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May 2019 News

May 28th, 2019

Three Rossview High students make perfect ACT scores

Only one-tenth of one percent of the 2.1 million test takers achieve a perfect score on the American College Testing, better known as the ACT.

Clarksville-Montgomery County School System rising seniors Emily Mayes and Charlotte Lange and newly graduated Joseph Bierman are among that miniscule number earning a 36 when they took the test this school year.

ACT officials say the test, which more than 1.9 million students took last year, hasn’t changed in any meaningful way since 1989, the Cincinnati “Enquirer” recently reported. In taking a comprehensive look at ACT scores, the “Enquirer” noted that students armed with No. 2 pencils still get three anxious hours to answer multiple choice questions about math, English, science and reading that could help determine whether they get into their college of choice.

The average test scores haven’t changed much, either. Those have hovered around 21 for at least the past five years. ACT has seen a slight rise in those scoring a 36 in recent years. They are attributing the increase to better test preparation.

In Tennessee, curriculum standards now are better aligned to what is tested on the ACT. All CMCSS high schools offer an ACT test preparation course before eleventh graders take the exam. The Tennessee Legislature requires all high school juniors take the test, regardless of the students’ plans to attend college.

CMCSS sees about one student every few years scoring a 36 Composite (36 on all sections). On average, five to 10 CMCSS students achieve a 35 composite each year.

On individual content subjects, CMCSS students have seen scores of 36. For example in 2017-18, CMCSS showed the following data:

In English, 14 students scored 36, and 22 had 35

In Reading, 19 students scored 36, and 22 scored 35

In Science, 10 students scored 36, and 9 scored 35

In Math, no students score a 36, but three did score a 35

Mr. House addressing audience at ELTR signing May 28th, 2019

Early Learning Teacher Residency Signing Day

On Friday, May 24, CMCSS and APSU hosted a signing day event for the first cohort of the Early Learning Teacher Residency, an innovative three-year residency and degree program developed in partnership between APSU and CMCSS.

In 1975, 22 percent of all college students dreamed of becoming teachers. Forty-four years later, that number has plummeted to about 4 percent, prompting the CBS Evening News to recently label the national teacher shortage “an education crisis.”

Officials with the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System and the Austin Peay State University Eriksson College of Education have kept a close eye on the growing crisis, and the two organizations recently formed an innovative partnership to train and keep teachers in this community.

“We have been looking at different teacher pipelines to get teachers in the school system, and growing our own was a natural place to go,” Millard House II, CMCSS Director of Schools, said.

Earlier this spring, the school system and APSU launched the Early Learning Teacher Residence program, which will provide 20 recent high school graduates and 20 CMCSS teacher’s aides with an accelerated, free path to become full-time school system teachers in just three years. The program specifically targets minority and first-generation college students, increasing diversity both within the school system and at Austin Peay.

“The idea is to put them into five of our lower socioeconomic elementary schools, in a lower grade, where they will be mentored by some of the most exemplary teachers we have,” Dr. Sean Impeartrice, CMCSS chief academic officer, said. “The whole idea of the residency is not providing them one year of student teaching but three years of learning their craft from the very best.”

These students, known as residents, primarily will be placed in kindergarten through second-grade classrooms with a smaller number going to third through fifth grade, where they will help expert instructors teach and lesson plan. These “expert” teachers will receive an additional stipend for mentoring the residents.

“The residents will learn all aspects of the job, and the teachers and multi-classroom leaders will get extra hands to help out,” Impeartrice said. “It’s a three-year accelerated program, and in the fourth year, they’ll become a teacher. They’ll be hired. They’ll be guaranteed a job.”

While the students are working as residents in five local elementary schools, they’ll pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in education through a newly tailored program at Austin Peay.

“We’ve taken our four-year program and condensed it to three as part of this program,” Dr. Lisa Barron, director of Teacher Education and Partnerships at APSU, said. “This cohort will do two eight-week sessions each semester, and when they graduate in three years, they’ll be licensed as a K-5 teacher with a special education endorsement.”

The University and the school system will cover the students’ tuition, and the Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Association will pay for a portion of their books.

“We are fortunate to have such a great partner like CMCSS to work on common problems in the field,” Dr. Prentice Chandler, dean of the Eriksson College of Education, said. “The ELTR program addresses both teacher diversity and workforce pipeline issues, problems that impact teacher education nationally. This is what you get when an excellent school district and an excellent university get together to solve problems. We are better together.”

CMCSS Logo May 25th, 2019

Administrative Appointments Announced for CMCSS

Multiple administrative appointments have been announced for the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.

