Hello Kingston Springs (District #6). It’s hard to believe, but I’ve just finished my first quarter representing you on the Cheatham County School Board. The experience thus far has been very interesting – one of much learning, collaboration, and trust earning.
I recently attended the 2 day new school board member orientation at the Tennessee School Board Association for all new members across the state. While topics included education law, board/director relations, budgets, planning, and promotion, I quickly learned one unquestionable fact while speaking with school board members from other rural counties – in comparison, our school board and the school system in general is in fantastic shape! Now, this is not to say we don’t have vast amounts of improvements to make – because we do. And, this is not to say our school system is where we want it – because it’s not. I was just highly relieved that we don’t have the problems that other rural systems have with infighting, poor directorship, poor leadership, collusion, micro-management, corruption, and major budget issues among the many I heard – not to mention poor graduation rates, poor test scores, etc.
Cheatham County Schools are about take flight. Over the past several months, the board and the system have stabilized. We have wonderful principals in place – not only in South Cheatham, but county wide that are doing amazing things to energize their schools. Our recent report card showed vast improvement in all of our schools with 3 schools being named “Reward Schools” (HHS & KSES being two of those – Congrats again!). Our Director of Schools – Dr. Stan Curtis has stabilized his office and is doing an amazing job with praises coming from his staff, the board, many principals, the mayor’s office, businesses, and state representatives. The school board is working together as a very cohesive and respectful unit and we are now ready to tackle tougher issues facing our school system.
One of these issues, and the board’s main short term issue, is the decision on whether to retain Dr. Curtis as Director of Schools or begin the search for a new director. I have already heard from many of you and I welcome further comments/observations, but I believe this decision to be a no-brainer. There is no better individual to lead our school system than Dr. Stan Curtis. We must retain Dr. Curtis and we must act quickly to keep him. My reasoning for his retention is too long to list here, but there are many pros for retention and many cons in hiring a 3rd director in 2 years.
Locally here in Kingston Springs, I have met and spoken with many individuals and we have traded beliefs, values, and shared our vision for our schools. I have met with parent sport groups trying to keep communication lines open and share ideas. I appreciate these talks/meetings and take them very seriously. I have also met with all of our wonderful principals at the 4 schools in an effort to gain their trust and provide my support. We have great report with each other and communicate regularly. I will continue to meet with other parent groups such as the PTOs of each school to keep the communication going. I also will submit this type of update to the SC Advocate at least once per quarter. If you have a group that would like me to attend one of your meetings, please feel free to contact me: 952-2560 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I am very excited about where our school system is headed. There is much work to be done and much improvement to be made, but we’re off to a great start. Thank you for entrusting me to represent Kingston Springs on the school board. I will continue to do the best job I possibly can for our children and I will do it with honesty and integrity.