It is TCAP week in Cleveland City Schools. This achievement test is a timed, multiple choice assessment that measures skills in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Student results are reported to parents, teachers and administrators. From the conversations I have had, I get the feeling that our teachers are feeling good going into TCAP testing. Our students have been prepared well and they will perform. Our teachers are rock stars to our students, so I thank each of you for doing what you do every day! This week, pump up the students, smile with them, celebrate with them, and let them see that the world doesn’t end for the TCAP. As a former football coach I used to work with would say when I asked him how we would in the game: “The hay is in the barn!” That analogy works here as well, you have done all you can, the knowledge is in those little heads. Let’s encourage them to do well and make this week an enjoyable experience for them. Stressing out the students will not do anybody any good.
As a personnel director, I conducted every teacher and administrator interview for our system back then. I always added one last question for the teachers and the answer to me was so simple. The question was worded differently depending on my mood: “What is the difference between an average teacher and a great teacher? Or “What makes a great teacher great?” I have heard many different answers to this question, but the answers from those that “understood” great teaching simply said “Passion”. Passion and love for the child is what makes great teachers. I see that in Cleveland City as I walk through our schools. I see great, relationship-building, passionate, loving teachers. No TCAP test can measure that, but your students will let you know you are great. We have passion, and we have love. Let the students know it is okay to do their best and you (and I) will be proud of them for just trying.
We live in the only country that promises educational success for every student. How we define success is up to us, but I define success as getting everything you can out of the student and having the student do their personal best. Does that mean passing the TCAP or EOC? Not always. We do have students that will do their best this week, and will have little to no chance of passing the test because of many different variables out of their control. Does that mean you, the teacher, was not successful or that the student was not successful? No. Allow them to do their best, and if they still don’t make it, we will continue to find ways to improve that student. I am proud of each of you – from our cafeteria worker, teacher, teacher’s aide, bus driver, instructional facilitator, administrator, counselor, media specialist, Title I aide, reading specialist, and parent volunteer (and those I failed to name ). It takes us all to be successful this week, and successful we will be. Congratulations for preparing our students for TCAP week. Now, let’s go out there this week, and do our best. Smile. Pat them on the back. Let’s have some fun! Let’s Go!
- Leanna Feliz – Lee University, Go Flames!
- Kayla Gash – King College, Go Tonado!
- Courtney Whitlock – University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Go Vols!
I had the pleasure of attending the Senior Parade at Ross and Yates Elementary School Friday. The seniors who went to elementary school returned to the schools in their caps and gowns and paraded through the students. At Ross, they gathered in the gym for the TCAP pep rally and some of the seniors shared stories and pumped up the elementary students with some encouraging words. This was powerful stuff and I was proud to see it in action. More senior parades are scheduled for our elementary schools this week and next. I look forward to seeing those as well. Rachel Moore and the Counselors at CHS developed this great idea and I must say they hit a home run with this one. I think it should be an annual event!
Congratulations to three of our distinguished CHS seniors as they won Rymer scholarships at Lee University. These students went through an intense application and interview process.
Caleb Hiddleson was awarded the Gold Rymer Scholarship. He will be awarded $2,500 x 4 years at Lee.
Ariana Kim was awarded the Silver Rymer Scholarship. She will be awarded $1,250 x 4 years at Lee.
Tiffany Summers was awarded the Bronze Rymer Scholarship. She will be awarded $500 x 4 years at Lee. She is also a Centennial Scholar because of her high ACT score, so she is awarded Full Tuition at Lee University for all four years.
Congratulations to the CHS Choral Department. They attended the Heritage Music Festival at Georgia Tech and visited Six Flags for the awards presentations. They won the Spirit Award which is only given to one group for their spirit this past weekend, it’s for representing your school with the best attitude and being the best work with, Renaissance received Gold and first place, Silhouettes received Gold and first place AND an invitation to go to Carnegie Hall next spring, Ebony and Ivory got a silver rating, Gospel choir received silver and first place, Harmonia received silver and second place. Kyle Tatum received a special award for outstanding performance within a group. As Ms. Pace summed up “Borrowing a line from our principal ‘It’s a Great Day to be a Raider!’”
Congratulations to Mrs. Earby and EL Ross Elementary School! The Bank of Cleveland has awarded a iPad laboratory to EL Ross! Lynn Voelz of the Bradley Cleveland Education Foundation and Lisa Earby, principal of EL Ross spearheaded this project. This process was in-depth and tied into the vision of Mrs. Earby and her vertical teaming program that impressed Scott Taylor, CEO of the Bank of Cleveland. This is definitely great news!
How about Cleveland City Schools’ very own Cassie Bailey! Cassie’s son, Lincoln Bailey, won the Cleveland Cutie Cutest last weekend at the Baby Fair! Congratulations Lincoln!
JOB SECURITY (Births)
Congratulations to Nicole and Josh Lavigne on the birth of their son, Liam Aaron Lavigne. Liam was born on March 26, 2012. Liam weighed in at 7 lbs and was 21 inches long. Nicole is a 7th grade math teacher at CMS.