As the Weakley County School system’s academic year swiftly moves to its end, the achievements and progress of its students begin to take the forefront over all other business at Weakley County School Board meetings.
With Vice-Chairman Barbara Trentham filling in for Chairman Gordon Morris, who is currently at St. Thomas Hospital having his heart defibrillator fixed, board members led off the March monthly meeting Thursday afternoon by listening to Trentham read the school system’s mission statement:
“The mission of Weakley County Schools is to provide an educational environment that will encourage students to ‘achieve their full potential’ as they prepare for unique roles as contributing members of our complex and changing society.”
“I would like to think we keep that in mind at our meetings,” Trentham remarked.
Principal Nate Holmes of the host school, Martin Middle School, provided a narrative of the school’s achievements and its progress in the current academic year.
“As you all know, probably, we are a target school this year. I just want the board to know along with the superintendent that we have put a lot of intervention in place and we are working hard to try to correct that,” Holmes commented.
“Two things new at Martin Middle School this year. Breakfast in the classroom – I want everyone to know that that’s been great for Martin Middle School. It really gets our day off to a good start – gets all the students off to where they need to be and gets them focused for their first-period class. I’d like to thank Mrs. Tami Simpson for that.”
“We also have a program focusing on positive behavior support. It’s been great for our school. It’s changed the environment. Everything is orderly as it should be and because of Officer Nick, everything is really safe. He’s been our SRO for a few years and tomorrow will be his last day here. He’s been a really good role model for all of our teachers, all of our staff members and all of our students. He’s just been good for our school and we’re going to hate to see him go. Going back to the positive support system, this year we have four rules at Martin Middle School. They are: Be responsible, Be respectable, Be safe and Be kind and everything that we do here is organized around those four rules,” Holmes continued.
Additionally, MMS has implemented an art class serving all three grades with two six weeks per grade level with Sherry Keeling in charge of the program. She also serves as the sponsor of the drama club. The Beta Club has 105 members meeting the requirement of having a 90 or greater average in each class. The school also has the largest honor society it’s ever had with 40 members maintaining the required 93 or greater average in each class. The girls basketball team recorded a 94 average this year as did the national-champion cheerleading squad.
The four-page list of congratulations included:
• Martin Middle School cheerleaders – 2011 UCA small junior high national champions, first at 2010 Mid-South Regional and 2010 TSSAA champions;
• Martin Middle School boys and girls basketball – Area Five district tournament champions advancing to the sectional tournament in Memphis;
• Martin Middle School math students participated in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Math-a-Thon raising over $3,000 for St. Jude.
• Mrs. Farlow’s seventh grade science class winning second and third places in the 2011 Engineer’s Day Egg Drop Competition at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Participants included John Colt Fulcher and Jackson Kelly, Allison Harris and Tamara Sterrett, John Sterrett and Kyle Holley – third place and Bruce Hicks and Collin Stricklin – second place.
• Westview High School cheerleader – 2011 UCA super large varsity division II national champions;
• Greenfield Junior High Girls – TNT 2A state tournament champions; All-state tournament team – Brittany Peoples, Shaynece Clemons, Chasity McMullen and Honorable Mention – Amy Claire Wright and Allie Dees;
• Westview Chargers – 13AA district basketball champions;
• Dresden High Lions – 13A district basketball champions;
• Greenfield High Lady Yellowjackets – 14A district basketball third place;
• Greenfield High Yellowjackets – 14A district basketball third place;
• Westview Lady Chargers – 13AA district basketball third place;
• All-district from Dresden – Alex Glisson, Jessica Parsley, Amy McAlpin, Jessica Jones, Tyler McPeak, Gatlin Hatchel, Daniel Harris, Tommy Dilday Coach of the Year 13A (boys) and Jonathan West Coach of the Year 13A (girls);
• All-district from Gleason – Sara Hensley (MVP), Ashley Coble, Brianna Jones and Ben Rollins;
• All-district from Greenfield – Jordan Galey, Emily Randolph, Shameilla McMullen, Wes Clark, Heath Crouse and Pete Angelos Co-coach of the Year 14A (boys);
• All-district from Westview – Breanna Pitcher, Jacey Sims, Jacob Lloyd and Dillon Gardner;
• All-tournament from Westview – Breanna Pitcher, Taylor Swaim, Jacob Lloyd and Dillon Gardner;
• All-academic from Westview – Breanna Pitcher, Lindsey Jackson, Chase Cartmell and Garrett Vincent;
• All-west Tennessee Honor band selections from Westview – Katie Moore, flute; Sydney Gilliam, tenor saxophone; Franco D’Aprille, clarinet; Sabah Getaneh, alto saxophone; Brooke Baker, clarinet and Sarah Wade, clarinet;
• UTM Honor Band from Westview – Katie Moore, flute; Megan Spellings, alto saxophone; Franco D’Aprille, clarinet; Chantia Brown, alto saxophone; Sabah Getaneh, alto saxophone; Ricky Cedeno, baritone; Heather Peckham, flute; Blake Gallimore, tuba; Brooke Baker, clarinet and Sarah Wade, clarinet;
• UTM Honor Band from Martin Middle School – Leslie Patterson, clarinet; Abby Holford, clarinet; Austin Brewer, trumpet; Kelby Smith, trumpet; Michaela Johnson, trumpet and Camilla D’Aprille, flute.
