School and Community Newsletter
School start and end times are as follows:
Elementary Schools: 8:15 am to 3:15 pm
Middle and High Schools: 7:45 am to 2:45 pm
All Mt. Pleasant Schools: 7:45 am to 2:45 pm.
Please be careful in school zones.
In this August 25, edition: Important Dates, Bus Drivers Needed, Teaching at MCPS, Principal of the Year Mrs. Kelly Myers, Peachjar Digital Flyers, STEM Collaborative, Get Connected at SHHS, Learn with a Park Ranger, Shout Outs, Educator Discounts, and more!
Labor Day Holiday
All Maury County Schools and Central Office will be closed Monday, September 6 for Labor Day. Tuesday, September 7 is a professional development day with no students.
All Maury County Schools will be on Fall Break the week of Monday, October 4, returning on Monday, October 11. Central Office will be open.
Teaching at MCPS
In light of COVID-19, the Commissioner of the TN Department of Education has given districts greater flexibility to hire classroom teachers by relaxing the emergency credential requirements for approval of permits and waivers. For the 21-22 school year ONLY, if an individual has a bachelor's degree and would like to be a classroom teacher, the district can apply for a Permit to Teach. Individuals seeking to teach on a permit must create a profile in TNCompass and apply for the positions available through the MCPS website HERE. HR will work with individuals and the school principal to apply for the necessary permit. Once a permit has been approved by TDOE, the individual can be placed as a classroom teacher. This is applicable for all positions except for Special Education courses.
A permit to teach is an emergency credential issued by the TDOE and is only valid until June 30 following the date of issuance. If an individual wishes to continue teaching, they must seek to gain a valid TN Teaching license.
MCPS Principal of the Year
Kelly Myers is Now in the Running for Tennessee Principal of the Year!
Congratulations to Principal Kelly Myers, who her peers voted as the Maury County Public Schools Principal of the Year. Principal Myers stated, "I am thrilled to represent Highland Park, thrilled to represent Maury County, and now I am thrilled to represent the South Central Core Region!".
Principal Myers not only received recognition in Maury County, but she also became a semi-finalist for our Region and was ultimately chosen as the finalist for our Region.
This prestigious honor goes to only nine principals in the state of Tennessee. The next step is the Tennessee Principal of the Year!
The process to be elevated to a candidate for TN Principal of the Year began in April. A panel of independent reviewers with representatives from each CORE region convened to score written applications submitted by each nominee. Application scores are averaged to select nine finalists from each CORE region and the Shelby County-Municipals group.
Each finalist's school must lie within the boundaries of the CORE area that they are chosen to represent.
Finalists were notified of their status by July. In August, Kelly and the other nine finalists progressed to the interview stage of the selection process.
The Grand Division winners and the Tennessee Principal of the Year are selected by combining each nominee's average application score and average interview score.
What does the Tennessee Principal of the Year do?
- Respond to and fulfill Tennessee Principal of the Year speaking requests, presentations, etc.
- Share their expertise with the department.
- Identify and advocate for educational issues.
What are the benefits to schools and districts?
By participating in the Tennessee Principal of the Year program, districts and schools have the opportunity to:
- attract local, state, and national attention,
- allow the district's honorees to serve as a voice for the education profession, thus elevating the district and attracting educators and leaders to the district, and
- celebrate excellence in education by honoring hard-working, successful school leaders.
Eligibility & Selection Process
A Principal of the Year Nominee must:
- have a minimum of three (3) years of professional experience in public schools.;
- have a minimum of one (1) year of experience as a principal; and
- at all levels of recognition, must be employed as a principal in a Tennessee public school system.
Kelly Myers History
Kelly Myers grew up in Arkansas, where she met and married her high school sweetheart Bob Myers. Kelly received her undergraduate degree from Louisiana Tech University with a major in early childhood education. Kelly started teaching kindergarten in Livingston Parish, Louisiana. Her next teaching assignment found her teaching in Baton Rouge at Broadmoor Elementary. While at Broadmoor, in 1992, Kelly received her Master's Degree. After her husband Bob Myers received his veterinarian doctorate and Kelly her master's degree, they moved to Tennessee. In TN, Kelly started in Hohenwald as a Title 1 Teacher, then a first-grade teacher for five years. While at Hohenwald, Kelly was named Lewis County Teacher of the Year!
While getting their careers off to a great start, Kelly and Bob had also started their family and now had two children. Kelly started looking at jobs in Maury County, and in 1997, began teaching at McDowell Elementary School. This was a great fit for her and her husband who was now at Maury County Veterinary Hospital. Kelly wanted to work at McDowell as she had a passion for helping underserved children. Kelly stated, "My passion and heart belong with kids of poverty. They are the most at risk academically and need us the most."
Kelly taught at McDowell as a third-grade teacher and then a Title 1 Teacher, which taught her a lot about administration as she was often asked to fill in for the schools principal. When Kelly started at McDowell, Linda Blackman was the principal. Her next principal was now Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, Mr. Scott Gaines. While at McDowell, Kelly received the honor of Distinguished Educator of the Year.
