District Update

APRIL 16, 2020



While we are very pleased with the way students, teachers, and parents have engaged in the continuation of education during the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order, we are still sad. Sad for the memories traditionally made during the last few weeks of school that will be missed. The many year-end school and classroom activities that were sure to be the highlight of the entire year. From clubs and sports to trips and concerts, this has been a period of frustration and disappointment for us all. Some may say that a school closure is a small event in light of all that is happening across the country and world. Nonetheless, the emotions of our students, parents, and staff members are real, and our hearts go out to them.

The school closure is significant for us all, but especially for our seniors. The 393 seniors who exited MHS on March 11 to start Spring Break had no way of knowing that would be the last time they would walk the halls as students. This senior class is a special group and has set a new standard academically, athletically, and in the arts. We would love to be able to provide them with all of the special events and activities that typically occur in the last quarter of their Maryville education – Prom, Maryville Scholars Banquet, Senior Assembly, Senior Awards, and the list goes on. Sadly, the situation will not allow us. However, we are committed to making sure these students get the graduation ceremony they have earned. We are all looking forward to setting a graduation date and making plans that fall within all health and safety guidelines at that time.

It will be a joyous occasion when we can all gather again, but until then, we are so proud of the many ways everyone has made the best out of a very challenging and unfamiliar situation. We are setting an example for virtual learning in a crisis, as we work cooperatively to make a brand new recipe for lemonade (despite a bunch of really unfortunate ingredients).

Summer is coming ... but not yet!

As you know, Governor Lee is recommending all schools now remain closed through the end of the school year. That means our campuses will remain closed, but it does not mean that summer break has started. Our plan is to continue with digital instruction for all students through May 8. From May 11 to May 22, teachers will focus their attention on students who need additional academic support and credit recovery. The last two weeks of school will also be used to “close-out” the year – collect devices and library books, cleanout lockers, and other activities. Details will be shared by your classroom teachers and school administrators by the end of next week.


In a meeting of the State Board of Education (SBOE) last Thursday, several emergency rulings were defined as they relate to students during this school year. You can read all the details at the link below:


With both students and many parents working from home, internet connections can be a drag on your productivity, the quality of your entertainment, and the relationships in your household. We looked for a few articles that might help serve as a reminder or primer on getting the most out of your internet connection. While this is not technically a digital citizenship issue, it is an issue many families are contending with during the #StayAtHome order. Bandwidth conservation will likely continue to be of importance to us all well into the future. Happy connecting!


AUDIBLE.COM recently launched a free listening experience for children who are isolated and away from school and friends during these troubled times. Only days after the launch of stories.audible.com, many millions of children are listening around the world. The collection includes audio in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

You can get help for this free service via the Audible Online Help Center.

START LISTENING TODAY! Use the link below....

free Wi-Fi

In our Parent Update last week we reviewed many of the locations around town where you might find WiFi connections in the event your internet at home is on the fritz. This week, we are listing a few of the deals we have heard about from various providers that offer low cost or no cost WiFi. We are sure each of these will have specific qualifications and guidelines for subscribing. Please review all contractual details before deciding to accept any offers.

Tech Support Request Form

Having trouble with your school-issued laptop or iPad ... please submit a request for help by completing this form.



MARYVILLE, TN, APRIL 15, 2020 - Director of Maryville schools, Dr. Mike Winstead, is pleased to announce the selection of HEATHER HILTON as the new principal at Maryville High School. Current MHS principal Greg Roach will wrap-up his duties as principal and then begin working in a semi-retired, part-time capacity at the district level in July. Mrs. Hilton will leave her principalship at Sam Houston Elementary in the weeks ahead - working closely with Mr. Roach and the administrative team at MHS to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. Applications for an elementary principal are now being accepted online by the district.

In Dr. Winstead’s announcement to the high school staff he said, “I am confident Heather has the passion, experience, and skillset to be an exemplary leader for MHS – working alongside all of you to lead MHS to the next level.” Mrs. Hilton’s selection process included a series of interviews, with involvement by all assistant principals assigned to serve Maryville High School and a committee of teachers representing each department. Taken from the interview committee feedback, these are some of the words and phrases used to describe Mrs. Hilton’s strengths: enthusiastic, passionate, impressive communicator, apparent love of students, builds relationships, uses humor, emphasizes parent involvement, values student voice, balances academics and social/emotional needs, goal-oriented, high expectations, values the team.

Mrs. Hilton began her career as a science teacher, teaching at the middle and high school levels. She has taught high school chemistry and physics, coached volleyball and track, and served as faculty sponsor for Science Olympiad. Her first principalship was in her home state of Texas, where she served as assistant principal at Artie Henry Middle School in the Leander ISD. After relocating to Florida, she held a variety of leadership roles as principal at three high schools and one middle school, before relocating to Maryville and moving into the principalship at Sam Houston Elementary. Her educational experience includes both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, as well as the Post-Master’s Principal Certification from Southwest Texas State University.

Mrs. Hilton and her husband Mike have one daughter, Ashley, who will begin her senior year at Maryville High School this fall. Mike Hilton is a retired Florida law enforcement officer who now works in the security department for Knox County Public Schools. When asked about her new opportunity at MHS, Mrs. Hilton said “I am humbled and excited to be joining the team of incredible educators who serve Maryville High School. It is an honor to be offered this position and I look forward to working with this amazing community to continue the tradition of excellence.”

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Meet Maryville College - April 18

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