Currently serving on the Bradley County Board of Education representing District 1, longtime educator and community leader Nancy Casson has announced her decision to run for re-election in August.
Casson stated in her announcement four years ago that, “My inspiration for running for the school board is to be an advocate for our students and our faculty members. I don’t have a personal agenda. My objective is to be a voice of support and rationale for our students.”
The candidate said she believes she has done that.
A resident of Bradley County since 1980, Casson is a former educator in the McMinn County School System. During her tenure, she was the recipient of the State of Tennessee Outstanding Young Educator Award, Distinguished Classroom Teacher Award and the Tennessee Outstanding Young Woman Award. Cason taught elementary education at Union Grove and Englewood Elementary schools and special education at Calhoun Elementary School during her 18-year tenure.
When she left the field of education, she went into the manufacturing business with her husband at Casson Art and Interiors.
In addition to her decorated teaching career, Casson is also an active and award-winning community leader, being the first female recipient of the Robert L. Varnell Award given annually by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. She was also the recipient of the first Community First Award of Volunteer Service given by Cleveland State Community College.
Casson was been inducted into the McMinn County High School Sports Hall of Fame in April 2016, for bringing back the first ever state championship to McMinn County High School.
Casson is currently serving on the United Way board; as chair of the Tennova Hospital Board of Trustee; on the board of Junior Achievement of the Ocoee Region; chair of Chair-ries Jubilee which has raised over $500,000 for local school art programs; as a member of Cleveland State Community College Board of Trustees; and is a member of MainStreet Cleveland and the local Chamber of Commerce.
Currently the owner of The Red Ribbon Gift Shop, Casson is known throughout the Cleveland and Bradley County Community as an ardent volunteer with a passion for people and projects.
“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy,” Casson said. “We vote in elections once a year, but when we volunteer in our community, we vote every day about the kind of community in which we want to live.”
Casson is also active at Broad Street United Methodist Church where she serves on several committees, sings in the Chancel Choir and is the Praise Leader for the Living Water, Living Spirit non-traditional, informal worship service.
While serving on the Bradley County Board of Education for the past four years, Lake Forest Middle School has been completed and occupied, the PIE (Partnerships in Industry and Education) Center is becoming a reality, and much needed new additions are being added to Black Fox and North Lee Elementary.
Casson praised the way the teachers and staffs at each school have handled the last months of school. She supports teacher morale at all times, but especially during these past trying times when they were all being creative and working “outside the box.” Casson has received Tennessee State School Board Broadmanship Levels I, II and III, and is working on completing Level IV this year.
“Schools consist of four walls that hold our future,” Casson said. “I’m running for re-election because I want to continue to ensure our future is protected, preserved and adequately provided for.”
Casson has also been active in the school communities of Hopewell and Prospect — the two county schools in District 1 — and is a member of the McDonald/Black Fox Ruritan that works with Prospect and Black Fox schools.
Casson said she is supportive of all county schools.