The school of my youth, sorta. In Knox Countymy back in the day, we attended elementary school through the eighth grade and then went to high school. I attended Sunnyview Elementary and then Carter High School. Somewhere along the way, middle schools were created. My eighth grade class was either the last or very near the last before Carter Middle was opened.
Today, Knox County was the first large urban school district in the state to be designated as an exemplary school district. Six Knox County schools were designated as 2014/2015 reward schools. Copper Ridge, Pond Gap, Sequoyah Elementary, Farragut High School, Carter Middle and Carter High. The reason the event was held at Carter.
What the Governors visit didn’t cure. Three school board members that typically vote and hang together Patti Bounds, Terry Hill and Amber Rountree were seated to stage right. While three other school boarders that typically vote and hang together Karen Carson, Tracie Sanger and Doug Harris were seated stage left. School Board Chairman and representative of the Carter Community Mike McMillan was seated ‘on the stage’ (if there were a stage, there wasn’t) Only County Commissioners Ed Brantley and Bob Thomas were in attendance. David Wright, the County Commissioner for the Carter community who is also the Commission Vice Chairman was not present. The Incumbent 4th District County Commissioner, who in today’s Knoxville Focus said that teachers and public education were keys to his 2016 re-election was a no show.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett who routinely will take shots at Chamber Partnership Mike Edwards and Great School Partnership Buzz Thomas recognized both of them. Knox County Law Director Bud Armstrong (a resident of the Carter community was present). State Representative Martin Daniel was the only member of the legislative delegation to attend. State Representative Harry Brooks, who represents the Carter Community and is Chairman of the State House Education Committee was also not present today.
In political/pep rally fashion the Governor and Commissioner came running into the gymnasium when introduced like they were the players on the court of play before a big game. A lot of applause was given to the teachers and students. Unfortunately, the teachers made up the audience either in the gymnasium or viewing on the live stream at the 90 plus school facilities across the county on the world wide web.
When will the politicians begin to recognize the real players on the court and field? That being the students that exceed and excel in the state mandated tests. They are the real players and to a lesser degree the teachers that have the students for 180 days of instruction and during that time proctor the exams.
Instead the students and teachers are relegated to watching the pop and circumstance of the politicians getting the glory for students efforts.
Sadly, former School Board Member and former part-time Knox County School Consultant Sam Anderson was there to jump in photographs at the end. Anderson who was suppose to work 16 hours a week while receiving a $42,000 check in annual salary. Read Mike Donila’s report about Anderson’s job attendance or lack thereof, here. Read Donila’s report about how Anderson’s position was NOT advertised, here.
Other than that, it was great theater, below are a few pictures that I took. I have some video that may be posted to youtube and shared with you all at a later date.