Cheatham Achieves

October 20, 2020

2020 Parent Information Night


Each year, the Cheatham County School District hosts a Parent Information Night in each cluster. Due to COVID-19, we’re doing things a little different this year. We encourage our families to watch this video as Director of Schools Dr. Cathy Beck highlights a number of projects, programs and initiatives taking place this year throughout the district.
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Cheatham County is blessed with a multitude of agencies and organizations that provide a wide variety of support for families. The Cheatham County School District has compiled a Community Resource Guide to help families know about the services that are available in the county. The resource guide is one of the initiatives in the Partnerships and Community Engagement strand of the district’s five-year plan. A copy of the guide is available here. We will update the list as needed. If a resource needs to be added to the guide, please contact Communications Director Tim Adkins at

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The Cheatham Middle School gymnasium will be dedicated to longtime CMS coach and athletic director Michael Carter on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The dedication ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. and an alumni game will follow. The Cheatham County School Board voted in February to name the CMS gymnasium the “Michael Carter Gymnasium.” Carter’s coaching career at CMS began in 1999 and continues today. He currently coaches football and girls basketball. Throughout his varied coaching career at CMS, his teams have earned more than 300 victories. In 2015, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) recognized Carter as its Distinguished Service honoree at the middle school level. His continued passion for teaching, coaching and his pride in serving the CMS community is evident in all he accomplishes. Carter is pictured with CMS Principal Linda Owen.

Harpeth High School Audio/Video Production


Harpeth High School is offering a new Career and Technical Education program this year - Audio/Visual Production. Jamey Durham is leading the program. Durham was a full-time professor for 12 years at Middle Tennessee State University and has been an adjunct professor for the past four years. He has created videos for large organizations, including Staples, HCA and Jenn Air Appliances. He’s also written and directed two feature films with mostly student crews. One of the films was sold to E-One Entertainment and was distributed into Walmart, streamed on Netflix, amongst other retail and digital outlets. In addition, he’s worked on television programs in the studio and in the field. The new CTE program is designed for students who have career interests in film and video production or broadcast media. Students are able to work on the fundamentals of video production, shooting, lighting, sound design and editing. Check out a little bit about the program at the above link.

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The Cheatham County School District will hold Parent Teacher Conference Day on Monday, Nov. 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. All meetings will be held virtually (no parents in the building). Each school will be notifying their families on how to sign up or attend a meeting so please watch for that communication. There will be no school for students on this day.

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The Cheatham County School District, including our daycares, will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 3 due to the U.S. presidential election. Four of our schools – East Cheatham Elementary School, West Cheatham Elementary School, Sycamore Middle School and Harpeth High School – are used as polling sites.

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The Cheatham County School District received some great news during fall break! We will continue to offer free breakfast and lunch to students through the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. This opportunity is a result of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approving a waiver to allow schools to feed students for free through June 2021. What this means for Cheatham County families is that all students 18 and under will be able to eat breakfast and lunch for free. The free meals do not include a la carte items or snack items, which may still be purchased at full price. Our School Nutrition Department is entirely federally funded so by your participation in these free meals, our department will be able to receive its portion of these USDA federal funds. If you have questions or need more information, please contact the School Nutrition Department at 615-746-1411 or School Nutrition Supervisor Tracy Hopkins at

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The Cheatham County Literacy Council, in collaboration with the Cheatham County School District, will host a Book Walk on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon at the West Cheatham Elementary School walking track. The featured book for this walk will be “Turk and Runt.” All families are invited to attend this free event. (Pictured) There was a good turnout for the October Book Walk, which was held at the town of Ashland City's walking track.

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Sycamore Middle School counselor Molly Hudgens recently released the book, “Saving Sycamore.” On Sept. 28, 2016, Hudgens was in her office at SMS when a 14-year-old student armed with a semiautomatic handgun and an additional magazine of ammunition came to her in the counseling department. His plan was to kill people on campus. He told Hudgens she was the only person who could talk him out of it. After 90 minutes of talking with the young man, and ultimately praying on her knees with him, he relinquished the gun with no shots fired and no lives lost. For her efforts, Hudgens became a Congressional Medal of Honor Citizens Honor recipient for a Single Act of Heroism from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation in March 2017. Hudgens is in her 21st year at SMS. The book is available for purchase on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble.
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The 2018-2019 Cheatham County Central High School Lady Cubs basketball team, which won the Class AA state title, will be inducted into the inaugural class of the Cheatham County Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Gateway Assembly of God Church in Ashland City. The senior class finished with an impressive four-year record of 108-17, shared or won outright four regular-season District 9-AA championships, won four district tournament championships; advanced to four regional semifinals; won two Region 5-AA championships; won two sectional championships; advanced to two state tournaments; and won the 2019 Class AA state championship. The team was coached by Jim Gibbs and Rachel Stuart. Other inductees to the Sports Hall of Fame are the late Pat Head Summitt, the late "Coach" Ralph Spangler, the late Agnes Cagle Loyd, Ryan Stack, Caleb Plant, Mildred Bidwell and Corkey Albright.

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October is National Principals Month, which honors principals for their significant impact on the success and well-being of our nation’s students. Our 13 principals are continuously building positive relationships with their staff, students, parents, and community members while guiding and enforcing expectations and rules of the school. During National Principals Month, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s principal with a simple note of gratitude of appreciation.

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Parents and students, the clock is ticking to apply for the Tennessee Promise program. The scholarship deadline is Nov. 2 for the class of 2021. Tennessee Promise is a last dollar scholarship and offers two years of community or technical college, tuition-free, to Tennessee high school graduates. To apply, first create a student portal account. Include your first and last name, social security number, date of birth and email address. Second, locate the TN Promise Scholarship, fill in the blanks not populated from the student portal account, select a TN Promise eligible institution and select your high school. Dual enrollment students have already created a student portal account. Sign into your account, locate and complete the TN Promise Scholarship. For more information, click here.


Students MUST also fill out the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to attend a college or TCAT and to qualify for federal, state and institutional aid. This includes the Tennessee Promise and HOPE Scholarships. Using your 2019 tax return, it is highly suggested that you complete the FAFSA no later than Dec. 15 to qualify for your maximum aid amount. The final deadline is Feb. 1 although some aid money may not be available. Institutions can start looking at fund allocation as soon as an application and the corresponding FAFSA are complete. For additional information, please contact the guidance departments at your child’s high school or click here or here.


Friday, Oct. 23: Report Card Day

Tuesday, Oct. 27: School Board work session, Board Annex, 7 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 2: Parent Teacher Conference Day (meetings are all virtual; no school for students), 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 3: Election Day (no school for students/staff)

Thursday, Nov. 5: School Board meeting, Board Annex, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 11: Veterans Day (no school for students/staff)

Friday, Nov. 13: Progress Reports

Wednesday, Nov. 25-Friday, Nov. 27: Thanksgiving Break (no school for students/staff)