Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


April 26, 2012

Around the Town: Let's hear it for our principals!

CROSSVILLE — Eight hundred plus kids. Fire drills. Buses. Scheduling. Books. Staff. Maintenance. Sporting events. Dances/proms, graduations, budgets, nurses, 1,600 (plus) parents, teachers, counselors, discipline, cheerleaders, support programs, art, music, physical education, tests, evaluations, etc. These categories and probably 50 more all follow under the job description of school principal. High school and elementary school principals handle more duties and certainly, more precious commodities, than a Fortune 500 CEO, and yet five year’s of paychecks won’t equal one of theirs.

There are at least a dozen plus people here in Cumberland County who will never ever have to worry about me wanting their jobs: the director of schools and our 12 school principals. I can’t imagine the responsibilities, hassles, situations and obligations they have to deal with on a daily basis. I am not sure there is a paycheck large enough to entice me to do the momentous tasks these folks face every single day.

I was contemplating all of this after realizing student TCAPS (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) exams begin this week. The annual state mandated tests are not just difficult for the students: they put a lot of stress on teachers and school administrators as results are often used to measure overall effectiveness. TCAP tests begin here in Cumberland County for the elementary schools on Friday and are scheduled to last until next Wednesday. This year, for the first time, the tests will also be factored in to the students’ final semester grades.

I shudder to think how I would feel if I woke up every morning and knew I was charged with overseeing a school and all of its many day-to-day operations. For example, on any given academic day, a principal has to oversee his/her staff, make sure hundreds of children are taught, tested, fed, watered, exercised, etc., make sure the building is clean, sports programs are scheduled, awards and grades are distributed, teachers are evaluated, budgets are submitted, lesson plans are checked, sick children are taken care of, misbehaving children are disciplined, fire and tornado drills are executed. The list is endless.

Principals are often in their buildings before the sun comes up and still there when it goes down. A friend and I were talking the other day about all of the duties and obligations that fall to school principals, and we ascertained they probably aren’t even making minimum wage if you add up all the hours they are working, yet they are required to hold at least a master’s degree.

All of those responsibilities are enough for most of us, but then they also have to deal with folks who are not particularly happy with some of the choices they have made or how they have or haven’t handled a situation. I always remember my father-in-law’s best friend Chuck, who is a retired high school principal, telling us it wasn’t his 2,000 students that kept him awake at night, it was all those folks attached to the students that caused him the most grief!

Since a large part of my time is spent in schools, I am able to see first hand what our principals are doing, and it is mind boggling. I, for one, am glad we have them and would never, ever suffer from job envy!

As the school year winds down, allow me to salute our county’s principals for their efforts: Our high school principals are Janet Graham, Cumberland County High School; Scott Maddox, Stone Memorial High School; and Eddie Nunley, the Phoenix High School. Elementary school principals are Christy Thompson, Brown Elementary; Dr. Becky Farley, Crab Orchard Elementary; Robin Perry, Homesteads Elementary; Dr. Sharon Daniels, Martin Elementary; Pat Allen, Pineview Elementary; Mary Ann Kotus Huff, Pleasant Hill Elementary; Darryl Threet, South Cumberland Elementary; Suzzane Wilson, Stone Elementary; and last, but certainly not least, Kathy Allen at North Cumberland Elementary, who is retiring this year after years of dedicated service.

I know all of these principals will quickly tell you that they couldn’t do what they do without the help of their very able and capable assistant or vice principals, faculty and staff.

Let me wrap up by saying, if you are exhausted after reading about school principals, imagine what it is like to the director of schools. She is responsible for overseeing the principals at each school, transportation for the county, budgets, personnel, curriculum, etc. and of course, the most important task of all — will there be school on snow days?


Stone Memorial High School has its annual prom this weekend and this means that local law enforcement and rescue workers, the Cumberland County Health Department and the TAD Center will conduct its second Mock DUI/Prom Promise for the 2012 prom season. CCHS was the site last Friday for the annual event. This Friday morning the scene will be set up on the Panther’s campus. This is a group effort designed to curtail drinking and driving on prom night.

