Jan. 22, 2018
This week, students and teachers in Elizabethton City Schools take time to recognize the dedication and achievements of the Elizabethton Board of Education as part of Tennessee School Board Appreciation Week, January 21 – 27, 2018. As evidenced by the Board’s work in recent years, priorities have been increasing the quality of individualized instruction, preparing students for college and career, and updating infrastructure and student technology.
Under their leadership in 2016-17, the system was one of 48 Exemplary Districts in Tennessee, ranked third in the state for its 99.5 percent graduation rate, and demonstrated the highest level of composite academic growth, a Level 5.
Board Chair Rita Booher said this Board has been effective because members are able to work together as a unit, making decisions and sticking to them. She said many projects completed in recent years, like the new high school stadium and music room, were inherited from previous boards, and that they have worked hard to bring them to fruition. In addition, she said they have been excited to support the Bartleby Program and other new initiatives focused on improving the quality of instruction and opportunities for staff development.
“Everyone is willing to help in any way we can,” Booher said. “The members of this Board really have 'servant hearts' and didn’t arrive with personal agendas. We have been able to focus on what’s best for students.”
Current members include Rita Booher, Grover May, Phil Isaacs, Susan Peters, Tyler Fleming, and Student Liaison Hannah Roaten. These members have been on the board since 2015 or before and have focused district goals and spending on a vision for excellence.
Recent Achievements under this Board
- Quality of Education: new (2016) formative assessments “Cyclone Checkpoints,” new (2016) system-wide ACT Day, increased focus on early literacy with Read to Be Ready (2017), new STEM and Information Technology classes, new Bartleby Program (2016), participating in Work-Based Learning initiative with Carter County (2018)
- Professional Development: new (2018) Elizabethton Leads teacher leader network, participation in State Personnel Development Grant and increased other professional development opportunities
- Facilities, Technology, Safety: New classrooms, stadium, band room, T. A. Dugger expansion underway, new (2017) visitor management system, fully equipped for online testing (2017)
- Communication: new (2016) public relations coordinator, new (2017) websites, social media, mobile application, brand
“Without the guidance and support of this Board, we would not be where we are today,” said Director of Schools Dr. Corey Gardenhour. “They are very involved and always challenge us to be better. We appreciate all the work they do in our schools and encourage everyone to reach out and thank them for putting our children first.”