Dr. Greg Martin, the District 3 representative on the Hamilton County School Board, spoke to the Hixson Council of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Wednesday about the eight public schools in the Hixson, Middle Valley, Lakesite, and Big Ridge communities. Dr. Martin, who manages Lakewood Memory Gardens and Hamilton County Memorial Park, told the business leaders that his background was running an efficient business and not a government bureaucracy. He praised Superintended Rick Smith for partnering with local business in an efforts to raise greater support of public education.
The speaker thanked the Hixson Council for its financial gifts to the schools that helped with books, reading programs, teacher development, and leadership seminars. He challenged businesses to partner with Hixson High School’s Work Based Learning Program for special needs students. The program helps students gain the needed skills to join the work force after high school.
Dr. Martin also told the group of business leaders that the Greenhouse Aquaponics Center currently being built at the high school will be completed in a couple of weeks. This hands-on learning environment will integrate business, agriculture, math, and science. It will be the only Greenhouse Aquaponics Center in a Hamilton County School.
The Hixson Council was told of improving test scores at Hixson and Loftis Middle Schools. A playground that is inclusive of all children at McConnell Elementary School was featured. Fundraising is a little over half way towards the goal of $90,000. Schools like Ganns Middle Valley, Big Ridge, Hixson, and Dupont were recognized for technology upgrades that many civic clubs and businesses have helped facilitate.
Dr. Martin, who is seeking re-election, praised Hixson High for being the only high school in the county to have four National Board Certified teachers. He also praised Big Ridge Elementary for being in the top five percent in the state in academic achievement for two years in a row. Ganns Elementary was recognized for being in the top five percent in the state for academic progress this past year.