The Cumberland County Board of Education approved tenure for 10 teachers during its Jan. 28 meeting.

Teachers achieving tenure in the school system are, at Homestead Elementary, Joanna Lavoie, Krista Miller and Misty Thompson; at Martin Elementary, Terry Barker and Chealsey Baxter; at Phoenix High School, Martha Jones; at Pleasant Hill Elementary, Sophie Hester; at Stone Elementary, Heather Dial; and at Stone Memorial High School, Mark Bolin and Breanna Houston.

“This is a very exciting time for some of our educators,” said Director of Schools Ina Maxwell. “These teachers have satisfied all the requirements to be granted tenure with the board’s vote.”

To be considered for tenure, teachers must have taught for five years or 45 months and have a teacher effectiveness score of 4 or 5 for the final two years of their probationary period. Scores range from 1 to 5.

Teachers must maintain an effectiveness score of at least 3, or they may be returned to probationary status and lose their tenure protections. 

Chris King, 6th District representative, moved to approve tenure for the listed teachers, supported by Anita Hale, 4th District representative. 

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Hale, a retired educator, said. “Congratulations.”

The motion passed unanimously.

The board also approved a survey for school system employees to be used as part of their annual evaluation of Maxwell.

“We worked really hard on this survey last year,” Stace Karge, 9th District representative, said. 

Karge said she wanted to know how teachers and staff felt about the director’s performance over the past year, especially in Maxwell’s first year as director.

“I think it’s super important,” Karge said. “Especially since it’s her first year — I think she’s doing phenominal, by the way — but it’d be great to get that baseline survey so we know how best to evaluate her as we go forward in her tenure.”

The survey will be delivered online to school faculty and staff.

Jim Inman, 1st District representative, supported Karge’s motion, which was approved unanimously.

Karge added, “This is a confidential survey, and we really need our employees to participate in order to make it a valid survey. Please, please, we need your input, and it is confidential.”

Another survey will be going out to students and parents regarding virtual learning. The questions ask about challenges and learning through the online virtual platforms.

The survey was approved, though there were concerns about the vocabulary used, particularly with younger students.

The January meeting also marked the distribution of grants to classrooms, clubs and teams from the CSW Charitable Foundation.

The organization has provided almost $75,000 in grants since it launched in 2016, including nearly $15,000 in grants this school year.

Dr. Buck Wood launched the foundation in honor of Dr. David Campbell, Roy Stone and himself to support the school system. The community is encouraged to support the nonprofit foundation. Wood’s vision is an endowed fund that can provide ongoing school support. 

“This will continue to grow,” Wood said during the April grant presentation. “If we had a lot more small donations — $5 or $10 a month — this thing could grow even more rapidly.”

Grants were awarded to the following educational groups:

•Brown Elementary, physical education department, $500

•Crab Orchard Elementary, Ashley Reagan’s class, $124, and nursing/school health, $500

•Homestead Elementary, band, choir and music classes, $500

•Martin Elementary, response to intervention classes, $500, and Rosie Davis’ second-grade class, $100

•North Cumberland Elementary, physical education department, $500, and seventh-grade English-language arts class, $140

•Pine View Elementary, physical education department, $500

•Pleasant Hill Elementary, band, $500; Mrs. Dixon’s class, $100; Mrs. Amanda’s class; $100 and Mrs. Pam’s class, $100

•South Cumberland Elementary, library, $500

•Stone Elementary, Mrs. Davis’ first-grade class, $200, and response to intervention classes, $500

•Stone Memorial High Schools, basketball cheerleaders, $600; food pantry, $815; and response to intervention program, $1,100

•Cumberland County High School, softball team, $300; track and field team, $300; boys soccer team, $300; nursing and health science class, $300; Theater II class, $300; French classes, $300; Freshman Academy, $300; dual enrollment funds, $500; and piano classes, $250

•Phoenix School, attendance perks, $200; media center, $200; and Transition Academy, $200

Teachers, club sponsors and coaches apply for grants and outline their funding needs.

Donations can be made through


Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at

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