Kelly decided to try something different in 2005 and applied for the Federal Programs Coordinator at MCPS Central Office. From 2005 to 2015 Kelly served as Federal Programs Coordinator and learned a great deal about administration. She felt like she made a significant difference to so many children in need in this role. However, Kelly missed being with kids and their families, so she applied for the principal position at Highland Park Elementary School in 2015, and was hired. Kelly said on becoming the principal of Highland Elementary, "I have been here for six years; I love this school; God knew exactly where I needed to be, he placed me at the perfect spot. I feel like I have a true sense of what I believe, what my pedagogy and philosophy are, and it is deep-rooted in understanding children of poverty and being a servant leader. I am here to support my teachers; they are the ones that are in the classrooms doing the actual teaching and managing the classrooms. I am here to support them and make this school run as efficiently as it can."
In 2015, Highland Park did not have a school-wide discipline plan. They had office referral forms where students with disciplinary issues were sent to the office, often frequently. The state came out with training partnered with Vanderbilt that would be helpful, called the RTI-B (response to Intervention for behavior) program. This allowed Highland Park to establish a clear school-wide discipline plan with three expectations: Be Ready, Be Safe, Be Kind. The program lead by Principal Myers, designed with positive behavior reinforcement, was a great success and propelled Highland Park to a Bronze Level RTI-B Recognized School and then to the highest level, Gold RTI-B Recognized School!
Thank you, Kelly Myers, for being a leader who is destined to do great things for so many. If you haven't already, please congratulate Principal Myers the next time you see her, and wish her the best on her next opportunity, the Tennessee Principal of the Year.
Peachjar Digital Flyers at MCPS
Maury County Public Schools has partnered with Peachjar to provide digital distribution of important school and community information directly to parents. The adoption of this new platform is in line with our efforts to provide our students with access to beneficial programs and resources. We believe that increased participation in school and afterschool programs can help improve student outcomes in our district.
Information for Parents
Important information from your child’s school can now be viewed right from your smartphone! Flyers will be posted to each school’s website and can be accessed by clicking the Peachjar button on your school’s homepage. As a parent or guardian of a student, your email has already been included in the distribution for your school and the district. You may opt-out at any time. If you discover that you are not getting flyers or notifications, and you’d like to begin receiving flyers from your child’s school, please register:
- Visit the MCPS Peachjar page
- Click"My Account" in the top right corner
- Click "Register Now"
- Select account type “Parent/Family Provide”
- Enter requested information; choose your school and/or district you wish to follow
Information for Community Partners
Community organizations who wish to distribute information to parents can now do so through Peachjar. To send your flyer, follow these steps:
- Visit the MCPS Peachjar page
- Click"My Account" in the top right corner
- Click "Register Now"
- Select account type “Program Provider”
- Register Your Organization
- Once your account is created, click “Send a Flyer” to submit your flyer for approval
- Once approved, your flyer will be emailed to parents and posted on each school’s Peachjar portal.
Four MCPS Teachers Selected for TN Rural STEM Collaborative
Congratulations April Johnson from Battle Creek Elementary and Tressy Crutchfield, Lauren Hyatt, Megann Pawlak, and Jessica Vasquez from Randolph Howell Elementary STEM School!
Get Connected - Clubs, Sports, Organizations @SHHS
Check out this club fair held Thursday, August 19 at Spring Hill High School. This is a new annual event campaign called “Get Connected”. This campaign is focused on helping students to understand all the activities they have an opportunity to join while at Spring Hill High School. The schools goal is to have 100% participation from the student body in extracurricular activities. The event was meant to give students an opportunity to meet other students in the various clubs and organizations.
Learn with a Park Ranger!
Natchez Trace Parkway is gearing up for the school year as well with two types of free, education-themed programming for you to take full advantage of. First, we have a great distance learning program for those who are outside of driving distance, still on virtual learning or anyone who wants to participate in that. Second, we have programs that can be delivered outside!
At this time, we are not engaging with students inside any buildings but are happy to interact in the great outdoors- whether that be a soccer field or site along the Parkway. The attached fliers describe our programs which are tweaked to fit the space we are requested to educate in. As you can see, we have read with a ranger programs for the younger crowd of pre-third grade, and a more structured, formal program for fourth grade and above.
Shout Out to LuEmma McWilliams
I just wanted to send a big shoutout to Ms. McWilliams for being so prompt in returning my request for admission to the Virtual Academy!
Thanks to her, our son can resume his education with next to zero lag time between his old school and virtual school.
I cannot say enough about how happy I was that she was able to get everything sorted in such an efficient and professional manner.
I am so pleased that I thought it should be shared with the school system. You have a real treasure in Ms. McWilliams!
Shout Out to Karen Grice
Shout to Mrs. Grice from Kelly Myers. I want the entire district to know that Mrs. Karen Grice is being recognized by the Tennessee School Counseling Association. I feel so fortunate to have her at HPES! She is a tremendous asset to our faculty. I have such great appreciation for her work!
Educator Book Discounts
Melody’s One Stop Book Shoppe at 1113 S. Main in Columbia carries thousands of books at low prices. Books that are helpful to educators! Because of a large credit (under Maury County Education Association) for books donated to Melody’s, you as a Maury County educator can benefit from an incredible HALF OFF (50%) at the store! Just tell Melody’s you are an educator (retired, too!) and you can save!
Melody’s is open from 10-5 Monday-Saturday. Enjoy your discount year-round!
Covid-19 Health Tip
If you would like to submit an article for the MCPS News, please email here!