Old faces will be seen in new places

Friday, July 16, 2010

Two dozen men have applied for the job of football coach at Marshall County High School.

Schools director Roy Dukes gave the school board this news as part of his director's report at the July board meeting this week. He also introduced the board to his new budget and finance director, Sheila Cook-Jones.

Dukes said he did not anticipate interviewing all the applicants for the coaching job, because some of them did not have all the required qualifications.

Participating in the selection of a new football coach will be one of Keith Stacey's first tasks as principal at MCHS. Stacey has been assistant principal at MCHS for the last two school years, and has been in the county school system since 1990, the year he received his bachelors degree from Middle Tennessee State University.

"I am deeply honored and humbled with the opportunity to serve as the principal of MCHS," Stacey said in a prepared statement. "I look forward to working with the students, parents, teachers, board members, and Mr. Dukes and the central office staff. It is my goal to ensure that MCHS achieves at its highest potential in all areas. MCHS is dear to me and there is nothing that I want more than to see it as a shining light in our community. I will work diligently for our students to provide them with the education that they need to be successful and competitive in the present job market."

Dukes also announced at the board meeting that Vylatte Gooch is the new supervisor of elementary instruction. Gooch has been with the Marshall County School System for 35 years. She was a kindergarten and first grade teacher in Cornersville from 1975 to 1993. In 1993, she was transferred to Marshall Elementary, where she has worked as a kindergarten, 1st grade, and, most recently, Title I reading teacher.

The former elementary supervisor, Becky Hill, is going to be the assistant principal at Chapel Hill Elementary School. Forrest School is also due to get an assistant principal, according to Rhonda Poole, Dukes' administrative assistant at the system's Central Office.

Dukes told the board he was still working on the choice of a secondary supervisor to replace Beverly Miller, who has gone to Maury County as principal of Mt. Pleasant High School.

Both supervisors of instruction will be more important this year than ever before, Dukes said, due to the state and federal mandates associated with the Tennessee Diploma Project and Race to the Top.

"They're very important in terms of data-driven instruction," Dukes said. "There's a lot of accountability."

Dr. Patsey Thomas, who's been the principal at Marshall Elementary and at Oak Grove, is now the supervisor of attendance and testing, after spending last year in charge of Coordinated School Health.

Coordinated School Health is a state-funded job and that money has been assured for the 2010-2011 school year, so that job will be advertised, Poole said.

The new supervisory job over attendance and testing combines the work on testing that Dukes did when he was assistant director, and the part-time attendance job done by Jackie Abernathy.

Dukes told the board that, starting this year, attendance would be especially important. Students are now expected to make a year's gain in learning every school year.

"You can't do that if you're not in school," Dukes said. System staff should be working hard to get the message to students and parents that un-excused absences are not acceptable.