Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Murfreesboro City Schools, is proud to announce the appointment of key individuals for the upcoming school year.
Raeshon Torres has been named principal at Bradley Academy. Mr. Torres served as Assistant Principal at Overall Creek Elementary from 2016-2019. He was also assistant principal at Reeves-Rogers Elementary from 2014-2016. Additionally, Mr. Torres taught 4th grade at Scales Elementary from 2005-2014. He has worked with the students of Murfreesboro City Schools for over 15 years, first in the extended school program, and then as a teacher and an administrator. Torres is a native of Jackson, TN. He received his Bachelor’s Degree at MTSU in 2005 and his Masters in Administration from Lipscomb University.
Caitlin Bullard has been appointed as principal for Cason Lane Academy. Bullard most recently served as a RTI2 coach for Rutherford County Schools. Additionally, Bullard has served as a seventh and eighth grade teacher in Robertson County and Metro Nashville Public Schools. Bullard is a native of Franklin, TN. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from MTSU, her Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University, and her Ed.S. in Accountability and Instructional Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University.
Quinena Bell will serve as principal at Hobgood Elementary. Bell has fourteen years of experience with Murfreesboro City Schools and has held numerous positions at Hobgood including assistant principal, academic interventionist and teacher. Additionally, Bell served as an academic coach for Murfreesboro City Schools. Bell is a native of Murfreesboro. She received her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ed.S in Curriculum and Instruction from MTSU.
Dr. Tammy Garrett has been named executive principal at Mitchell-Neilson School. Garrett has served as principal for Hobgood Elementary since 2012. Previously, Garrett served as coordinator of teaching and learning for Murfreesboro City Schools. She also taught 6th grade at Hobgood Elementary and served as team leader. Before joining Murfreesboro City Schools, Garrett served as assistant superintendent of instruction at Franklin County Schools.
Robin Newell will assume the position as principal at Mitchell-Neilson Primary, Jenny Ortiz will serve as assistant principal at Overall Creek, and Sia Phillips has been appointed assistant principal of Salem Elementary.
Additionally, Jamara DeBerry will assume the role of assistant principal at Mitchell-Neilson Elementary. Kennye Holt will join the Bradley Academy team as assistant principal. Sonya Cox joins Cason Lane Academy as assistant principal and Stephanie McIntyre joins MCS as assistant principal at Hobgood Elementary.
Murfreesboro City Schools’ Nutrition Department will sponsor the free Summer Food Service Program at twenty eight locations from May 28-July 26, 2019.
Designated school cafeterias, Patterson Park, McFadden Center, Discovery Center and Olive Branch Church will serve as summer feeding sites for breakfast and lunch. Additionally, four buses will distribute food to nearly twenty feeding sites over the summer months.
The Combating Hunger on Wheels Bus (CHOW Bus), CHOW XL, Sprout and CHOW TOO buses will be hitting the pavement in an effort to provide easier access to free healthy and nutritious meals for students age 18 and under during the summer break.
The CHOW buses will act as mobile dining rooms and serve meals to areas of Murfreesboro that are not in walking distance of a permanent site.
“The summer food service program allows us to effectively reach our students all year,” says Sandy Scheele, MCS Nutrition Supervisor. “Children are still hungry in the summer when the schools are closed. The CHOW buses allow us to go to the neighborhoods and feed the children.”
This will be the sixth year meals are provided via the CHOW Buses and the eighteenth year for the MCS Summer Food Service Program. The program will run May 28 through July 26. For a complete list of participating locations, dates and times of meals, visit the MCS website.
Children do not have to register in advance, simply stop by one of the locations at the designated times to enjoy a healthy meal. Murfreesboro City Schools is a district of thirteen schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services administers the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Free meals will be available to children 18 years of age and under without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap.
Murfreesboro City Schools will once again take reading on the road this summer with BOB the Book Bus. The Book Bus encourages reading during the summer months and throughout the year.