Students will first hear from guest speakers in law enforcement, will then be taken outside to watch the Mock DUI and then will return to the auditorium and given the opportunity to sign a pledge promising not to drink and drive on prom night. All students who sign the pledge will earn a small prize and then be entered into the drawing for $75 from the TAD Center. Last week, CCHS Senior Dakota Rucker’s name was pulled from the hundreds of juniors and seniors who signed the pledge.

Mark your calendars for next Saturday’s annual Ms. Cam’s Dance Recital. It is slated for 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Stone Memorial High School. This is the studio’s 14th annual recital performance. “'Lights, Camera, Dance' will pay tribute to some of our favorite movies and their soundtracks,” said Dance Director/ Studio Owner Cameron Hill. Partial proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Studio on 56 South Main Street or at the door at either one of the Saturday, May 5 performances.

And finally, if you are looking for something to do this weekend, you may want to check out the Spring Flower and Garden Show slated Thursday through Saturday at the Community Complex. The Master Gardeners Show will open at noon on Thursday and run until 5 p.m., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. There will be booths, exhibits and lectures throughout the three day event.

Text Only
  • 20140412_110402.jpg Kids get creative at Youth Expo

    Cumberland Artisans for Creative Expression (CACE) held its annual Youth Expo Saturday, providing young people an opportunity to try their hand at a variety of artistic endeavors, from music and writing to painting and traditional crafts of weaving and spinning.

    April 17, 2014 4 Photos

  • AROUND THE TOWN: The Easter egg hunt that never was

    The Easter Bunny should be able to deliver his baskets in pretty nice weather this weekend. The Good Friday and Easter holiday weekend should feature much warmer temperatures than we had earlier this week when snow showers fell on Cumberland County. Cumberland County students were released Tuesday for spring break, but their last day of school for the week found snow and ice falling from the sky and temperatures in the 20s. Students will return to class on Monday.

    April 17, 2014

  • 127 Seniors.jpg Jay Fox performs for seniors after receiving new prosthesis

    On Friday, April 11, the members of the 127 Senior Center had another good time playing bingo and dominos. Bingo was called by Arlene Simmons and Helen Lord, and the bingo gifts were provided by Bob Folger of State Farm Insurance.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses

    Publised April 16, 2014.

    April 15, 2014

  • pleasant hill ramblings.jpg PLEASANT HILL RAMBLINGS: Pancake breakfast held for cancer research

    During the year various groups connected with the Pleasant Hill Elementary School provide a Saturday morning pancake breakfast to support the Relay for Life campaign.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fair Park.jpg Final audition planned for talent show

    Last auditions for Crossville’s Got Talent will be this Saturday, April 19, at 1 p.m. at the Fair Park Senior Center. The center is at 1433 Livingston Rd. It looks like another good show, so miss this one.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • PLATEAU GARDENING: Cool-season lawn grass fertilization and soil tests

    Recently, I got an inquiry about the right timing for homeowners who want to fertilize a cool-season lawn which has bare spots that need over-seeding. An email from a new resident in the Crossville area asked how to take a soil sample and where to have it tested. Since problems with the pH or fertility of the soil beneath can result in chronically thin grass with persistent bare places up top, testing the soil then correcting pH and fertility to match plant needs can be an important first step in maintaining your lawn.

    April 14, 2014

  • IMG953498.jpg It's a great day to fly a kite!

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Season of fundraising begins

    Spring is in full swing, and this mean there are a host of not-for-profit organizations in Crossville and Cumberland County hosting events over the next few weeks. The first event will begin this weekend with a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

    April 10, 2014

  • 4-25 N&N meeting.jpg Investigative forensic science close to home

    NCIS? CSI? Bones? All fictional! Here in East Tennessee, they have a real investigative forensic expert — Dr. Bill Bass.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo