The partnership is part of the BEST program of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, which unites the efforts of a business and a school to strengthen the quality of the educational process through the utilization of community resources, to foster better understanding between the business community and the schools, and to expand learning opportunities for everyone involved in the partnership effort.
“Andrew Johnson Bank is excited to partner with such a great school as Arnold Elementary,” Mike Thomasson, Bradley County executive for the loan production office, said. “We are proud to be located in downtown Cleveland, and one of our main goals is to give back to the communities we serve. Arnold Elementary has an excellent tradition of excellence, and we look forward to helping them continue to excel.”
BEST is an acronym for Business and Education Serving Together.
“The program began more than 18 years ago as a workforce development initiative that encourages partners to share ideas and activities throughout the school year so both parties may have meaningful learning experiences,” Nancy Neal, vice president of communication for the Chamber, explained.
Andrew Johnson Bank, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, says being locally owned and operated is important to its customers and to the officers, who can make many decisions “right here within our four walls,” including partnership with the local school.
“We are committed to hometown service,” Thomasson reiterated, “and that includes building our partnership with Arnold School as a way of giving back to our community. We believe one of the best ways to keep Cleveland and Bradley County strong is by strengthening the educational efforts of our families and friends.”
Arnold Principal Kellye Bender appreciates the new partnership as well.
“We are so excited to join with Andrew Johnson in the BEST partnership program,” she said at a recent partnership signing. “We welcome them to the downtown area and look forward to the many opportunities for us to work together. With their office just a few blocks away, the partnership opportunities are unlimited.”
The BEST partnership will complement the school's mission statement: “To increase student achievement by providing a learning environment that is centered on students, directed by teachers, and supported by home and community.”
Schools in the Bradley County and Cleveland City School Systems have one or more local business partners as part of the BEST program, which is a workforce development initiative of the Chamber of Commerce.
For information about the partnership program, call Sherry Crye, director of workforce development, at 472-6587.