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Cannon County Schools Director Curtis on Rural and Small District Subcommittee

Nashville, TN – Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced the subcommittee members of the Teacher Advisory Subcommittee, Principal Advisory Subcommittee, School System Personnel Subcommittee, School System Leadership Subcommittee, Rural and Small District Subcommittee, Suburban Districts, Municipals, and Fast-Growing Communities Subcommittee, Urban District Subcommittee, which is the next in the series of announcements on Tennessee’s review of a student-based public education funding strategy.

On Friday, October 8, Governor Lee called for (opens in a new window) a full review of the state’s funding formula for public education to focus on a student investment strategy that emphasizes all students rather than systems, empowers parents to engage in their child’s education and outcomes, ensures all students are prepared for postsecondary success, and reflects Tennesseans’ values. In total, eighteen subcommittees will convene twice per month to hold conversations on how to create a student-focused investment strategy from the lens of their subcommittee’s respective stakeholder group.

“Bringing our district and school leaders and educators who are the boots on the ground in our school systems each and every day is essential as we hold discussions on a student-focused funding strategy for public education in Tennessee,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Our educators, district and school leaders and advocates for these groups understand the needs our students have in the classroom and can provide critical insights during these conversations as we explore how to better support our students and their futures.”

The 86 members of the school and district focused funding review subcommittees are: 

Teacher Advisory Subcommittee 

  • Chair: Morgan Rankin, 2021-22 Teacher of the Year, Johnson City Schools, First Region
  • Daniel Warner, 2020-21 Teacher of the Year finalist, Shelby County Schools, Southwest Region
  • Brianne Matheney, 2021-22 Teacher of the Year finalist, Chester County Schools, Southwest Region
  • Danielle VanCleave, 2021-22 Teacher of the Year finalist, Weakley County Schools, Northwest Region
  • Elizabeth Evans, 2021-22 Teacher of the Year finalist, Anderson County Schools, East Region
  • Kami Lunsford, 2020-21 Teacher of the Year, Knox County Schools, East Region
  • Erin Blalock, 2021-22 Teacher of the Year finalist, Warren County Schools, Upper Cumberland Region
  • Hannah Hopper, 2020-21 Teacher of the Year finalist, Hamblen County Schools, First Region
  • Laura Boyd, 2021-22 Teacher of the Year finalist, Franklin Special School District, Mid Cumberland Region
  • Samantha Stevens, 2020-21 Teacher of the Year finalist, Tullahoma City Schools, South Central Region
  • Sheron Smith, 2021-22 Teacher of the Year finalist, Cleveland City Schools, Southeast Region
  • Dawn White, Senator, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Tim Hicks, Representative, Tennessee General Assembly

Principal Advisory Subcommittee

  • Chair: Farrah Griffith, Principal, White County Schools
  • Kimberly Shurett, Principal, Marion County Schools
  • Stephanie Beach, Principal, Bartlett City Schools
  • Lance Taylor, Principal, Sumner County Schools
  • Monti Hillis, Principal, Warren County Schools
  • Corey Limburg, Principal, Bradley County Schools
  • Nancy Lay, Principal, Campbell County Schools
  • Jenna Sharp, Principal, Clinton City Schools
  • Lee Ziegler, Principal, Hamilton County Schools
  • Rusty Crowe, Senator, Tennessee General Assembly
  • John Gillespie, Representative, Tennessee General Assembly

School System Personnel Subcommittee

  • Chair: Steve Starnes, Director of Schools, Greeneville City Schools
  • Kim Worley, Director of Schools, Dyersburg City Schools
  • Bo Griffin, Director of Schools, Millington Municipal Schools
  • Cathy Beck, Director of Schools, Cheatham County Schools
  • Dr. Joey Vaughn, Director of Schools, Manchester City Schools
  • Clint Satterfield, Director of Schools, Trousdale County Schools
  • Dr. Bruce Borchers, Superintendent, Oak Ridge City Schools
  • Dr. Nakia Towns, Interim Superintendent, Hamilton County Schools
  • Tutonial Williams, Chief Financial Officer, Shelby County Schools
  • Gary Hicks, Representative, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Ed Jackson, Senator, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Mark Cochran, Representative, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Nick Darnell, Member, State Board of Education

School System Leadership Subcommittee

  • Chair: Dr. Danny Weeks, Director of Schools, Dickson County Schools
  • Mark Florence, Director of Schools, Benton County Schools
  • Dr. Gary Lilly, Superintendent, Collierville Schools
  • Dr. Steve Barnett, Superintendent, Johnson City Schools
  • Chad Moorehead, Director of Schools, Moore County Schools
  • Diane Elder, Director of Schools, Pickett County Schools
  • Rob Britt, Director of Schools, Blount County Schools
  • Dr. Russell Dyer, Director of Schools, Cleveland City Schools
  • Dr. Mischelle Simcox, Director of Schools, Johnson County Schools
  • Page Walley, Senator, Tennessee General Assembly
  • John Ragan, Representative, Tennessee General Assembly

