Tennessee Prospective Superintendents Academy
Announcing the 2014 Tennessee Prospective Superintendents Academy
The Prospective Superintendents Academy is a yearlong program designed to prepare potential candidates for superintendent positions in Tennessee’s public schools. The program will provide intensive preparation for the challenging job of being a public school superintendent. The Tennessee School Boards Association and the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents will operate the program in partnership with the Niswonger Foundation.
A full program description and details of the application process are provided in the brochure link below.
On Monday, December 9, 2013 2:51 PM, Tammy Grissom <email@example.com> wrote:
Good afternoon. Attached is the PSA brochure. Please post on your
We are emailing the brochure to all principals, superintendents and board members. We will also post on our website.
Tammy Grissom, Ed.D.
Tennessee School Boards Association
525 Brick Church Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37207
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TENNESSEE TEACHER OF THE YEAR
The Niswonger Foundation honors the educational professionals who are making an important difference in the lives of children across the State. We have sponsored the Tennessee Teacher of the Year award for the past ten years. Our Foundation recognizes that teaching is both a great honor and an important responsibility. Holding the profession of teaching in the highest esteem, we are proud to recognize those who exemplify excellence.
This year, Wanda Lacy, a teacher at Farragut High School, in Knox County, was recognized as Teacher of the Year. She has taught for 30 years, the last six having been spent as an AP calculus teacher. During those six years, every student has taken the AP calculus exam, with 97% earning college level credit. Speaking of her abilities, Principal Michael Reynolds commented “She moves students past seeking only the correct answers and on to the why of learning.”
We congratulate Ms. Lacy on her many accomplishments and for achieving this year's Tennessee Teacher of the Year award.
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TENNESSEE PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR AND SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR FOR 2013
The Niswonger Foundation congratulates the 2013 Principal of the Year and Supervisor of the Year.
Two years ago, the Niswonger Foundation began the sponsorship of the Tennessee Principal of the Year and the Tennessee Supervisor of the Year, in partnership with the State Department of Education.
This year, Martha Fisher, Cascade Elementary School in Bedford County, was recognized as the Principal of the Year. Marcia Melton, Cannon County Schools, was awarded the honor of Supervisor of the Year. The Niswonger Foundation was honored to receive a note from Ms. Melton stating that she plans to donate her monetary gift to sponsor a scholarship at her high school for a senior who wants to become a teacher.
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ALUMNI TAKE THE LEAD IN NEW SCHOLAR SELECTION
The Niswonger Foundation extends special thanks to four of our Alumni Scholars who participated in the final selection process for the Niswonger Scholars Class of 2018. For the past two years, Alumni have formed the majority of the selection team. Who better to know the qualities and characteristics that exemplify a Scholar!
These four individuals are among the Alumni who have already made their return to fulfill their commitments to live, work and serve in Northeast Tennessee. The Alumni selection committee members included: Matthew Bible (Class of 2011), Chemical Engineer, Eastman Chemical Company; Will Brummett (Class of 2013), Logistics Coordinator in the Center for Service Learning and Student Engagement, Carson Newman University; Dr. Jessica Epley Freshour (Class of 2006), Assistant Professor, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University; and Law Loving (Class of 2012), a quantitative analyst for Smarty Pants market research company in Jonesborough.
The Niswonger Scholar Class of 2018 will be announced in January 2014.
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Niswonger Excited About Results; Credits Teachers, School Leaders, Haslam
THE GREENEVILLE SUN
By John M. Jones Jr.
The announcement of Tennessee's dramatic improvement in mathematics and reading, as reflected in the 2013 report of the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), came as exciting news to Scott M. Niswonger, president and founder of the Niswonger Foundation.
The Greeneville businessman and philanthropist has been a leading advocate of adopting more rigorous standards for the state's public schools, in order to give Tennessee students an educational preparation fully competitive with the preparation given students in other states.
He also established the Niswonger Foundation in 2001 "to make a positive and sustainable difference in eduction in Northeast Tennessee."
