It's School Board Week in Tennessee

Friday, January 26, 2007
Marshall County School Board members are, front from left, Ann Tears, Debbie Allen, Jerry Campbell, Kristen Gold, Tim Harrison. Back, Randy Perryman, Craig Michael, John McCullough, Todd Tietgens.

by Rhonda Poole

Marshall County School System

Students, school staffs, and citizens throughout Tennessee are honoring their county's school board members this week, January 21-27, as they celebrate School Board Appreciation Week in the state. This is a time for recognizing the men and women who give of their time and energy to make education a top priority in the counties in which they serve.

Being a school board member entails more than just attending one school board meeting a month. When elected, State Board of Education Rules and Regulations require each board member to participate annually in seven hours of training provided through the School Board Academy. All board members must complete the four basic core modules (Policy, Board/Superintendent Relations, Vision and Advocacy) within a four-year period after assuming office. Any local board member who fails to attend training may be removed from office. New school board members must attend a two-day orientation session in Nashville sponsored by the state Department of Education, plus a seven-hour training session in their first year.

Among the duties of a school board:

*Employ the Director of Schools, set the teacher salary schedule, grant tenure, approve evaluation plans for employees and hold dismissal hearings when necessary;

*Set all school policies that relate to the schools' daily operations, which are carried out by the Director of Schools;

*Yearly prepare and submit the school system's budget to the county commission for approval; and

*Express opinions and cast votes at board meetings.

To be elected to a seat on the School Board, one must be a citizen of Tennessee, be at least 18 years of age, reside the school district in which they plan to serve, be a high school graduate (or G.E.D.), and be a registered voter in the county. The Marshall County School Board members are Randy Perryman, 1st District; Debbie Allen, 2nd District; Kristen Gold, 3rd District; Jerry Campbell, 4th District; Tim Harrison, 5th District; Todd Tietgens, 6th District; Ann Tears, 7th District; John McCullough, 8th District; and Craig Michael, 9th District.

"Our Board is an open-minded group of individuals who welcomes input from citizens, students, and the community. They serve hundreds of hours each year to ensure students receive a solid education," stated Director of Schools John D. Pierce. "School Board Appreciation Week is a great time to contact your board member to say thank you for their hard work and dedication to our children."