Renny Whittenbarger, Career and Technological Education supervisor, said the maintenance staff helped construct Cleveland High School’s culinary arts kitchen. Their participation in the project saved the school system $25,000.
“I never hesitate to pick up the phone to call Hal [Taylor, maintenance and transportation director] and his team to ask them for help, but where I do fall short is telling them how good of a job they do,” Whittenbarger informed the school board.
Pictures of the completed culinary arts kitchen were shown to the board and those gathered for the meeting.
“I don’t know about you, but I am very impressed with the workmanship that went into it,” Whittenbarger said. “We had a lot of compliments on it. I even got tickled at some of the details.”
He said even the copper piping used to carry the water was painted to make it match the color change between the ceiling and wall.
“I think you would have to search high and deep to find a culinary arts program with a setup like this,” Whittenbarger said. “We started on it in January and we are now 99.9999 percent finished.”
Maintenance staff representatives included Taylor, Scotty Dye, Tim Smith, Matt Cole and Earl Reid.
Al Miller, former CHS assistant wrestling coach, was recognized by the board for being selected as the National Wrestling Coaches Association choice for National Assistant Coach of the Year.
Richard Shaw, board member, said he has known Miller since 1973.
“He is phenomenal. When you talk about a wrestling coach who loves the sport, this is the man. He has the championships and the credentials to prove it,” Shaw said. “... This is a national award as the best assistant coach, and he is also a member of the coaching hall of fame for wrestling on a national level.”
Continued Shaw, “I wanted it to be known, this man is going to be missed in this system.”
Miller said it was an honor and a privilege to be with Cleveland.
“Somebody asked me if I have accomplished my goals, and I really have. I won’t deny it, winning a state championship was a goal, but I wanted to make wrestling important,” Miller said. “And I think I have.”
Added Miller, “I can leave because [the wrestling program] is in perfect shape. We’ve got the right man in charge, we’ve got the right assistants, we’ve got the right middle school and we even have a program that goes down to kindergarten.
“I never wanted to leave and worry about what was going to happen. Now it is time for me to step down.”
Dr. Martin Ringstaff’s director of city schools updates included congratulating Whittenbarger for being awarded the Perkins Reserve Grant. The city system was awarded $150,000 for CTE science technology engineering and math programs through Whittenbarger’s application.
The money from the grant will be used for training, equipment and professional development
“Our ultimate goal is to tie in the program with manufacturing, but also postsecondary,” Whittenbarger said. “If you haven’t noticed, Cleveland State just build a $1 million-plus facility in relationship with Wacker ...”
He said the goal is to prepare students with an interest to enter into the Cleveland State Community College program and/or Wacker’s program.
Ringstaff also updated the board on Common Core training that has taken place at Cleveland Middle School this week. More than 400 teachers from Cleveland, Bradley County, Meigs County and other school systems have been a part of the training. He said roughly 33,000 teachers in Tennessee will undergo Common Core training.
The joint board meeting between the Cleveland and Bradley County boards of education will take place at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 5, at Mayfield Elementary.