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Hawkins BOE named TSBA 'Board of Distinction'

Jeff Bobo • Jan 16, 2018 at 10:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — The Hawkins County Board of Education can count itself "among a select few," having been named a Tennessee School Board Association "Board of Distinction" for what will be 17 consecutive years.

At the Jan. 9 BOE meeting, TSBA East District Director Ken Johnson presented the board with its plaque naming it a Board of Distinction (BOD) for 2017-19.

Of the 141 school boards in Tennessee, this year only 32 will be named a BOD, an honor that Hawkins County has held since 2002.

"Having been through the rigors of achieving this award, I know it takes a lot of work and a lot of effort on the part of the school board beyond their normal duties," Johnson told the BOE. "The TSBA's Board of Distinction program recognizes the highest standards of performance by a board as a whole. They met the challenge of leadership in every area of their board responsibility."

In determining a board's eligibility for BOD, the TSBA takes into account that board's planning, policy, promotion and board development.

Johnson said among the areas of greatest emphasis are creating a five-year plan, creating and reviewing the policy manual, participating in TSBA district and state meetings, conducting a self evaluation, and achieving necessary boardsmanship levels for each member.

Johnson added, "As the requirements are extensive, not every board qualifies as a board of distinction. Your board is among a select few."

Johnson also recognized board secretary Jennifer Michel, who he said is an invaluable member of the team, making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time and with the proper documents and materials.

Director of Schools Steve Starnes told the board, "The giving of your time and talents, the support you show for our schools and our employees, and the commitment you show to our school district. Thank you very much for that."

School Board Appreciation week is Jan. 21-27, during which time most schools have special programs to honor the board as a whole and/or the member who serves their district.

In other business on Jan. 9, the BOE:

* Recognized Clinch School for receiving the A.F. Bridges Divisional Award and State Award of Excellence.

Starnes noted that the award given to schools with no reported unsportsmanlike conduct awards in the previous school year and display an overall positive effort to teach, expect and demand a positive atmosphere of sportsmanship in their particular conference. Schools are nominated by local referees and officials, as well as other schools in their conference. There are 27 of these awards statewide.

Although no one from clinch was able to attend the Jan. 9 BOE recognition due to a sports event that night, they did receive a trophy and banner during a special event held prior to the Christmas break.

* Recognized Mount Carmel Elementary first grade teacher Abby White, who received a Lowe's Education Grant in the amount of $4,475 to implement a reading garden. She will use the funds to purchase tables, chairs, benches, an umbrella stand and umbrella, and those items will be placed in the courtyard to make an inviting place to foster the love of reading in students.

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