They’re coming to Cleveland — from near and far. Most are paid professionals who have spent years in the business of educating our young people. Others are volunteers who for years have made a practice of making a difference in the lives of those same youngsters.
We speak of the heralded Tennessee School Boards Association whose members began arriving to our hometown over the glorious Labor Day Weekend — and can you believe the weather we’ve had? — as participants in the 2010 TSBA Fall Southeastern District meeting which kicks off today at 5 p.m.
Registration starts at 4:30 from the gorgeous facilities of Cleveland Middle School.
CMS is still a relatively new building, but principal Jeff Elliott told Banner staff writer Linda Starcher in a front page article published in Monday’s Labor Day edition that students, teachers, staff and PTO members have spent several days “sprucing up” and putting a shine on the classrooms, the meeting rooms and anything and everything in which TSBA participants will make contact.
This is another opportunity for Cleveland and Bradley County to roll out the red carpet for very special guests — educators!
Are they important in our lives? Look into the eyes of your children tonight — infants, pre-schoolers, elementary, middle school, high school and beyond — and as you do, remember that the group of professionals and volunteers who are meeting over at Cleveland Middle School hold the keys to your loved ones’ future.
The significance of a quality education can never be adequately underscored. Nor will this newspaper ever stop trying. We may not find the best words, but we will remain committed to the value of education and the urgency in supporting those responsible for its direction.
Yet, education isn’t just about professional groups like TSBA or splendid volunteer organizations like PTOs. Education starts with this key fundamental — parents. They ... YOU ... are the key to your children’s future. To jump start their minds takes your direct involvement and your unwavering partnership with the school in which your child attends.
Today is a source of pride in the Cleveland and Bradley County community, and we thank Cleveland School Board Chairman Peggy Pesterfield and the CMS administrators, staff and PTO for all you have done to make this a defining moment in the lives of TSBA members and their support groups.
When Ms. Pesterfield called it a community effort to prepare for tonight’s session, she wasn’t kidding. We are told it has been an organized approach directed by the principal’s office. The principal called it a “service learning project day” in which every grade or class was assigned a certain area to clean. Some were even assigned outdoors tasks like tidying up the landscaping while others focused on cleaning lockers, hallways and windows. Older students even wrote welcome letters to incoming guests.
And what about the meeting itself?
Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Tim Webb and consultant Bill Daggett will provide updates on Tennessee’s “First to the Top” guidelines in connection with the federal grant, “Race to the Top,” that the state received in March.
Student recognition and school board service awards will also be presented.
This will be the “umpteenth” time for us to say it, but this newspaper proclaims it with great pride. We are so very proud of our hometown community. We want others to understand why.
This is just one among a myriad of reasons why having the TSBA in Cleveland is a rare opportunity.
We say it again.
Thank you for your visit to Cleveland and please come again as our special guests.