“Summer reading loss can be a big issue in the success of a student,” says Caresa Dodson, Reading and Intervention Coordinator. “Bringing a mobile library to neighborhoods will help children and families have easier access to books and the power of reading.”
Through the mobile library, children can receive books weekly during the summer. The bus will contain an array of children’s 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.
“We want children to be outside and playing during the summer but nothing is better than a great book to cultivate a child’s natural curiosity,” says Joe Marlin, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.
BOB the Book Bus is an out-of-service school bus that was repurposed to house the mobile library. The air-conditioned 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.
The MCS 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 this summer.
Murfreesboro City Schools fourth annual camp for students with special needs, Camp Boro, begins June 3 through June 6 at Scales Elementary. Fifty elementary student campers will participate in a week filled with camp events.
The four day camp includes pony rides, a petting zoo, archery, karate and bounce houses. Additionally student campers will travel to off-site field trips including the Miracle Field Park and Smyrna Bowling Center. Thursday is water day courtesy of the Murfreesboro Fire Department.
The student campers enjoy the full experience of being at camp and gain hands-on lessons that help prepare them for future tasks. By enhancing fine motor and communication skills, the children at Camp BORO will gain more than good times and laughter. Interactive activities going on during the week allow campers to participate in a variety of arts and crafts as well as competitions and team building events.
Students will be assisted by more than fifty volunteers including high school students, business partners, educators and administrators. The camp is coordinated by the MCS Special Education Department.
This free camp is funded through the help of sponsors and private donors allowing children with special needs to experience a week designed for their enjoyment. With the individual student needs in mind, campers are given the opportunity that other camps may not be able to provide. With the help of the volunteers, the children grow, engage and produce memories that will last a lifetime.
The MCS Extended School Program (ESP) has planned a summer filled with fun and learning including science, art and technology camps. These programs enable students to continue their learning adventures as they work with certified teachers to conduct science experiments, create art projects and experience a variety of technology tasks. All Murfreesboro City School (MCS) students can enroll in any ESP Summer Camps.
- KinderCamp (July 15-19) is open to children pre-registered for kindergarten at MCS and focuses on preparing upcoming kindergarteners for the transition to elementary school. Students attending KinderCamp will get the full ESP experience during the week of camp.
- Archery Camp (June 24-28) will be hosted at Black Fox and features two certified archery instructors. Students enrolled will learn the basics of archery including how to handle a bow and arrow and shooting techniques.
- Edible Education (July 8-12 at Mitchell-Neilson) (July 15-19 at Northfield) focuses on providing age appropriate hands-on cooking instruction for students.
- Makerspace Camp (June 24-28) hosted at Discovery School allows students to use their imagination to build, design and create. This camp includes a trip to the Adventure Science Center in Nashville.
- Soccer Camp in conjunction with Murfreesboro Soccer Club (June 3-7 and June 10-14) is a unique opportunity for students to learn the fundamentals of soccer while actively improving foot skills, speed and agility. This camp is hosted at Overall Creek.
- Camp Big Shots (June 10-21) is a two-week summer camp organized specifically for active adventures. Certified teachers are involved with the two-week camp and teach a variety of skills including archery, woodworking, coding, and robotics. Campers also enjoy field trips to Nashville Shores and canoeing the Harpeth River. Mitchell-Neilson will serve as the host site.
- Drone Coding and Aerial Photography (June 24-28) hosted at Overall Creek will teach students to write the code that controls a drone and the fundamentals of drone photography.
- Girl Scout Camp with the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee (July 15-19) features outdoor activities and teaches students how to earn badges while learning about the origin of Girl Scouts. Girl Scout Camp will be hosted at Discovery School.
For detailed information about the summer camps including appropriate ages and grade levels associated with individual camps and costs per program, please visit www.cityschoolsesp.net or contact the School-based ESP Site Director or Central Office ESP at 615 893-2313.
Transportation to and from camp is not provided. However, payment plans are available for all camps.