The Greeneville-based foundation has taken a key role in facilitating the professional development of Northeast Tennessee public school teachers and administrators by sponsoring an annual "School Success Symposium" here for seven years.
The symposia, held at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center here, are designed to allow regional educators to discuss and share best practices in various areas of the teaching profession.
Almost 900 educators took part in the most recent School Success Symposium, held here in June.
Asked for comment on the NAEP results, Niswonger said this morning that "I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation to Gov. (Bill) Haslam for his commitment to raising the bar in education in Tennessee.
This is the most growth in a single NAEP testing cycle by any state in 10 years. In a decade, no other state has achieved this level of growth from one cycle to the next - an accomplishment which I think is phenomenal.
I give credit for that success to our teachers and school leaders. I can think of no other time that our teachers have been asked to adapt more or deliver more in their school systems.
We have seen this first-hand at the Niswonger Foundation during our professional development programs that we teach in the summer.
What we've learned from those programs is certainly showing up now, in that teachers can and will implement the rigorous standards that will position students for academic success in the future.
I would also say that, although the momentum in Tennessee is strong, the work is not finished. Continued efforts by legislators, parents, school boards, and business and community leaders, committing time and resources, will be needed to continue this successful trend.
The Niswonger Foundation expresses great appreciation to our region's teachers and school leaders.
We will continue to focus our work on supporting their efforts, based on the belief that every student in Northeast Tennessee should be provided the opportunity to graduate from his or her high school college or career-ready."
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TEST RESULTS RANK TENNESSEE STUDENTS AS FASTEST-IMPROVING
THE GREENEVILLE SUN
MOUNT JULIET - Tennessee had the largest academic growth on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) of any U.S. state, making Tennessee the fastest-improving state in the nation.
Gov. Bill Haslam made that announcement Wednesday, noting that the NAEP results also show that Tennessee had the largest growth of any state in a single testing cycle since NAEP started nationwide assessments a decade ago.
"These historic gains are a result of years of people across Tennessee: our teachers, students, principals, superintendents, parents, lawmakers, school board members, business leaders, and many others," Haslam said in a news release.
"As a state we've come together to make education a top priority," the governor said.
Haslam was joined for the announcement by former Gov. Phil Bredesen; State Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman; Wilson County Director of Schools Timothy Setterlund; Cicely Woodard, an eighth-grade math teacher at Rose Park Magnet Middle School in Nashville; and state legislators, business and community leaders, and students, faculty and staff of West Wilson Middle School in Mt. Juliet, where the event was held.
Commonly known as "the nation's report card," NAEP assesses students in fourth-and eighth-grade reading and math.
All 50 states have taken NAEP since 2003, and the results are regarded across the country as the best way to compare educational outcomes across states.
Tennessee students' combined growth on all four tests in 2013 exceeded the growth of all other states.
For data on Tennessee's NAEP results, visit: http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_2013.
The state improved in overall national ranking in each of the four tests, according to the release.
For fourth-grade students, Tennessee went from 46th in the nation in math to 37th and from 41st to 31st in reading.
Tennessee also had very strong growth for African-American students, and the state saw gains in overall results while significantly increasing the participation of special education students on the test.
"This administration's goal has been to be the fastest-improving state in the nation by 2015," Huffman said.
"We've asked a lot of our teachers and students, and they have delivered; they deserve the thanks for this progress. Dramatically improving results for kids is hard work, but this is what hard work can do," Huffman added.
Tennessee has also seen three years of continuous growth on its state assessments, also known as the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP).
Since 2010, 91,000 more students are on grade level in math, and 52,000 more students are on grade level in science.
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Native American Day
On Friday, September 20th, Greeneville City 4th graders enjoyed a Native American History experience at Dogwood Park.
This is the 8th year the Niswonger Foundation has provided funding to support the Native American Day activities. Students are led through hands-on experiences to allow them to understand the culture of Native Americans.
