To Assure Academic and Personal Success For Each Child


African American Celebration Ad

African American Cultural Celebration

African American exhibits, cuisine, and much more will be featured Thursday, Jan 23 as Murfreesboro City Schools and Patterson Park Community Center host the 2020 African American Celebration. The event will be held at Patterson Park Community Center beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing through 7 p.m.

The theme for 2020 is Reflections of the African American Experience. The free celebration will include performances from the Bradley Academy Choir, the Northfield Elementary African Drumming Ensemble, local jazz artists as well as MTSU’s Panhellenic Step Show. Free food tastings reflecting the cultural cuisine will be held from 4-6 p.m. in the dining hall at Patterson Park. The event also features a living history museum and ancestral research displays from African American Voices Past and Present.

“We invite the community to come together and join us as we celebrate diversity through art, cuisine, history, and music,” states MCS Outreach Coordinator Greg Lyles.



MCS News Update

Teacher Job Fair 2020

Murfreesboro City Schools will host a teacher recruitment fair from 9:30 to 11:30 am on Saturday, February 8 at Scales Elementary School located at 2340 St. Andrews Drive in Murfreesboro. The fair is designed to match qualified candidates to the available teaching positions for the 2020-21 school year.

Applicants will meet principals, peers and other support area administrators at the event and should bring multiple resumes, licensure documentation, portfolios and any additional relevant materials to the job fair.

With its unique focus on pre-kindergarten through sixth grade learning, Murfreesboro City Schools is creating a vision that embodies the highest levels of collaboration, professionalism, and excellence. The district strives to meet the needs of the whole child and is committed to the personal and academic success of each child within the district.


Collier Smith

Collier Smith Honored by City Schools Foundation

Collier Smith’s service to public education is no laughing matter but the gala honoring her should be a ball of fun. The 13th Annual Excellence in Education Gala will honor Smith and feature Discovery School on January 24. Smith joins an exceptional group of civic leaders to be honored by The City Schools Foundation for their support of public education.

Smith is a community leader who served on the Board of Education for Murfreesboro City Schools from 2011-2018. A founding Trustee and Secretary of The City Schools Foundation, Smith chaired the first Excellence in Education Gala honoring astronauts Dr. Rhea Seddon and Hoot Gipson in 2007.

“Smith has a fantastic sense of humor and roasting her will be great fun,” says Brook LaRoche, friend and co-chair of the gala. “The night will be full of laughter for a great cause.”

Smith and her husband Fant have lived in Murfreesboro for 23 years. Their three teenage children, Sally, Fant, and Helen, attended Discovery School for their elementary years. She co-founded Discovery School’s fundraising organization, the Explorer Fund, which was created to establish a science laboratory for the school. She continues to support Discovery School where she initiated and continues to organize the Senior Homecoming Parade. In 2016, the Discovery School Parent Teacher Association honored Smith with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sponsors for the evening include: The LaRoche Foundation, City Tile & Floor Covering Co., Adams Family Foundation, Advance Financial, Family Practice Partners, Ascend Federal Credit Union, Tommy and Jeanne Bragg, Ellen K. Slicker, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Evening Exchange Club, Franklin Synergy Bank, the Honorable Bart Gordon, Johnson + Bailey Architects, David and Brook LaRoche, Bob and Betsy Murfree, Murfreesboro Anesthesia Group, Pinnacle Financial Partners, Republic Services, Dr. and Mrs. Peter Robertson, Saint Thomas Rutherford, SmartBank, Stones River Dermatology, Turner Construction, Volunteer State Bank, Wilson Bank & Trust, Woodfin’s Funeral Home, Greg and Anna Stewart, Matt and Katherine Layman and more.

Smith joins former honorees Doug Young, Drs. Max and Mary Moss, John Floyd, Ed and Andrea Loughry, Tommy and Jeannie Bragg, Dr. Sidney and Elizabeth McPhee, Dr. Susan Andrews, John Hood, Rhea Seddon and “Hoot” Gibson, Gloria and Ted LaRoche, Joyce Taylor, and Bart Gordon in receiving this distinguished honor.

The 2020 Gala will spotlight Discovery School. Discovery is an academic magnet school and home to approximately 400 students located on Middle Tennessee Boulevard. Ms. Kristina Maddux, principal and Ms. Jessica Snell, assistant principal serve as the administrative team for the school.

The gala will be held at MTSU’s new Student Union Center with Brook LaRoche and Stephanie Roach serving as chairs of the event. Reservations for the Gala are now available. Individual tickets may be purchased for $250 and sponsorships begin at $1,500.

The City Schools Foundation is a group of civic and business leaders banding together to benefit Murfreesboro City Schools’ pre-Kindergarten through sixth grade students. For additional information, please call 893-2313.

