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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Carter school director's Smart Board win to benefit teacher

September 16th, 2011 10:13 am by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County School Board elected a new chairman Thursday and recognized about 22 students who achieved maximum scores on the writing portion of the most recent Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program test.
Kelly Crain was elected chairman during the annual reorganization, succeeding Bobby Blevins.
“I appreciate the board’s confidence in me,” Crain said after the meeting. “We hope to work hard to make things better for our students and our faculty.”
Director of Schools Shirley Ellis said she had just returned from Gatlinburg, where she attended the Superintendents’ Study Council Convention. She said she was very impressed with Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman’s appearance at the convention.
Ellis said Huffman took an active role in the proceedings and “kept an upbeat attitude.” She said “he is definitely a motivator.”
Ellis said she was also impressed by his accessibility. She said between meetings he was in the corridors and available to talk to conventioneers.
“Everything he proposed was backed by research and data,” Ellis said.
She said Huffman discussed upcoming teacher evaluations and discussed his expectations of the distribution of scores. He expected only 5 to 10 percent would reach the top level.
Ellis also experienced some luck during the convention that will be of benefit to a teacher and students in the system.
“I won a Smart Board during a drawing,” Ellis told the board. “I am going to have a write-in contest to determine which teacher who doesn’t already have a Smart Board needs this one the most.”
After the meeting, Ellis said the drawing was held after educators toured vendors who had set up displays at the convention. She said each person was given a paper that vendors signed after a visit to their booth. After all the vendors had signed, the papers were placed in a box and her paper was drawn as the winner.
In other matters, Attendance Supervisor Richard Renfro said enrollment is down about 30 students from a year ago, with a total of 5,520 students.
Supervisor Mickey Taylor informed the board of progress made in establishing a greenhouse at Happy Valley High School, to be erected near the football stadium.

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