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Happy Thanksgiving from Germantown Municipal School District
As we enter the week of Thanksgiving, I wanted to send you a sincere word of thanks and my warmest wishes for a happy and safe holiday with your family and loved ones. I hope you have a moment to enjoy time with one another this week. I’ve had time to reflect on many things for which I am thankful. Among them are the students, the staff, and supportive community that make up Germantown Municipal School District. Thank you for helping us to inspire personal excellence in each and every one of our students and for being a part of our GMSD Neighborhood. On behalf of the Germantown Board of Education and district leaders, Happy Thanksgiving!
Bringing Stories Alive for Germantown Students Earns Alexa Guynes a $25,000 Tennessee Milken Educator Award
In Alexa Guynes’ classroom at Dogwood Elementary School in Germantown, Tennessee, reading a ‘Book a Day’ keeps fifth graders excited to learn and prepares them with the skills to write their own stories. Her students engage with classroom content in new ways, from reading and voting on a treasure trove of books during Guynes’ literary March Madness tournament to preparing presentations that dive into the lives of historical heroes.
But last week, Guynes herself made history when she was announced as the first Milken Educator Award recipient from the Germantown Municipal School District and the sole honoree from Tennessee this 2022-23 season. The recognition by the Milken Family Foundation comes with a $25,000 cash prize that Guynes can use however she chooses. She will join the 2022 class of up to 40 elementary educators nationwide to be recognized this school year.
"Ms. Guynes demonstrates unwavering care for every child in her classroom, said Superintendent of Germantown Municipal School District Jason Manuel. "Dogwood Elementary School has an incredible culture and she is a leader amongst her colleagues. Ms. Guynes makes learning fun and has a heart for students. She helps to challenge young minds but also helps to grow her students as people. We could not be prouder to have Ms. Guynes represent Germantown Municipal School District on a national stage as a Milken Educator."
For full bio, photos and video, visit:
Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley and Tennessee Department of Education Assistant Commissioner of Human Capital Brooke Amos presented the Award to Guynes at a school assembly in front of proud students, colleagues, local and state dignitaries, and the media. Guynes joins the Milken Educator Network of more than 2,900 outstanding educators and leaders from across the country dedicated to strengthening K-12 education.
Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” Milken Educator Awards inspire and uplift with the unique stories of educators making a profound difference for students, colleagues and communities. The specific states and schools on this year’s winners’ list remain a closely guarded secret until each Award is announced.
“Our state is so fortunate to have teachers like Alexa Guynes representing what’s best about Tennessee’s hardworking educators,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Through her inspiring work during class story time, opening their eyes to the magic of reading, her classroom is a laboratory for literacy. We are proud of her achievements and congratulate her on this much-deserved recognition.”
More About Alexa Guynes
Building Reading Foundations: Fifth grade teacher Alexa Guynes starts every day reading a picture book aloud, and her students at Dogwood Elementary in Germantown, Tennessee, gather around as Guynes shares stories. Picture books might seem too simple for tweens, but the discussions are reflective and analytical: What does this item symbolize? What can this person teach us? The daily story time makes the classroom feel supportive, nurturing and homey, and students love it. Last year Guynes and her class read 180 books, ending with “A Letter From Your Teacher” by Shannon Olsen, an emotional sendoff to middle school with parents in attendance. The read-aloud “Book a Day” project has been so successful that Guynes and her colleagues secured a grant to expand it at Dogwood and other schools in the district.
Immersive Learning: Guynes brings lessons to life in her classroom, fully engaging every student. At the end of a unit on athlete Jackie Robinson, the entire class dressed in team uniforms and headed outside for a game of baseball. Everyone dons lab coats and goggles for experiments on Mad Scientist Day. For an end-of-year project, students choose someone who broke barriers or made a difference in the world, then make posters and present their heroes’ stories. During Guynes’ literary take on basketball’s March Madness tournament, students read a varied group of books, then vote for their favorites as they watch the competition unfold on a huge poster on the wall. The Guynes Grizzlies (named for the teacher’s favorite team, the Memphis Grizzlies) focus on building writing skills in class, lining the halls with their illustrated narratives. The class breaks into small groups to discuss texts, and students know they need to cite evidence and back up their answers and assertions.
