By Hollie Deese
Local schools prep for Academic League final
Teams from a number of different Sumner County Middle Schools participated in the 6th Annual Fall Invitational Quizbowl academic competition at Gallatin High School on October 22, 2016, including Hendersonville’s Merrol Hyde Magnet, Portland East, Gallatin’s Rucker-Stewart, Gallatin’s Joe E. Shafer and Westmoreland Middle School.
Of the twenty-two total teams from Middle Tennessee and South-Central Kentucky in the competition, Sumner County schools posted a good showing. Merrol Hyde won the overall championship by defeating a team from Danville, Kentucky. Joe E. Shafer, Portland East and Rucker-Stewart finished 6th, 7th and 8th overall respectively.
In the individual portion of the tournament the top twenty individual scorers included Owen Flanagan of Merrol Hyde, top scorer for the day out of 104 participants. John Hutchinson of Portland East finished second, Lucas Bolinger of Rucker-Stewart finished fifth, Bailey King of Westmoreland placed fourteenth and Ben Huff of Merrol Hyde Magnet and Chris Wright of Rucker-Stewart tied for sixteenth.
The Sumner County Middle Schools teams that competed in the Invitational Tournament, along with Portland West, T.W. Hunter and Hawkins, are also participating in the Sumner County Academic League season-ending tournament at Gallatin High on February 11, 2017.
Dr. Jennifer Brown, Sumner County’s Deputy Director of Schools, was named Tennessee’s 2016-2017 Supervisor of the Year at a banquet sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents after a strenuous screening process that included written responses and a peer-led interview phase.
Under her leadership, the district has achieved the highest graduation rate ever and has been recognized by the College Board as one of ten Tennessee districts on the National AP Honor Roll. After Dr. Brown began serving as the district’s Assistant Director for Instruction in 2011, Sumner County has seen an improvement in academic gains, earning straight A’s in achievement for the last three years.
The district also boasts one of the highest graduation rates in the state and the third highest ACT composite among Tennessee districts with enrollments of over 10,000 students.
“Having worked with Dr. Brown for the past four years, it is remarkable to see the improvements that have been made in our county’s instructional areas in such a short time. Dr. Brown has a wonderful vision for what the teachers and students of Sumner County need and require to be successful,” said Gallatin High Principal, Dr. Ron Becker in a release.
Dr. Brown has also implemented four new high school programs within the past three years: a middle college high school, a middle technical college high school, a virtual high school, and a university experience program. She has begun an ACT preparation program and STEM focus strands in all high schools, and added eighty-eight dual enrollment opportunities while ensuring every high school in the district offers Advanced Placement courses.
Brown has also implemented a leadership track in Sumner County, placing two teacher leaders in every school. Through her leadership program, over 150 Sumner County teachers have completed their instructional coaching certificates and earned twelve graduate credit hours, at no cost to them.
“It was wonderful to see Dr. Brown get the recognition she very much deserves,” said Del Phillips, Director of Sumner County Schools. “She loves Sumner County and daily goes above and beyond her role and responsibilities to make a difference in the lives of the students and adults who live here.”