Approximately 600 Murfreesboro City School third-graders from six schools experienced MTSU farm life during a field trip on Wednesday. The field trip is the culminating event for third grade as part of the Farm to School curriculum.
About half of the Murfreesboro City Schools third-graders learned about the MTSU gardens while the rest took in the dairy portion of the university’s Experiential Learning and Research Center. Unfortunately, weather conditions prevented the remaining schools to attend the farm field trip
The student experience included learning about cows, calves and other farm animals, drinking chocolate milk from the MT Dairy, making crafts out of dried beans, churning butter and learning, the necessity of honey bees, as well as about farm equipment and many aspects of the working farm located in Lascassas, Tennessee.
“The field trip is only one part of the Farm to School program that spans throughout the year,” says Darla Sampson, MCS Coordinated School Health Coordinator. “Our program includes gardening, classroom curriculum, Chef Academy and more activities for learning throughout the year.”
MTSU students and professors shared information about the dairy, the garden and life on a farm. The farm was divided into educational stations including tractor and equipment safety, dairy production, educational crafts, garden areas, grain production, honey bees, and making butter.
“Farm to School programs are a great way to get students excited about healthy eating and learning about food production,” says Sandy Scheele, MCS Coordinator of Nutrition.
Farm to school enriches the connection students and communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips.
Farm to School field trip is a partnership with MTSU and MCS. Volunteers from Farm Credit Mid America and the Rutherford County Health Department participated in the education stations. The Farm Bureau Ag Simulator was a new aspect of the event this year.
Murfreesboro City Schools is a proud district committed to the academic and personal success of each child. With its unique focus on prekindergarten through sixth grade learning, Murfreesboro City Schools is creating a vision that embodies the highest levels of collaboration, professionalism, and excellence.
Murfreesboro City Schools honored its Employees of the Year at a special ceremony this week. Forty-six staff members received recognition as support staff of the year and departmental employee of the year. Support staff from each school and departments were nominated by their peers or supervisor for this recognition.
“This recognition was a great opportunity to celebrate the work of these individuals as they continuously demonstrate the best instructional and support practices for students,” says Ralph Ringstaff, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and ESP.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Black Fox Principal Joe Thompson. Mr. Thompson began his teaching career in 1975 and joined MCS in 1980. He has served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal during his tenure. During his leadership, Black Fox has received numerous awards and accolades including the Value-Added Achievement Designation.
Ernest Victory received The Helping Hand Award for his years of using his skills in woodworking to create and design numerous projects throughout the district. Mr. Victory has built bookcases, cabinets, trophy cases and library shelves along with many other specialized pieces for schools during his years of service.
“It is an honor to celebrate the people who form the foundation of Murfreesboro City Schools. It is through their hard work, high expectations and positive mindsets that children and the future are being forever changed,” says Dr. Linda Gilbert. “We are indeed grateful for their dedication and leadership in meeting the needs of our students.”