Melissa Izatt has been selected to serve as the Director of Educator Quality. Izatt will lead the district’s efforts in attracting and retaining the highest quality teacher candidates. She is a Clarksville native, product of CMCSS schools, and has been employed with the district since 2001.

Over the past 18 years with the district, Izatt has served as a classroom teacher, after-school program director, assistant principal, Substitute Program Manager, and most recently as a Human Resources Coordinator. In 2009, she earned the Distinguished Classroom Teacher and Teacher of the Year honors as an educator at Northeast Elementary School.

Izatt received both her B.S. in Elementary Education and M.A.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Austin Peay State University. In 2008, she was named Graduate Student of the Year at APSU.

Dr. Phyllis Casebolt, who has served as Director of Educator Quality for nearly seven years and is a 30-years plus CMCSS veteran, will take on the mantle of leading the system’s federal programs. In her new role, Dr. Casebolt will provide leadership for the facilitation and coordination of programs associated with the Every Student Succeeds Act.

She earned her doctorate of leadership and professional practice from Trevecca Nazarene University, her M.A. in education from Austin Peay State University where she also completed undergraduate work. She received her B.S. from Minot State University in North Dakota.

Other experience within CMCSS was as principal at both Clarksville High and West Creek Middle schools. She was an assistant principal at Rossview High; and, has teaching experience at Ringgold Elementary, Richview Middle and Moore Elementary. She has four years’ experience at Thackston Elementary School in Knoxville. She continues to advise and read for doctoral students at Trevecca; and, to serve on the Austin Peay Partnership Advisory Council.

Tina Smith, New Teacher Induction Coordinator for the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, has been appointed to the district’s Director of Professional Learning position. She replaces Dr. Joshua Mason who has been selected as the Senior Director of Leadership for the Tennessee Department of Education.

Beginning her career with CMCSS in 2000, Smith served as a teacher at Rossview Middle School and an Academic Coach at Montgomery Central Middle before leading the district’s New Teacher Induction program. She also has served as an Educational Consultant for the Tennessee Department of Education. In addition to supporting various district- and state-level curriculum and assessment committees, Smith has over a decade of experience mentoring teachers and leaders.

“Mrs. Smith has demonstrated the ability to lead and be a driving force for innovation on our Professional Learning Team,” said Director of Teaching, Learning and Innovation Emily Vaughn. “I am excited to see her take on this new role and lead CMCSS in best meeting the needs of our certified and classified employees.”

Smith earned her Master of Arts in Technology Integration from Nova Southeastern University and her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Austin Peay State University. She is a graduate of the Learning Forward Academy and holds certifications from Vanderbilt University and McREL International.

Dr. Theresa Muckleroy has been selected as principal of the Middle College, replacing Melissa Champion-Emerson who is relocating. Muckleroy has served as principal of Northwest High School since August 2014. She has 34 years in the field of education, including 16 years as a classroom teacher in Kentucky, Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee and 18 years as an administrator. She earned her B.S, M.A. and Ed.S. from Austin Peay State University; her J.D. from Nashville School of Law and Ed.D. from Tennessee State University.

Jessica Peppard, who has served as assistant principal at Northwest High School, has been named principal of her alma mater. She replaces Theresa Muckleroy who recently was appointed as principal of the Middle College High School at Austin Peay State University.

For the last four years, Peppard has served as athletic director and administrator of the Health Science Academy at Northwest, where she implemented a grade-level leadership model for Problem-Based Learning challenges. Peppard also implemented an interview process for eleventh graders. She developed a Certified Medical Assistant program affiliation agreement for students to earn their certifications while still in high school. As athletic director, Peppard introduced transformational coaching to strengthen the athletic culture at the school. She developed and organized the CMCSS Coaches Symposium for the past two years and has created a number of opportunities to enhance students’ athletic experience at Northwest.

Previous experience includes being an academic coach at Northeast and Northwest High Schools and teaching English at Northwest and West Creek High Schools. She earned her M.S. in educational leadership at Austin Peay as well as her B.S. in English.

Jessica Hernandez, who has served as assistant finance director at CMCSS for seven years, will be promoted to Finance Director, replacing Marcia Demorest who has been named Chief Financial Officer. Hernandez has an additional nine years’ experience working in accounting and financial analysis for Freudenberg Filtration Technologies and Freudenberg Nonwovens. She earned a B.S. in accounting from Murray State University.

Mandy Frost has been named to the assistant principalship at West Creek High School. She spent four years as assistant principal at Northeast High School. She previously taught math and served as department chair at Northwest High for eight years. She also taught at Christian County Middle School for six years. She earned a doctorate in education from Union University with a major in educational leadership. She completed her Ed.S. at Austin Peay, her M.A. at Murray State University and a B.S. in math and education from Austin Peay.