The ESP program is open from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. during summer months. During the 2018-19 school year, over 2,000 MCS students were enrolled in ESP. The Extended School Program (ESP) provides a safe, educationally enriching, fun and rewarding experience for all students of Murfreesboro City Schools. ESP offers a wide range of classes including sports, music, arts and crafts, woodworking, ballet, hip hop dance, cheerleading, cooking, journalism, science, technology, foreign languages, robotics, and many more. The program also provides homework assistance and tutoring in specific subjects.
Discovery School, a Murfreesboro City School, was named a Tennessee Designated STEM School during the STEM Innovation Summit in Nashville. Discovery was one of only eleven schools to receive this designation in 2019. This honor was developed with the guidance of the Tennessee Department of Education and the STEM Leadership Council to identify and recognize schools in their commitment to teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and integrating strategies that ultimately prepare for success in the 21st century.
“I am delighted about Discovery School receiving this well-deserved honor. The school is engaged in experiential, real-world learning, with full connections across content areas, linking today’s STEM learning to tomorrow’s workforce,” says Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Schools.
The Tennessee STEM School Designation denotes that a school meets the highest standards of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) instruction and is a model for schools across the state. The designation was developed to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM education plan at the local level. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible.
STEM education is a unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters creativity and innovative thinking in all students. STEM is focused on building critical and creative thinking and analysis skills by addressing how students view and experience the world around them.
“I’m extremely proud of our school and the team that led this application process,” says Kristina Maddux, Principal. “This designation affirms the diligent work of our educators and students.”
Strong STEM teaching and learning opportunities rest on inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities and lessons that are tied to the real world. It is a diverse, interdisciplinary curriculum where activities in one class complement those in other classes.
The Discovery STEM team is led by Principal Kristina Maddux, Assistant Principal Sia Phillips and teacher leaders Karen Cook, Kimberly Kahle, Amy London, Kristy Mall, Elizabeth Shepherd, Kelly Holman, and April Greene along with parents Scott Campbell and Kathie Elfersy.
The Tennessee State Board of Education also recognized Discovery School in 2018 as a National Blue Ribbon School. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.
Discovery School, founded in 2005, was created to serve high achieving students. Discovery is one of thirteen Murfreesboro City Schools and the second MCS school to receive the Tennessee STEM Designation.
MCS has two distinct Pre-K programs. Both are now accepting applications.
Applications are accepted at the Murfreesboro City Schools central office, 2552 South Church Street during business hours. The MCS Pre-K program is funded by a grant for low income or at-risk children who are zoned for a city school. Students must be 4 years old, but not yet 5, by August 15, 2019 to qualify.
Comprehensive instructions and applications can be found at http://www.cityschools.net/departments/preschool.
MCS is also accepting applications for peer models in the MCS Integrated Preschool Program – a separate program from Pre-K. These classes are special education classes for children ages 3-5. Peer models serve as role models and peer helpers to children with special needs. The integrated preschool classroom is a structured teaching environment where special needs children and peer models learn together. For further information regarding the Integrated Preschool contact the Special Education Department.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated (a TVA retiree organization), and Murfreesboro Electric awarded Bradley Academy and Mitchell- Neilson Elementary almost $10,000 for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education projects.
“We are thrilled to bring this new STEM project to our students,” said Jenny Ortiz, Bradley Academy Principal. “It’s crucial for science education to include hands-on learning projects and outside the box thinking.”
Bradley Academy’s grant, Augmented Reality Sandbox, written by Abbey Sanders and teammates, allows students to create topography models by shaping sand, which is then augmented in real time by an elevation color map, topographic contour lines, and simulated water. It will be used for various lessons including Water Cycle, Geography and Earth Science.
The grant award is a part of $580,000 in competitive STEM grants awarded to 161 schools across TVA’s seven-state service territory.
“Students learn by doing and exploring,” says Robin Newell, Principal, Mitchell-Neilson. “To paraphrase Edwin Powell Hubble, ‘students are equipped with five senses, they explore the universe and we call the adventure Science’. It is vital to allow students to see possibilities beyond the school day and explore our universe.”