Other Distinguished Employee of the Year nominees:
Educational Assistants of the Year:
Sharon Robeson – Black Fox
Leinaala Bautista – Bradley Academy
Sheba Cantrell – Cason Lane
Susan Barrett – Discovery
Jean Sanders – Erma Siegel
Riley Clark – Hobgood
Mark Parsley – John Pittard
Maria Rosales – Mitchell-Neilson Primary
Felecia Ruse – Mitchell-Neilson Elementry
Julie Glinn – Northfield
Malinda Perdzock – Overall Creek
Amanda Ring – Reeves-Rogers
Ashley Kaus – Scales
Special Education Assistants of the Year:
Wanda Robbins – Black Fox
Jennifer Smith – Bradley
Kim Creager – Cason Lane
Shontay Woods – Erma Siegel
Bre Carpenter – Hobgood
LuAnn Fox – Mitchell-Neilson Primary
Debbie Pulido – Mitchell- Neilson Elementary
Jennifer Wallace – Northfield
Marsha Chapman – Reeves-Rogers
Alyssa Miracle – Scales
Departmental Employees of the Year:
Tayana Fish – Maintenance
Mike Prater – Maintenance
Jerry Neely – Substitute Teacher
Travis Simmons – Technology
Rosa Castellon – Custodial Day Shift
Kristian Smith – Custodial Night Shift
Irma Ramos – Black Fox Cafeteria
Hope North – Bradley Cafeteria
Monica Evans – Cason Lane Cafeteria
Sheila Powell – Discovery Cafeteria
Karen Jones – Erma Siegel Cafeteria
Nancy Martinez – Hobgood Cafeteria
Jack Sawyers – John Pittard Cafeteria
Angela Greer – Mitchell-Neilson Cafeteria
Suhaila Elayah – Northfield Cafeteria
Jennifer Dawson – Overall Creek Cafeteria
Melanie Whitaker – Reeves-Rogers Cafeteria
Diane Holmes – Scales Cafeteria
Teresa Davenport – Cafeteria Manager
Teresa Crouch – Bus Driver
Cedric Whitfield – Bus Assistant
Jennifer Lanier – Nurse
McKala Rollins – ESP
Teachers of the Year as well as thirteen retirees were also honored at the Wednesday night program. The program was designed to promote recognition, respect and appreciation for staff members at Murfreesboro City Schools.
Overall Creek Elementarywas named a Tennessee Designated STEM School by the State of Tennessee during the STEM Innovation Summit in Nashville on May 8. 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. Overall Creek was one of only 15 schools to receive this designation by the Tennessee Department of Education.
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 students and staff members,” says Don Bartch, Overall Creek Principal. “This designation took the vision and hard work of a dedicated group of teachers. They worked tirelessly to complete the process and tell the Overall Creek STEM story.”
Overall Creek integrates STEM curriculum with project-based learning across all subject areas and programs both inside and outside the classroom. To receive this momentous designation, Overall Creek successfully completed the designation rubric including five focus areas: infrastructure, curriculum and instruction, professional development, achievement, and community and post-secondary partnerships. As a part of the process, schools were required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM education for the next five years. From this process, a total of 15 schools received the Tennessee STEM School Designation.
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 Overall Creek STEM team is led by Principal Don Bartch, Assistant Principal Raeshon Torres, Assistant Principal and teacher leaders Cathrine Gordon, Mallory Eaton, Katie Nanney, Erin Nunley, Cherry Ross, Tara Hatchell, Shelby Jones, Elizabeth Owens and Lea Bartch.
“I am very excited about Overall Creek receiving this well-deserved honor. The school is engaged in experiential, real-world learning, with full connections across content areas, linking today’s STEAM learning to tomorrow’s workforce,” says Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Schools. “STEM learning at Overall Creek extends to each child from kindergarten through sixth grade, fully integrating project-based learning into all subjects throughout the day, and allowing students to be exposed to different STEM professions at an early age so they can see all possibilities.”
The Tennessee STEM School Designation was developed to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM education plan at the local level. The Tennessee Department of Education and Tennessee STEM Innovation Network developed tools and resources to define the attributes of a comprehensive STEM learning environment for students. Schools that receives the Tennessee STEM School Designation are recognized by the Tennessee Department of Education for their use of STEM teaching and learning strategies and serve as a model from which other schools may visit and learn. All K–12 schools serving students in Tennessee are eligible.
Overall Creek opened in 2014-15 school year and boasts over 1,000 kindergarten through 6th grade students. With its unique location, adjacent to a creek and woodland area, Overall Creek features two outdoor classrooms and a successful Farm to School program. Murfreesboro City Schools is a district of twelve schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child.
The MCS Nutrition Department will sponsor the Summer Food Service Program at twenty-four locations from May 29-July 27.