School Leadership: Guynes chairs Dogwood’s fifth grade team and is the ELA content lead for third, fourth and fifth grades. She helped the school implement its new ELA curriculum, pacing the fifth grade curriculum and enhancing lessons with strategies and activities designed to promote interaction. Guynes mentors student teachers and has served on Dogwood’s school leadership, SEL, professional development and ELA textbook selection committees. During the pandemic Guynes met with students daily on Zoom; the strong connections she had built in the classroom kept students on track and minimized their learning interruptions.
Developing Changemakers: Guynes is determined to mold students into well-rounded individuals and inspire them to change the world. She led four dozen students, many of whom had never been away from home before, on a tour of Washington, D.C., teaching them how to order at restaurants and handle money alongside visits to museums and national monuments. Guynes keeps families involved in their children’s learning, inviting them to volunteer in the classroom and communicating regularly via Schoology. Parents connect with Guynes long after their children have left Dogwood to share their academic and social successes.
Pioneer Day brings history alive for second graders at Dogwood Elementary and Forest Hill Elementary
Each Fall, second graders across GMSD learn about Westward Expansion and the American spirit of exploration. After reading information books about the buffalo, fictional works like The Legend of the Blue Bonnet, and excerpts about American folktale heroes like Johnny Appleseed, teachers close out the unit with Pioneer Day. Second graders are transported back to the 1810's to experience what life might have been like. They engaged in square dances taught in their gym classes, made yarn dolls, sampled historical snacks, created log cabins out of pretzels, and went on immersive field trips where they were able to interact with goats and chickens and learn about the daily chores of pioneer children.
Germantown Board of Education November Business Meeting
Our Germantown Board of Education will be meeting for its regular November Business Meeting on Tuesday, November 29th. Join us as we celebrate our elementary and middle school state champions, our Finance Supervisor Latoya Cohen. We’ll also be paying a special tribute to outgoing Board Member Betsy Landers. She’s given so much of her time and her talents to the district and we are thankful for her service.
All of our Germantown Board of Education Meetings are held in person in our GMSD Board/Community Room. Meetings are also live-streamed on our GMSD Youtube Channel.
Tue, Nov 29, 2022, 06:00 PM
3350 Forest Hill Irene Road, Germantown, TN, USA
Students Being Recognized in November
We had several middle school and elementary school teams win their state championships this Fall season. Join us in celebrating them at the November 29th Germantown Board of Education Meeting.
HMS/RES Varsity Boys Cross Country Team
- Miles Pleasants
- Houston Fyfe
- Ian McNeil
- Henry Carter
- Grayson Tognetti
- George Church
- Rook Janda
HMS/RES Junior Varsity Cross Country Team:
- Cash Hurt
- Matthew Wu
- Myles Martin
- Marshall Mullis
- Conner Cathey
- Ben Cathey
- Hayes Burkett
- Mack Stuart
- Jake Thweatt
- Harrison Thweatt
- Chase Rainer
- William Pressler
- Harrison Coverdale
- Barrett Waddell
Farmington Elementary Boys Varsity Cross Country Team:
- Liam McNeil
- Braxton Musso
- McKay Boston
- Ryan White
- Dylan Acton
- Foster Avis
- Parker Clubb
- Anthony Wiese
- Charlie Egan
- Campbell Hayward
Dogwood Elementary Girls Varsity Cross Country Team:
- Korbyn Greene
- Pia Oswald
- Ivy McIntrye
- Alex Corman
- Ella McBride
- Ainsley Corman
- Reese Kelley
- Savannah Buehler
- Sophia Wilmoth
- Elyn Miller
- Lillian Sayle
Houston/RES Middle School Boys Tennis Team:
- Logan Shimko
- Cayson Park
- Leo Saxton
- Max Havens
- Bruno Meier
The Week in Photographs
Keep tagging #gmsdneighborhood on Instagram or Facebook!