Mitchell-Neilson’s grant, Catching Wind and Other Alarming Ideas, created by Robyn Trowbridge, allows third grade students to investigate conductors and insulators, schematic diagrams, and circuits in a system and then plan, create, and improve their own alarm circuits. Fourth grade students will study mechanical engineering systems such as mechanical pencils and egg beaters. Students will use their mechanical engineering knowledge to design windmills and sailboats.
The competitive grant program provided teachers an opportunity to apply for funding up to $5,000 and preference was given to grant applications that explored TVA’s primary areas of focus: environment, energy, economic and career development and community problem solving. Bradley Academy and Mitchell-Neilson are controlled choice schools for students and parents. Controlled choice schools have a limited number of openings. Applications will be accepted through April 26th.
Murfreesboro City Schools Director Dr. Linda Gilbert who has shaped generations of children and educators in Murfreesboro has been named the recipient of the 2019 ATHENA Leadership Award.
Nominated by United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties, Gilbert was honored at the ATHENA Award ceremony, which celebrated the accomplishments of all 16 ATHENA nominees and seven Young Professional nominees from the Rutherford County community. The luncheon ceremony was held Friday, April 12 at Embassy Suites Murfreesboro.
The ATHENA Award recognizes an individual who excels in her profession, gives back to the community, and helps raise up other leaders, especially women.
Throughout her career, Gilbert has embodied the spirit of the ATHENA Award by creating positive change in the community.
“In any life or organization, each new experience, new responsibility, new proficiency we encounter creates change. And while change is inevitable, growth is not. In fact, positive change that moves us forward will only occur in an environment authentic enough to encourage change,” Gilbert said.
Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to create an environment for positive change by helping establish Read To Succeed, Saint Thomas Health’s Ministry in Motion, Prevention Coalition for Success Rutherford County and Rutherford County’s Books from Birth. In all, she has written and received more than $16 million in grants for schools and nonprofits.
Since she was appointed in 2010, MCS was named 2018 Exemplary ACCESS District for providing all students with high quality instruction and intervention. MCS has also implemented programs to improve student nutrition both in and out of school.
Gilbert was honored along with the other Athena nominees who were Dr. Yuan-ling Chao, American Association of University Women of Tennessee; Kristin Coile Demos, Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation Ambassadors; Judge Lynn England Alexander, Middle Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women; Cherillyn A. Maddox, Goco Center for Aesthetics; Betsy Maples Taylor, MTSU Jennings A. Jones College of Business; Elizabeth McPhee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Pi Nu Omega Chapter; Celeste Middleton, Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County; Dr. Mary T. Moss, Charity Circle of Murfreesboro; Judge Donna Scott Davenport, Junior League of Murfreesboro; Sharon Seibert, Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club; Nancy Skinner, Guaranty Trust Company; Dr. Barbara F. Turnage, MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women & June Anderson • Center for Women & Nontraditional Studies; Gina W. Urban, RUTHERFORD Cable, and Mary M. Wade, Murfreesboro Branch of the NAACP.
Murfreesboro City Schools in conjunction with the Murfreesboro Police Department launched a public service announcement (PSA) campaign to create awareness of the school bus stop arm laws. The campaign is designed to protect students and create awareness of safe driving practices in school zones.
The initial PSAs consists of a safety video designed to make parents think before passing a stopped bus and an electronic flyer highlighting the Tennessee laws on stopping for school buses.
“MPD is taking a proactive approach to the safety of children especially in relation to school buses,” said Murfreesboro Police Chief Michael Bowen. “This PSA is just one way of conveying the message to drivers how dangerous passing a stopped school bus can be.”
The PSAs, titled Student Travel Outreach Program (S.T.O.P.), are designed to inform drivers and urge them to take extra caution whenever a school bus is stopped with its lights on and stop arm extended.