Urban District Subcommittee

  • Chair: Cato Johnson, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President of Public Policy/Regulatory Affairs, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
  • Candy Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Urban League of Greater Chattanooga; Liaison, Tennessee Urban League Affiliates
  • Terence Patterson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Memphis Education Fund
  • Cardell Orrin, Memphis Executive Director, STAND for Children Tennessee
  • David Jordan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Agape
  • Tyler Boldin, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee; Liaison, Big Brothers Big Sisters Tennessee Statewide Association
  • Ted Cornelius, Executive Director, Tennessee State Alliance of YMCA’s
  • Ryan Hughes, Executive Director, Boys and Girls Club in Tennessee
  • Chris Henson, Chief of Finance, Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Dr. Joris Ray, Director of Schools, Shelby County Schools
  • Raumesh Akbari, Senator, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Eddie Mannis, Representative, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Darrell Cobbins, Member, Tennessee General Assembly

Suburban Districts, Municipals, and Fast-Growing Communities Subcommittee

  • Chair: Dr. Ted Horrell, Director of Schools, Lakeland School System
  • Dr. Annette Tudor, Director of Schools, Bristol City Schools
  • Scott Becker, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Genesco
  • Bill Spurlock, Director of Schools, Rutherford County Schools
  • Dr. Catherine Stephens, Director of Schools, Tullahoma City Schools
  • Dr. Del Phillips, Director of Schools, Sumner County Schools
  • Vanessa Presson, Complex Human Resources Manager, Tyson
  • John Aitken, Advisory Board, Association of Independent and Municipal Schools
  • Paul Rose, Senator, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Charlie Baum, Representative, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Lillian Hartgrove, Chair, State Board of Education

Rural ad Small District Subcommittee

  • Chair: Janet Ayers, President, The Ayers Foundation
  • Dr. Allan Pratt, Board Member, Tennessee Rural Education Association
  • Charlie Hatcher, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Agriculture
  • Dr. Jerry Boyd, Director of Schools, Washington County Schools
  • Mike Garren, Superintendent, Loudon County Schools
  • Kristy Brown, Director of Schools, Jackson County Schools
  • Shawn Kimble, Director of Schools, Lauderdale County Schools
  • Dr. Norma Gerrell, Director of Schools, Paris Special School District
  • Eddie Pruett, Director of Schools, Gibson County Special School District
  • William Curtis, Director of Schools, Cannon County Schools
  • John Stevens, Senator, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Ron Gant, Representative, Tennessee General Assembly
  • Bob Eby, Vice Chair, State Board of Education

“I am very honored to serve on the Rural and Small District Subcommittee to represent Cannon County Schools and all other Rural and Small School Districts in Tennessee,” said Mr. William Freddy Curtis, Director of Schools, Cannon County Schools. “Having served on several State-wide committees, it is important to have a voice in the process. This committee will be one of the most important that I have served on, and I will make very sure that the Rural Small District concerns regarding the BEP are addressed for the benefit of our students and educators.”

The state’s engagement includes the central steering committee and 18 subcommittees, in addition to a committee of national experts, regional meetings of county commissioners and school board members, public engagement representatives, and an opportunity for public comment through a formal survey later in the fall. Each of the 18 subcommittees, composed of 8-10 members, will be led by a chair who is tasked with capturing ideas and feedback based in the unique perspective of the stakeholder group or respective topic area they serve. Each chair is a trusted advocate to responsibly collect and share feedback and suggestions for a student-based funding approach.

Over the next three months, the subcommittees will meet twice a month, either in person or virtually. The central steering committee will convene monthly and review finalized feedback provided by the subcommittees. All associated committee meeting materials, including recordings, transcripts, and minutes, will be posted here (opens in a new window). Additional subcommittee members will be released in the coming days.

More than 1,000 Tennesseans have already submitted their interest in engaging in discussions and receiving updates related to a student-centered investment strategy. Members of the public are encouraged to continue to submit their interest via this form (opens in a new window).

Visit this webpage for more information and learn how to get involved: https://www.tn.gov/education/tnedufunding. (opens in a new window) For funding related inquiries, contact tnedu.funding@tn.gov (opens in a new window)

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact Edu.MediaInquiries@tn.gov (opens in a new window).    

For local media inquiries, please contact Mr. William Freddy Curtis, Director of Cannon County Schools at (629) 201-4801 Extension 10101 or at williamf.curtis@ccstn.net (opens in a new window) for local Cannon County Schools information.

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