• UTM Honor Band from Sharon School – Gillian Martin, trumpet.
• Quad state junior high competition in Murray, Martin Middle School participants – Leslie Patterson, clarinet; Abby Holford, clarinet; Samantha Warmath, trombone; Michaela Johnson, trumpet; Austin Brewer, trumpet; Camilla D’Aprille, flute and Ivie Pfenning, flute.
• Quad state junior high competition in Murray, Sharon School participants – Gillian Martin, trumpet; Racheal Fowler, percussion; Edgar Olivas, percussion and Eric Jehnzen, percussion.
Sympathy was extended to Rusty Taylor in the loss of his father and to Tina Brewer in the loss of her father.
Dr. Debbie Doster recognized this year’s S.C.O.P.E. participants.
“S.C.O.P.E. stands for Student Conference on Policies in Education and it is a student arm of this board,” Doster explained. “Every high school in the state of Tennessee is encouraged to send a maximum of two students per high school and we send the maximum. We send two students from every high school in our district and we’ve done that for years and years and this board is certainly gracious enough to provide us the travel and pay for meals and for the registration to this event. Now, what they do at this event is they actually become Weakley County board members in Nashville. They meet with their peers from all over the state and they give them hot topics that they will debate and discuss and vote upon and at the end of the day they bring us all back together in this large theater and they go over these and they are voted upon by the students and they give the results and you would be amazed at how conservative these young people are. These young people go there and they represent us very well. They’re very well dressed, they’re mannerly, they’re polite and they’re an outstanding arm of this county and we’re so glad that they’re willing to go. It takes a day out of their public education, but they make up their work and they are certainly representing Weakley County well.”
S.C.O.P.E. participants include Tiana Winstead and Ty Roberts from Dresden High School, Samantha Verdell and Conner Verdell from Gleason School, Kaitlyn Simmons and Benjamin Garner from Greenfield School and Zoe Stringer and Adam Reinhard from Westview High School. On Friday, March 11 at the Avon Williams Campus at Tennessee State University in downtown Nashville, the agenda opens with registration and refreshments, complete opinionnaire and group photos at 8 a.m. From there, opening general session is at 9 a.m., small group session A at 9:30 a.m. lunch from 11:30 to 12:30 for different groups, small group session B and selection of group speaker at 12:30 p.m., closing general session, group debates, action and recommendations and election of officers at 1:45 p.m., wrap-up at 3:15 p.m. and adjournment at 3:30 p.m. Hot topics will include randomly drug testing students that participate in extracurricular activities, homeschoolers participating in public school activities, virtual learning for advance placement and elective courses, electronic textbooks and social networking websites as recourses in the classroom.
The following resolutions passed:
• Res. 2011-25 to budget $100,000 for additional breakfast items due to the increase in breakfast participation in the schools;
• Res. 2011-26 to transfer federal monies into other salaries and wages, vocational for purchase of equipment and travel;
• Res. 2011-27 to transfer funds for the Snap grant and Education Edge.
In other business, the board approved the hiring of Caitlin Simpson as a volunteer coach at Martin Middle for cheerleading.
The following consent items were passed:
• Dismissal of Stan Vickers as a tenured teacher;
• Dresden Elementary 4th Grade Citizens of the Year to visit the Capital in Nashville on May 3; field trip #1
• Dresden Elementary 4th Grade to visit the Memphis Zoo and Pink Palace on May 6.
• Dresden Elementary Science Club to visit the Discovery Museum in Nashville on May 11.
• Dresden Elementary 3rd Grade to visit the Memphis Zoo on April 28.
• Dresden High FFA (20 students) to attend State FFA Convention in Gatlinburg March 27-30.
• Dresden High FFA (5 students) to attend the State Beef Expo in Lebanon March 10-13.
• Gleason High FFA (20 students) to attend the State FFA Convention in Gatlinburg March 27-30.
• Greenfield High FFA (5 students) to attend the State FFA Convention in Gatlinburg March 27-30.
• Westview HOSA to attend HOSA State Competition in Nashville February 28- March 2.
• Dresden High Skills USA to attend Skills USA State Leadership Conference in Chattanooga April 17-20.
• Weakley County’s 11th Grade to attend the Weakley County Youth Summit on March 24 at U.T.M.
• Dresden High DECA to attend DECA State Competitions in Franklin March 6-9.
• Martin Middle Boys Basketball team to travel to Murfreesboro on March 16 to watch the TSSAA state tournament;
• Gleason’s Consumer Economics class to travel to Nashville on April 5 to tour the Federal Reserve Bank;
• Westview Boys Basketball team to travel to Murfreesboro on March 16-17 to watch the TSSAA state tournament;
• Westview’s 11th grade (seven students) to travel to Austin Peay State University on March 5 to attend State Poetry Slam Competition.
In communications, Director of Schools Randy Frazier reported that the calendar committee will meet at 3:30 p.m. on March 8.
Students and staff members will be attending school on March 28 and Good Friday. Those days would normally be taken off, but due to the abundance of snow days used school will be in session on those days.
Finally, teacher negotiation meetings are due to take place soon with teachers, board members and school system staff discussion issues and making plans relating to compensation and benefits in addition to other items.
The next meeting of the Weakley County School Board will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 7 at the Adult Learning Center.