In addition to designated school cafeterias, Patterson Park, The Den Community Center and Discovery Center will serve as summer feeding sites for breakfast and lunch. 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 program provides easy access to healthy and nutritious meals for students age 18 and under during the summer break.
“The school year isn’t the only time children get hungry,” says Sandy Scheele, nutrition supervisor for Murfreesboro City Schools. “The summer food service program allows us to effectively reach our students all year.”
This will be the fourth-year meals are provided via the CHOW Buses and the 16th year for the MCS Summer Food Service Program. The program will run May 29 through July 27. For a complete list of participating locations, dates and times of meals, click the link below.
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 twelve 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.
Dr. Linda Gilbert has been named the 2018 Mid-Cumberland Superintendent of the Year by her colleagues. Sixteen school districts from the following counties make up the Mid-Cumberland region: Montgomery, Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Davidson, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson.
Murfreesboro City Schools is a state-identified Exemplary School District, the highest designation available in Tennessee, based on high academic achievement. In addition, the district is noted for its approach to the whole child, with its Farm to School and Nutrition programs, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) initiatives, gifted programs, community partnerships, early childhood practices, Extended School Program, and teacher and principal leadership development. In the past three years, the district has produced two Mid-Cumberland Teachers of the Year and a Middle Tennessee Principal of the Year.
This year, Murfreesboro’s Cheer Team, in its first year, ranked fourth nationally, Siegel’s Invention Convention team received the top national award, Discovery’s robotics team placed regionally, Mitchell-Neilson acquired Lighthouse Leader In Me School status, nine schools were cited for excellence by the state for their approach to social/emotional/behavioral learning, and an employee daycare was begun. Additionally, a Book Bus will hit the road this summer.
Currently, Dr. Gilbert is a member of the State Educator Effectiveness Advisory Council, Rutherford Works Executive Council, Business Education Partnership Executive Board, Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Commission, Wellness Council of Rutherford County, Manufacturing Leadership Council, Mental Health Action Initiative, Child Advocacy Center Board, Project Transformation Board, Red Cross Board, and United Way Board.
In April, she was named a Tennessee Trailblazer by the MTSU Chapter of American Association of University Women. She was the first person featured in Murfreesboro Post’s series about Remarkable Rutherford Women, was showcased in the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents’ Spotlight, received a 2016 Child Advocacy Center Hometown Hero Award and the Four Star Individual Service Award from the Tennessee Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and was a member of Murfreesboro Magazine’s Women in Business class of 2015.
Prior to being appointed superintendent in 2010, she was an Associate Professor in MTSU’s Educational Leadership Department, where she organized the Middle Tennessee P-16 Council, co-authored the MTeach grant to expand science and math teachers, received the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Outstanding Public Service Award and the MTSU Outstanding Teacher Award, was the university’s first Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellow, was the first recipient of the True Blue Citation of Distinction in Education Award from the MTSU Alumni Association, and was elected to the Band of Blue Hall of Fame. She also received the Rutherford County NAACP Freedom Fund Humanitarian Award, Read To Succeed’s Karen Claud Award for Literacy for Rutherford County, TEA Distinguished Higher Education Professional, Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center Honoree for Public Service to Youth, and was president of the Tennessee Association of School Supervision and Administration (TASSA).
Before going to MTSU, she was Associate Director for Instruction in Murfreesboro City Schools. While in that role, she co-founded the St. Thomas Rutherford Mobile Health Unit, Read To Succeed, the Prevention Coalition for Success (CADCOR), the Patterson Park and Franklin Heights community coalitions, and co-authored the original grants for Rutherford County Books from Birth and Steel de Boro.
Prior to becoming Associate Director, she was a general and instrumental music teacher at Black Fox, private flute and piano instructor, the first recipient of WSMV Television’s “Apple for the Teacher Award,” the 1998 Tennessee Teacher of the Year, and was named an innovator in the NEA Today publication.