Riverdale hosted its annual Boosterthon run, raising an unexpected and unprecedented $50,000! The school celebrated the fundraising victory by taping Principal Joseph Bond to the wall during lunch. For good measure, they also pied him in the face.
A new club sponsored by Houston High teacher Candace Plaisance, Mustang Rescue Paws, brought some friends from a local shelter to school to kick off the holiday season with puppy snuggles for the student body.
HHS STEM and Robotics students had the opportunity to visit the FedEx Developing Automated and Robotic Technologies department. Students got to take a tour of the research and development facilities, witness testing of new shipping label scanning technologies, learn how to control two different types of robotic arms, and create 3D maps using a familiar programming software (Scratch) for a box delivering robot.
A GOALIE-Thanksgiving met last week to spend some time together, in -person. They enjoyed snacks, made crafts and played games.
American Education Week brought teacher-appreciation events across the district. GMSD is so THANKFUL for all or our PT(S)O organizations. Pictured here, the GMC PTO Council hosted a luncheon for district office members.
Holiday Concert Season!
1st @ Germantown Performing Arts Center at 7:00 PM - Houston Middle School Band Concert
2nd @ Germantown Performing Arts Center at 5:00 PM - Riverdale Band and Strings Concert
6th @ Germantown Performing Arts Center at 7:00 PM - The Houston Band Concert
7th @ Germantown Performing Arts Center at 7:00 PM - Houston High Choirs Concert
We'll be capturing each holiday concert and streaming them live on our Germantown Municipal Television Youtube Channel--see below for LAST year's 2021 Riverdale Choir Concert.
HHS Girls Varsity Basketball Team wins first game of the season
Staff Shoutouts: Kimber Howard and Susan Berry
Kimber Howard, 4th Grade Teacher, Forest Hill Elementary School
"Shout out to Kimber Howard for working tirelessly to make memorable learning experiences for her students. She goes above and beyond to create meaningful relationships with her 4th graders. She also heads up the Forest Hill sunshine committee, where she plans events for teachers and staff to look forward to each month. Ms. Howard is a huge asset to FHES, and we are lucky to have her positive energy in our building. Thank you for all that you do!"
Susan Berry, 3rd Grade Teacher, Dogwood
Ms. Susan Berry, a third grade math and science teacher at Dogwood Elementary was named the October Teacher of the Month by the City of Germantown Education Commission. Ms. Berry works diligently to create dynamic lesson plans that get her students excited about learning. Not only does she inspire enthusiasm in her students, she also truly cares about each and every child in her classroom.
"Since the first week of school, my third-grade daughter has come home excited about science," wrote one parent nominator for this award. "Ms. Berry is such a nurturing teacher who finds a way to encourage all her students and gives them a curiosity to learn more." As another nominator describes her: "[Ms. Berry] exemplifies everything a good teacher is: patient, kind, loving and creative."
Ms. Berry has taught at Dogwood Elementary for 18 years. During that time, she has served as a mentor to and role model for countless teachers, taking them under her wing and helping them achieve success. One of those teachers writes "Ms. Berry is a wonderful communicator and is readily available should I need anything at any hour of the day. She is the perfect teacher to receive this award due to her constant availability, care for her students and genuine love for what she does."
Additionally, in her free time, Ms. Berry volunteers with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and 901 Petals of Purpose, which repurposes event flowers into bouquets for hospice patients, assisted living residents and shelters, among others.
GMC PTO Council announces their annual art and writing contest
This year's theme is GERMANTOWN IS... and is open to all students grades K-12.
Submission Deadline: Submissions must be received no later than January 19, 2023. Winners will be announced near the end of the Spring Semester.
Finalist Selection & Notification: The GMC PTO determines its own reviewers for the program. Entries will be reviewed and scored per a Rubric of technique, creativity, composition, and interpretation of theme. Artwork will be returned to the Cultural Arts /Contests Chair at each participant’s school.
Prizes: Awards will be given to the 1st , 2nd and 3rd places in each category and per age group.
For details, rules, and submission guidelines, please visit their website below.
Questions: Contact Marianne Farabee at firstname.lastname@example.org