Cleveland School Board Hears Report From Bradley-Cleveland Public Education Foundation

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 - by Tony Eubank
Front row, left to right, are Richard Shaw, George Meacham, Dr. Murl Dirksen and Dawn Robinson. Back row, Peggy Pesterfield, Samantha Douglas, Tom Cloud and George Ricks.
Front row, left to right, are Richard Shaw, George Meacham, Dr. Murl Dirksen and Dawn Robinson. Back row, Peggy Pesterfield, Samantha Douglas, Tom Cloud and George Ricks.
- photo by Tony Eubank

Bradley Cleveland Public Education Foundation (BCPEF) President Matt Bentley presented to the Cleveland City Schools board an update on the foundation’s activities. The BCPEF was started in 2003 and works to provide private sector funding for classrooms and professional development, as well serving serving as an agent of advocacy for public education.

Mr. Bentley was pleased to announce that the BCPEF has awarded 12 grants (nine individual and three teams) to Cleveland City Schools in science, math, engineering, and art. Mr. Bentley also said that BCPEF received a $40,000 grant from the Fund for Teachers to provide overseas study and professional development for area teachers. “This grant awards individual teachers up to $5,000 or teams of teachers up to $10,000 to design self-designed professional development experiences over the summer,” he said.

Mr. Bentley went on to discuss in more detail the broader vision that the BCPEF has for public education in Bradley County as a whole. He stressed the BCPEF’s desire to gain further recognition as a voice for public education in the region, saying, “This is an area where we feel that we can gain a lot of ground. Our board is neither elected or commissioned, so we do have the freedom to speak avidly on your behalf. The problem is that we don’t know the message,” said Mr. Bentley

He stated, “No one knows your school system better than you, that’s why it’s extremely important for us to facilitate a partnership and grow; that’s where we feel we can be most helpful. Our private funding is special, we recognize that and we’re very proud of that, but as you see every day when Cleveland City schools or the Bradley County schools need funding for special projects it’s tough and you need a voice.”

The board was also presented with a plaque to commemorate being named a TSBA (Tennessee School Board Association) Board of Distinction. The plaque was given to the board by Hamilton County Board of Education Vice-Chairman and TSBA board member at large George Ricks. The TSBA gives this recognition to school boards that shown a record of outstanding performance and meet the various criteria that are measured in categories that include policy, planning, promotion, and board development. A motion to approve changes to the Cleveland High School Course of Study Handbook and curriculum, as explained by Cleveland High Principal Autumn O’Bryan passed via an unanimous vote.

The board gave the floor to Mayfield elementary Principle Kelly Kiser, who recognized his school’s employees of the month, Carrie Dasher and Glenn Dent. Also present at the meeting was the head of the newly-formed Cleveland High culinary arts program, Chef Clyde Rush. Chef Rush accompanied two students of the program, junior Esmeralda Uribe and freshman David Donan, who prepared hors d'oeuvres for the board and staff.

Cleveland High Culinary Arts program chef Clyde Rush is shown with David Donan and Esmeralda Uribe
Cleveland High Culinary Arts program chef Clyde Rush is shown with David Donan and Esmeralda Uribe
- Photo2 by Tony Eubank

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