, he specializes in the areas of alternative and nontraditional education, as well as dropout prevention, intervention, and recovery. He has previously been noted for authoring the first national standards for alternative education entitled, Exemplary Practices in Alternative Education: Indicators of Quality Programming. In his continued leadership with the association, he will develop and implement a national evaluation instrument to measure effective and high-quality alternative schools and programs.

“We congratulate James on all of his hard work and contributions to our office and alternative education,” said Mike Hermann, Tennessee Executive Director of the Office of Safe and Supportive Schools. “The ultimate goal is to raise the quality of alternative schools and programs and give students a real opportunity to learn in a non-traditional setting.”

Tennessee’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools was established to assist schools in their efforts to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all students ensuring for optimal learning. A particular focus is placed upon building partnerships with all stakeholders to improve the conditions for learning for all of Tennessee’s students. To learn more about the office, visit their website at

The National Alternative Education Association (NAEA), created in 2002, is a volunteer organization dedicated to information sharing and professional development, best practice, public policy, and advocacy for alternative learning and teaching. Learn more about NAEA at