Beth Dycus will serve as an assistant principal at Hazelwood Elementary. She has been an academic coach since 2013. Previously, she was a fourth-grade math teacher for the Department of Defense. She earned her master of arts in education from Austin Peay.

Dale Land has been appointed assistant principal at Liberty Elementary. He was an academic coach for two years and has had classroom teaching experience at Kenwood Middle and Ringgold Elementary Schools. He served in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 2008. He earned his Ed.S. in administrative leadership from Carson-Newman University, an M.A. in teaching from Austin Peay, and a B.S. in criminal justice from Troy University.

Nikki Lavigne has been named assistant principal at Moore Magnet Elementary. She has two years’ experience as an assistant principal, as well as six years of a coaching and classroom teaching background. She has a master’s degree in educational leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University and a B.S. in elementary education from Austin Peay.

A former Chicago Public Schools principal has been selected to serve as assistant principal at Kenwood Elementary School. Julie Hallums, who was principal at Funston Elementary in Chicago for four years, will begin work in CMCSS for the 2019-20 school year.

She has previous experience as an assistant principal at McAuliffe Elementary in Chicago and was resident principal at New Leaders for New Schools. She was the grade level lead teacher at Delgado Kanoon Elementary and the lead teacher for summer school at Farragut High School. She also has been a planning team leader for Teach For America in Chicago. She earned her master’s in education from Concordia University, a master’s in education from National-Louis University in Chicago, and a B.A. in sociology and anthropology from Rhodes College in Memphis.

Amanda Tarver, a Title 1 school math interventionist, has been chosen as the new assistant principal at Montgomery Central Elementary, twice a National Title 1 Distinguished School for Tennessee.

Tarver has been with CMCSS for 10 years, as a math interventionist at Norman Smith Elementary, a fifth-grade math and science teacher and a third-grade teacher. She earned an M.A. in education at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tn. Her B.A. in education is from Spring Arbor University in Michigan.

Amelia Owen, who has served as an assistant principal at Vanleer Elementary School in Dickson County, has been selected as assistant principal at Barkers Mill Elementary. Her prior experience was in CMCSS for nine years as a teacher, middle school counselor, intervention specialist, behavior consultant and high school counselor. She began her career in Cheatham County in August 2003 as a middle school counselor. She earned her Ed.S. from the University of Central Florida, her M.S. in school counseling from Austin Peay State University and a B.A. in elementary education and psychology from State University of New York at Potsdam. She is pursuing her doctorate of education from Lipscomb University.

Shona McLaurin, who has been student support coordinator at Kenwood Middle School, will be an assistant principal at Kenwood High. She has worked in CMCSS since 2006, when she began as a teacher at Kenwood Middle. She earned her M.A. in education from Bethel University; her educational certification from Austin Peay; and her B.S. from William Carey College in Hattiestburg, Miss. She is pursuing a doctorate of education from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Timothy D. George, who has served in several roles at Northeast High since 2011, has been chosen as an assistant principal at Northeast. He has experience as student support coordinator, special education department chair, special education biology teacher, and wrestling coach. He served in the U.S. Army from 2001-2006. He earned his master’s in administrative leadership, as well as his Ed.S from Trevecca Nazarene. He has a B.S. in biology education from Illinois State University.

Jason Greene has been selected assistant principal at Northwest High School. He is replacing Jessica Peppard who was named principal at NWHS. Most recently, he worked as a math teacher at Rossview High School. He also has experience as a Freshman Focus Teacher; and Boys Golf Coach. He earned his M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University; a B.S. in Mathematics from Austin Peay State University; and a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Tennessee Technological University.


May 21st, 2019

CMCSS Enrollment Center

Beginning June 10, 2019, the CMCSS Enrollment Center, located at 430 Greenwood Ave., will be open M-F, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., throughout the calendar year when district offices are open. (more…)

May 7th, 2019

2019 Graduations – Live Streaming Available

Graduations are approaching, and we are so proud of the class of 2019! All graduations will take place at the APSU Dunn Center. If you cannot attend a graduation ceremony, we will be live streaming each graduation on and from our Focus CMCSS YouTube Channel at


May 6th, 2019

School Board Position Opening

The Clarksville-Montgomery County Board of Education is seeking qualified applicants for the position of School Board Member to represent School District #3 (County Commission Districts 8, 9, and 12) until the next general election to be held in August 2020. Applicants must: be a Tennessee citizen; be at least 18 years of age; reside in School District #3; have a high school diploma or G.E.D.; and be a registered voter in Montgomery County. Board members may not be employees of the School System. (more…)