Tenure granted to 11 in UC School System
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2011 11:44 pm
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Personnel matters and a student achievement report dominated Thursday night’s half-hour meeting of the Union City School Board.
Eleven teachers in the school system have earned tenure status and were awarded their tenure certificates Thursday night. The board was also informed by Director of Schools Gary Houston about three resignations and the hiring of four new educational aides and a new school nurse, Shauna Wisener, to replace Judy Keightley.
Those teachers who have achieved tenure status include Darren Bowling, Ashley Bryson, Angela Davis, David Houston, Cristina Grimm, Wesley Kennedy, Kristy Long, Preston Martin, Jason Qualls, Angela Searcy and Rhonda Shanklin.
All but Qualls, who was not at Thursday’s school board meeting, formally accepted their tenure certificates from board chairman Glenda Caudle.
After making the presentation of certificates, Mrs. Caudle proclaimed the ceremony is one of the “highlights of our year.”
She praised the group, thanking them for what “you’ve already contributed.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, school board member Curtis McLendon also praised the tenured teachers and particularly praised Ms. Shanklin for being the first black teacher to be granted tenure since he was elected to the school board.
Thursday night’s presentation of tenure certificates was a ceremony that won’t come again until 2014 since the state recently changed the minimum number of years from three to five to be granted tenure.
In other personnel matters, Houston advised the board that Union City Middle School educational aide Karami Underwood and federal projects/special education coordinator Deborah Palmer have resigned. He also announced he has hired Shaneil Robinson, Elizabeth Koch and Sandy Johnson as educational aides at Union City Elementary School and Karyn Hill as an educational aide at the middle school.
Morgan Stone, a standout senior at Union City High School, attended her first meeting Thursday night as the student representative on the school board. Miss Stone is the daughter of Todd and Susan Stone of Union City and she has compiled an impressive list of achievements during her years as a student at UCHS.
Miss Stone has been a Top Ten student every year, is a member of the UCHS academic magnet school, has served as class president the past four years, is a cheerleader, was a Girls State delegate and is a graduate of the Youth Leadership Obion County program.
She and the rest of the school board were given a very detailed and complex report on student achievement scores by classroom/curriculum coordinator Vicki Wilkinson.
Her report focused on local and state results for the Adequate Yearly Progress program. She told the board the state Department of Education commissioner has applied for a waiver for the No Child Left Behind Act “to help support reform efforts under way at the state and local level.”
“Congress has not, to this date, reauthorized the No Child Left Behind Act and the law’s outdated regulations mean that virtually all schools in Tennessee and the majority of the schools nationwide will soon not make AYP and will be considered failing under No Child Left Behind,” Mrs. Wilkinson said. “The law’s definition of adequate yearly progress no longer captures the true view of which schools are in need of additional support and interventions from the state.”
Mrs. Wilkinson did report to the board that she has set up specific programs and assigned teachers at UCES and UCMS and a graduation coach at UCHS to help at-risk students. She said teachers are working individually with at-risk students on their math and reading/language art skills.
Also, Mrs. Wilkinson said she is “really excited” about the graduation coach at the high school, and said, “She has really been working hard.”
“We are hoping this will really help our students,” she told the board.
In other action Thursday night, the school board:
• Approved a policy dealing with fund raising petitions and financial reports for school support organizations.
• Was informed by Houston that students in last year’s seventh grade at UCMS were recognized by state Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman for their high TCAP math scores.
• Was advised that the Tennessee School Board Association’s fall district meeting will be held at Lake County High School in Tiptonville Sept. 27.
• Was informed by Houston that the new seating area in the UCHS basketball gym’s mezzanine area has been completed. He said new tile flooring will be installed on the visitors’ side of the mezzanine area.
Prior to the start of Thursday night’s meeting, Mrs. Caudle led a prayer and, once the meeting officially began, Miss Stone led the board in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Absent from Thursday’s meeting, which was a rescheduled session, were board members Dr. John Clendenin and Campbell Rice.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 9.16.11