The Bradley County Board of Education on Tuesday voted to give Bradley County Schools Director Dr. Linda …
The Bradley County Board of Education on Tuesday voted to give Bradley County Schools Director Dr. Linda Cash the highest possible score on her annual evaluation and extend her contract.
This came immediately after board Chairman Rodney Dillard announced Cash has been named the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents’ Southeast Superintendent of the Year for 2019. This means she is one of eight regional finalists for Superintendent of the Year.
“That was perfect timing, Dr. Cash,” Dillard quipped. “That’s outstanding! We are very proud of you and what you have done for the system.”
Cash said she is appreciative of this honor. However, she said part of the credit goes to the school system’s other employees. She offered her thanks to everyone from classroom teachers to members of the board as she spoke about what led to her achievement.
“It’s such an honor to have that recognition, namely for Bradley County and for our supervisors, administrators, our board of education and for the excellence that we do,” Cash said. “The only way you get to that point is if you’ve got everybody working at their highest levels, and that’s what we have. We have all Bradley County [Schools] employees working at their highest level, which raises the highest administration up.”
The board then voted unanimously to accept the results of Cash’s annual evaluation. Individual board members scored her in several areas on a scale of 1 to 5, and the results were averaged for an overall score of 5.
In Tennessee, school system leaders can choose which measurement tool will be used to evaluate them each year. This year, Cash was measured against a list of standards created by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC).
Cash was evaluated against the following ISLLC standards: “Vision of Learning,” “School Culture and Instructional Program,” “Management and Operations,” “Collaboration with Families and Community,” “Integrity, Fairness and Ethics,” “Political, Cultural and Social Context,” and “Superintendent-Board Relationship Context.”
Dillard said the majority of the scores were 5s, meaning “exceeding expectations/distinguished.” She also received a few 4s, meaning “accomplished/commendable,” but the average still led to an overall score of 5.
“The whole evaluation offers us an opportunity to look at various things throughout the district and have some really good conversations,” said board member Dianna Calfee. “But when you look at ‘Integrity, Fairness and Ethics’ and it’s straight 5s, I think that really says a lot. It really says what kind of person Dr. Cash is. Her professionalism and personal values have really impressed me.”
Board member Vicki Beaty also said a few words to congratulate Cash. She said she has been impressed by the “exceptional” job Cash has done building positive relationships with members of the Bradley County Commission and other community leaders.
Board member Amanda Lee said she wished to reiterate what Beaty said, because she had noticed this as well.
“That’s the one thing the county commissioners always say to me, that they have the best working relationship with the board because of your partnership and your willingness to be open and listen to what they have — but also step up and fight for what the kids of Bradley County need,” said Lee. “But I guess the one thing that sticks out the most for me is what I hear from the principals about the support you give them.”
Cash thanked the board members for their support and said she is always open to talking with them about what the needs are at the schools in their districts. She stressed that, even if things are going well, “there is always room for great.”
After a short discussion on a line item about professional development, the board voted unanimously to approve a new four-year contract for Cash. This new contract will be effective July 1 and run through June 30, 2022.
Cash has served as the director of schools since the summer of 2015. Her previous contract had been for a three-year term set to end this summer. Dillard said Cash’s positive performance prompted the board to add an additional year to the contract term.
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