Collier Smith

Kyle Cantrell

Kyle Cantrell Named Extraordinary Educator

MCS and John Pittard Elementary are thrilled to announce that Fifth Grade Math and Science Teacher Kyle Cantrell has been named as an Extraordinary Educator by Curriculum Associates. Curriculum Associates named 31 members nationwide to their inaugural class of Extraordinary Educators.

Congratulations Mr. Cantrell on receiving this great honor! So proud you are part of the Pittard Pride.

The 31 selected teachers exhibit best-in-class use of i-Ready and/or Ready in their classroom, illustrate growth and achievement via formal assessments, demonstrate classroom innovation and engagement practices for students, are evangelists for high standards and student achievement, and have been teaching for at least two years. To learn about the 2020 Extraordinary Educators and meet other remarkable teachers like Mr. Cantrell, please visit

Kyle Cantrell

BOB the Book Bus

BOB the Book Bus

Murfreesboro City Schools takes reading on the road with BOB the Book Bus. BOB encourages reading during the summer months and throughout the year.

“Bringing a mobile library to neighborhoods helps children and families have easier access to books and the power of reading,” says Caresa Dodson, Reading and Intervention Coordinator.

Through the mobile library, children can receive an array of favorite books. Children from age two through sixth grade and their families can check out books, read and keep them in their home library, or return them to the bus for other families to enjoy.

BOB is an out-of-service school bus repurposed to house the mobile library. The bus includes shelves and seating.

This literacy initiative aims to help children discover a passion for reading. Research shows that students who read for more than 20 minutes a day score 90% better than their peers on reading tests. Twenty minutes per day exposes children to 1.8 million words a year.

BOB the Book Bus is funded in part through The Christy-Houston and Richard Siegel Foundations. Books have been donated by many individuals and are being accepted at the MCS Central Office.

Bradley Drama Students Join Murph's Adventure

Bradley Drama Students Join Murph’s Adventure

Bradley Academy drama students joined forces with award winning children’s show “Adventures in Murphy’s Burrow” for the 2019-20 school year. Adventures in Murphy’s Burrow is a unique educational initiative between the City of Murfreesboro and Murfreesboro City Schools that began in April 2004.
“In this first year of the collaboration, we will be working with the students at Bradley on four separate taping occasions,” says Nancy Phillips. “Our first collaboration was a real success and I look forward to the extraordinary moments with the students.”
Bradley drama students are collaborating in four upcoming episodes this school year through monologue, jokes, fact gathering and on-air educational dialogue. The first collaborative episode aired in October 2019 to great reviews. The new collaboration allows Bradley drama students a real-life experience with television production and editing through CityTV.
“Adventures in Murphy’s Burrow,” is a monthly educational adventure designed to showcase local and regional leaders, literacy, arts, and sciences in a fun format. Former School Board Member Nancy Phillips is the creator of the city’s most famous rabbit, Murph. She serves as voice, producer and creative director of “Adventures in Murphy’s Burrow”. The show is edited and directed by John Padgett, Multi Media Producer with CityTV.
“We are excited to have this great opportunity for our drama students,” says Raeshon Torres, principal. “Television performance allows a new media experience for students and they are extremely excited to demonstrate and hone their talents.”
Bradley drama students will participate with Murph in science experiments, art projects and cultural enrichments throughout the year.
“The initial conversations about this collaboration began prior to the school year,” says Eric Grim, Bradley Drama Teacher. “Our students are thrilled to be a part of this award-winning production.”
Bradley Academy is recognized for excellence in arts — creative writing, drama, instrumental music, theater, visual arts and vocal music. Coupled with a strong academic program, Bradley develops both the artistic and academic talents of its students.

October episode of Adventures in Murphry’s Burrow:

Bradley Drama Students with Murph

Drama students at Bradley performing.

Students skyping at Hobgood

Reaching Out through Skype

Dinosaurs are aligning reading with science, art, math and engineering in Hobgood Elementary’s second grade classrooms.  While studying the life of English fossil collector Mary Anning and reading the children’s book about her life, “Stone Girl, Bone Girl”, students were introduced to the study of paleontology.

World-renowned paleoartist Julius Csotonyi joined the Hobgood classrooms through an activity-based Skype session.  Csotonyi is a Canadian paleoartist and natural history illustrator.  His work is featured in museums across the world and preserved on US Postage Forever T.rex Stamps.

“We are extremely excited to have this famous paleoartist working with our students as he demonstrates how he takes a sketched image of a dinosaur skeleton and turns it into a more animated lifelike representation,” says Alisha Herbison, Hobgood’s Instructional Coach.