She has been organist of Bethel United Methodist Church since she was 12, and has written and received grants totaling more than $17 million. She is married to Steve Gilbert and has two children, Cherry, who is an academic coach in Murfreesboro City Schools, and Brian, who is a United Methodist minister in Princeton, Illinois.
Twenty-nine teachers and staff members recently graduated the MCS Spring 2018 Leadership Academy. Leadership Academy is held in the Fall and Spring and is part of MCS’s commitment to supporting leadership development and growth opportunities.
Graduates included: Amy Baltimore, Beth Hurst, Kenecia Sullivan, Mary Beth Young, Macari Harrison, Tiara Vance, Amy Sanders, Dana Stem, Heather Knox, Kim Fischer, Morgan Jones, Theresa Witsman, Angela Pope, Emily Casey, Jenifer Scott, Rhonda Gore, Roxana Dove, Rachel Bjork, Charlotte Young, Emily Jameson, Kacey Landreth, Nicolette Sanders, Mallory Eaton, Stephanie Turner, Corynn Moore, Ginger Hazelbaker, Karen Cook, Shae Miga and Whitley Troutman.
Kindergarten registration is May 3 and 4 for the 2018-19 school year at your zoned school. All children entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before August 15, 2018.
For an overview of registering your child for kindergarten, please visit http://www.cityschools.net/student-info/registration or search ‘New Student Registration’ in the search bar.
If you have questions about your child’s zoned school, please click on EDULOG and enter your current address.
To register new students parents should bring:
- Your child’s Official Birth Certificate
- Tennessee Dept. of Health Certification of Immunization
- Proof of Physical within the last year
- Verification of Your Address. This must be a current utility bill with your name and address on it. (Example: Water, Electric, Gas).
Kindercamp will be held July 16-20th at all Murfreesboro City Schools. Additional details and registration information regarding Kindercamp is available during Kindergarten Preview Days and Kindergarten Registration.
A great resource for helping your child prepare for kindergarten can be found at KidCentralTN.com.
Thirty-three teachers from Murfreesboro City Schools received their Tennessee Employment Standard for Gifted Teaching after completing the MTSU/MCS Gifted Academy.
The Gifted Academy, sponsored by The Jennings and Rebecca Jones Foundation, aims to expand Murfreesboro City Schools Gifted Education program by equipping teachers with tools to identify and engage gifted students.
The Gifted Academy training presents teachers with numerous tools to assist in planning higher level thinking activities and detailed tasks for gifted learners. MCS currently has over 100 teachers that have received additional training specifically related to gifted education.
“We want to provide stimulating learning environments for our gifted students allowing them to be challenged and to succeed. With that goal in mind, MCS provides The Gifted Academy for our teachers and has developed the Scholars’ Program for students along with other programs,” says Lea Bartch, Gifted Services Specialist.
The 2017-18 graduation class of the Gifted Academy includes:
Courtney Baker, Nichole Bell, Sam Bolden, Anna Buchholz, Chase Carter, Emily Casey, Erica Crabtree, Lindsay Crawford, Leatha Fielder, Laura Gavin, Mark Gibson, Spring Harris, Macari Harrison, Tara Hatchell, Whitney Heckert, Shelby Jones, Kaycie Jones, Kimberly Kahle, Iliana Maccagnano, Jennifer Marlatt, Danielle Montanaro, Christy Moore, Anita Morton, Danya Pace, Cheri Purdie, Amberly Sandberg, Rachel Slough, Sondra Smith, Alison Stovall, Patric Thomas, Tiara Vance, Maria Webb, and Jennifer Whitlow.
The Scholars’ Program for students began in 2015 and offers varied learning opportunities that specifically target the social, emotional, and academic needs of gifted and high achieving students. Students are paired with like-peers to optimize opportunities that focus on developing the students’ ability to collaborate, communicate, think critically and creatively. Scholars work with Gifted Specialists throughout the school year on unique projects and learning tasks.