We were thrilled to receive thank you cards from the fourth grade students at Eastview Elementary School. Each card touched our hearts and helped us know our mission is being realized.
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Senator Frist Speaks on Common Core State Standards.
Please follow this link
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THOUGHTS ON COMMON CORE
Letter to the Editor
July 29, 2013
The staff of the Niswonger Foundation has followed, with interest and concern, your recent coverage regarding Tennessee’s implementation of the new Common Core Standards. I am particularly appreciative of Tuesday’s (July 23) cover story in which leaders from Greene County Schools, Dr. Vicki Kirk and Kristi Wallin, clarified the basic principles for the implementation of these standards in Tennessee. For those who missed the article, I encourage you to examine their thorough responses to some very concerning misperceptions regarding the Common Core.
To understand the need for Tennessee’s Common Core Standards, It is important to consider the initial inspiration for this direction in our nation. For years now, we have watched as international rankings of educational systems continue to see the United States in decline. As an example, in one recent report of the 40 countries with the most developed educational systems in the world, the US ranked 17th.
There are many reasons to be concerned about this fact. First and foremost, it should be that we want our children to receive the best education possible. Secondly, we want there to be opportunities for them to make a living and lead productive lives. To achieve this, we need our businesses and industries to be guided by the best prepared leaders and employees possible. Of course, this begs the point that we need business and industry to drive our economy. All of these goals have their foundation in our educational system. We must improve in order to compete in a global economy.
So, what do countries as diverse as Finland, South Korea and Japan - just to name a few - apparently do better than we do? A recent Pearson study notes that a culture supportive of learning is the most critical element for success. The key is “an environment where education is highly valued and parents have grand expectations.” The study notes that in the countries holding the top spots, there is a shared social belief in the importance of education and its underlying moral purpose.
How do we get from here to there? I will not attempt to describe the elements of the Common Core Standards. Dr. Kirk and Ms. Wallin have already done that exceedingly well. I would, however, remind us of the basic mission of Common Core Standards. “The desire is to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them be successful.” The goal is to prepare our children for college and career. The outcome will be to position our communities to be successful in a global economy. How can we argue with that?
Although Tennessee has improved in academic performance for three years in a row, we still lag far behind the United States average. This leads to a strong reason to continue our movement to Common Core Standards. They are informed by the best practices and experiences of our entire nation of educators. A key to these standards is based on helping our students learn the real world skills of critical thinking and problem solving instead of just rote memorization and test taking. While these standards clearly establish benchmarks, they are, as noted by Dr. Kirk and Ms. Wallin, a “roadmap.” Local school systems will continue to have the autonomy to select textbooks and establish curriculum.
Most importantly, the staff of the Niswonger Foundation wishes to thank our local teachers for their incredible dedication to preparing for these changes. We have been involved in numerous continuing education efforts with our local teachers, providing us with the opportunity to see their sincerity and desire to understand these new standards and to prepare for the successful implementation. As business and community leaders, it is important that we show our support for their work. As parents and families, let’s work to be engaged in supporting our schools and being part of the success of this effort.
We live in a diverse and changing world. I once heard it stated that in America we are only equal in one way -”our ability to be unequal.” It may be a true statement, but unlike many other nations, every child in our country is equal in one important way; there is an opportunity for a free public education. As an educator in the State of Tennessee for more 35 years, it is my belief that this is our one common dominator to make it possible for our children to achieve their biggest dreams. It is, therefore, our responsibility to make our educational system “world class.” Our children deserve no less.
Dr. Nancy Dishner
Executive Vice President
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The Niswonger Foundation
School Success Symposium
Numerous breakout sessions designed for all K-12 educators who want to learn from regional colleagues about best practices in our area.
Dr. Todd Whitaker, author of
What Great Teachers Do Differently
What Great Principals Do Differently
Dealing With Difficult Parents
Niswonger Performing Arts Center and
Greeneville High School
Get more information and register before
May 28, 2013 at
www.nflconline.com, Upcoming Events, School Success Symposium
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