During the Skype presentation, students began with a skeleton sketch, then engaged in a simple flesh reconstruction to learn how paleoartists add soft tissues to bones to bring prehistoric animals to life. Students learned how specific features like flippers or wings tell you about the dinosaur’s habitat.

For their culminating project, students will become “experts” on a chosen animal, learn about their adaptations, and generate scientific drawings of them. They will then complete the project by creating that animal utilizing 3-D printing and other mediums.



heather knox

Knox Receives Presidential Award

Dr. Heather Knox, a former fifth-grade mathematics teacher at Northfield Elementary, now serving as a MCS Gifted Specialist, has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).
The PAEMST award is the nation’s highest honor for K-12 mathematics and science teachers. The awards program is administered by the National Science Foundation on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
“Heather is a gifted teacher who inspires students to achieve their highest potential,” says Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Schools. “She exemplifies the spirit of learning.”
Each year, a national committee of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators recommends up to 108 teachers to receive PAEMST awards. Up to two teachers – mathematics or science – from each State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. territories as a group, and schools operated in the United States and overseas by the Department of Defense Education Activity receives the award.
Teachers who are selected as PAEMST awardees receive a trip to Washington, D.C., where they attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities. They also receive a $10,000 award from NSF and a Presidential certificate.
Knox received her Doctor of Education from Carson-Newman University and her Master of Education from Middle Tennessee State University. She has taught with Murfreesboro City Schools since 2012.


City Schools Foundation Logo

Foundation Awards $73,000 in Grants

The City Schools Foundation will distribute over $73,000 in grants to Murfreesboro City School teachers in 2019.  The Foundation asks educators to submit proposals for funding that will help acquire resources for classrooms not ordinarily provided by taxpayer dollars.

“Reading and scoring the grants is one of the most rewarding jobs. The Foundation is thrilled with the range of requests we received from math and science to technology and arts,” says Kevin Grisham, grant committee chair. “It is incredible to see how educators are utilizing hands-on learning opportunities to enrich the classroom.”

Grants are submitted anonymously and are judged solely on their merit by a committee.

Twenty-five grants, representing all thirteen schools, have been selected for funding and range from $300 for On a Rollercoaster with Isaac Newton to $7,000 for “Clearing” the way for STEAM.  Sixteen grants received over $2,000 in disbursements.

Grants included:

  • LET US RISE: Elevating Student Opportunities – Kristen Goodman & Tony Hartman
  • Robotics for Inquisitive Minds – Tammy Pirtle & Hope Padgett
  • Zoologists Needed…Storm Ahead! – Rachel Matthews, Betsy Lynch, & Denise Crumbaugh
  • Walk This Way! STEAM Walk, Listen, Do, Learn – Angela Bunyi
  • Completing the T in STEAM – Gretchen Campbell
  • EVOS for primary grades – Elizabeth Hurst
  • Clearing the way for STEAM – Emily Clark, & Gretchen Campbell
  • On a Rollercoaster with Isaac Newton – Mareen Pfeiffer-Hoens, Breana McClain, & Jennifer Stanley
  • Stellar STEM Studio – Suzanne St. John, Stephanie West, & Gina Graham
  • Creating Global Thinkers by Engineering Global Ideas – Kristy Mall
  • The Artists of 2050 – Evelyn Reed Burnett
  • Take a Walk on the Calm Side – Angela Huff
  • Technology for a SMART Future – Lauren Hundley
  • LittleBits: Electronic Programming and Design – Angela Bunyi
  • Catch Box: Student Engagement is Critical – Justin Lattimore
  • An Apple a Day – Sarah Chumney
  • We Will Rock You – Richard Wood & Lance Pearcy
  • STEAMING Through the Day! – Bippy Tidwell
  • Clear Touch – Tracy Earnheart
  • STEAMing Through the Day – Elizabeth Owens
  • Never Fear: We’ve Got Makergear – Angela Pope
  • Share the Music – Luke Hill
  • Full STEAM Ahead! 3D Printers – Jennifer Sego
  • Chick this Out – Beth Wood & Kathy Latondress
  • Cubelets for Primary Grade Coding – Kimberly Kahle


This year, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) was the overarching theme for the grant requests. Many STEAM projects involve teamwork and allow students to explore subjects utilizing hands-on activities and dialogue giving students additional ways to succeed in this rapidly changing technology-based world.

MCS News Update

A Taste of Latin America

Bradley Academy invites the community to A Taste of Latin America featuring Latin food, dances, art and activities for children and family.

The community wide event will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Patterson Park.  The celebration will be highlighted by a performance from the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra at 11 a.m.

Bring your family and friends to celebrate Latin traditions!

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