Jerry Frazier today formally announced his candidacy for re-election to the 7th District seat on the Bradley County Board of Education.
He asks that the voters at Cleveland High School and George R. Stuart vote to give him their complimentary votes to continue his lifetime of commitment to serving young people in Cleveland and Bradley County.
Frazier, who has spent 46 years in the educational arena in numerous roles, is completing his first term as a member of the local board. He has earned designation as a Level 4 board member by the Tennessee School Boards Association.
Prior to his board service, he served seven years as a teacher-coach, 10 years as a lead teacher, 10 years as an assistant principal, seven years as a principal and eight years as superintendent of Bradley County Schools. He taught Methods of Teaching on an adjunct basis at Lee University and was an instructor for the Tennessee Academy of School Leaders.
Prior to his educational career, he was employed for two years at the Boys’ Club of Cleveland, serving as the physical director and the program director. He also worked one year at the Cleveland Family YMCA.
He was a sports official for more than 20 years with the TSSAA, the Amateur Softball Association and the Southern Christian Athletic Conference. He was a charter member of the National Indicator Fraternity in Oklahoma City as a result of umpiring numerous state, regional and national tournaments.
He co-owned and operated a batting cage business in Cleveland for 14 years and coached several years in the Bradley County Sports for Youth program.
The Bradley County native and lifelong resident said, “I grew up attending schools in Cleveland and Bradley County, graduating from Bradley Central in 1966.”
He added, “There has never been a time in my adult life when I have not been passionate about kids, schools and teachers. As a Christian, I feel extremely indebted to God, and to the Cleveland and Bradley County teachers who poured into my elementary and secondary education."
Frazier continued, "Many of those teachers are my heroes. Bill Schultz was my elementary principal, my high school principal and my first boss. Three highlights of my superintendency were authoring the resolutions naming the Board Room for William R. Walker, naming the Teacher of the Year Award for Inez Clemmer, and naming the BCHS gym for Jim Smiddy. These were just four of my many wonderful and dedicated mentors."
Frazier holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Lee University, with a major in sociology. He holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Tennessee and has more than 45 post-graduate hours from Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Tennessee Tech and Appalachian Technical College.
While superintendent, Frazier represented the Southeast District on the Superintendents’ Study Council for several years. He also chaired Public Schools for Cooperative Research, a consortium of 23 school districts in East Tennessee, in partnership with the University of Tennessee College of Education, for two years. This group’s purpose was to share cutting-edge methodology, trends and benchmarks among its member districts.
Frazier also chaired numerous visiting committees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools throughout Tennessee and Georgia whose purpose was to evaluate and assist various schools regarding their accreditation status.
He served as president and vice president of the Bradley County Education Association and was active in state and national conventions.
He held memberships in the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Tennessee Association of Secondary School Principals, the American Association of School Administrators, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Frazier’s wife of 51 years, Tamera, retired from Bradley County Schools following 36 years of service. Their son, Eddie, and daughter-in-law, Buffy, are Bradley County teachers and he has two grandchildren — 15 year-old Halle and 12 year-old Addie, who attend Bradley County Schools.
Past civic activities include memberships in Noonday Rotary, a charter member of Sunrise Rotary, the Moccasin Bend Girl Scout Council, District Governor of Cherokee District Ruritan, North Lee Ruritan Club, and the Economic Development Council of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. He was a finalist for the Sertoma Club’s Service to Mankind Award.
Frazier has served as a board member for the YMCA, Keep America Beautiful and Junior Achievement. He led divisional fundraising efforts for the United Way for several campaigns. He also remains an active member of the Board of Directors of the Bradley Cleveland Teachers Credit Union. He and his family are faithful members of First Baptist Church.
"These are exciting days in Bradley County Schools as technology plays an ever-increasing role and the education pendulum is swinging back to Career-Technical emphasis to meet our society’s needs," he said. "The developing PIE Center will be a centerpiece of this trend. We also have serious needs to address regarding some of our athletic facilities in the coming days."
Frazier added, "If there is to be improvement in education, it must happen in classrooms. Teachers are the most important employees in any school district. Improvement requires that teachers and all other employees of the district work together to achieve the maximum benefits for students. Happy employees are better employees. It is my goal for our teachers and coaches to feel totally supported by their board members."
In closing, the incumbent pointed out, "It is amazing what can be accomplished when people of goodwill find ways to work together toward worthwhile, mutual goals. It’s still the kids who count most in the Bradley County Schools. I look forward to continuing my lifelong commitment to the youth of our community."