|Member Name||Member Position||Home Phone||Work Phone|
|Dawn Robinson||Vice Chairperson||479-3058|
|Steve Morgan||Vice Chairperson||472-5807|
|Murl Dirksen||Chairperson Pro-Tem||479-8145||614-8131|
About our Board Members
Photographs of Board Members by Arlyne VanHook Photography.
Dawn Robinson represents the Third District. She grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dawn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, which she followed with classroom teaching experience in Memphis. Dawn is business manager for Jaroto Enterprises. Dawn is a member of Broad Street United Methodist Church and has served on their Board of Trustees, sung in the choir for 23 years and was a youth counselor as well as a Sunday School teacher. She is a past president of the Bradley County Medical Auxiliary, past president of the Stuart School PTO, past president of the Cleveland Middle School PTO, and served four terms as president of the Cleveland High School Band Boosters. She and her husband, Dr. Don Robinson, have lived in Cleveland since 1977. They have four children who have been educated in the Cleveland City Schools. Dawn has achieved Level 5 Boardsmanship (Master School Board Member) from the TSBA. She was the 1998 recipient of the C. Hal Henard Distinguished Service Award as School Board Member of the Year for the State of Tennessee and Chairman of the All Tennessee School Board that year. She is a Past President of the Tennessee School Boards Association. Dawn is a charter member of TSBA Scholar’s Circle. She is a three time recipient of the NSBA Award for Distinguished Service. She is a member of the Board of Examiners for the TN State Department of Education. She currently serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Tennessee Risk Management Trust. She holds a certificate from the Local Government Leadership Program from the University of Tennessee. Dawn was appointed to the Cleveland City School Board in 1995 by the Cleveland City Council and re-elected in 1998, 2002, and 2006 and 2010 She has served seven terms as Board Chairman. Dawn is a “grammy” to seven wonderful grandchildren.
Peggy Pesterfield was elected to represent the Fourth District in August of 2006. Peggy has a BA degree in Psychology and French from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and an MS degree in School Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She has thirty years of experience in education as a classroom teacher of French, Psychology, and Sociology, a school counselor, school psychologist, and as the Supervisor of Student Services. As Supervisor of Student Services, she had supervision over Special Education, School Counseling, Health Services, and the Homebound Program. Twenty-eight of her thirty years in education were served in the Cleveland City School System. During her tenure with the Cleveland City Schools, she was named a State Finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year, achieved Career Ladder III, was honored by the Hiwassee Council for “Outstanding Service to Children and Families” and recognized by Kappa Delta Pi for dedication to students and the field of education. Peggy and her husband Joe Pesterfied are active in Broad Street United Methodist Church were she currently serves as Staff-Parish Committee Chair. Peggy is a Board member of the Bradley-Cleveland Services, the Behavioral Research Institute, the Cleveland Symphony Guild and Friends of the Library. She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Two of their children and their spouses live in Cleveland and one in Birmingham, Alabama. Brian Pesterfield is a local Builder, Andy Pesterfield, a CPA in Birmingham, and Aimee Pesterfield Salazar is a local veterinarian. All three children attended Mayfield Elementary, Cleveland Middle and graduated from Cleveland High School before going on to receive their college degrees. Peggy has received the NSBA Award for Distinguished Service and is a Level 3 school board member in the TSBA boardsmanship program.
Steve Morgan, Vice-Chairman, represents the City At-Large for the Cleveland School Board. He worked at Cleveland Plywood for over twenty years before retiring three years ago. Steve attended Cleveland State Community College and received his diploma from the University of Madrid, Spain in International and Cultural Studies. He also attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in Pre-Law. Steve is a Licensed Minister with First Baptist Church where he and his family are members. Steve is also a certified Community Service Chaplain through the Church of God Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife Cheri have two daughters Sara and Molly who attend the Cleveland City Schools. Steve is an advocate for children with disabilities, and has traveled abroad to assist blind children in orphanages. He is passionate about the education offered to all of our children in Cleveland. Steve has Multiple Sclerosis and is blind from the effects of the disease. He was elected to the Cleveland City School Board in August of 2008.
Tom Cloud, Chairman, represents the Fifth District on the Cleveland City School Board of Education. He retired from Cleveland City Schools in May 05 after 12 years of teaching elementary school. Most of that time was at E. L. Ross Elementary School. Other experience includes Arnold and Prospect Elementary Schools. Prior to teaching, he was employed with the State of Tennessee Department of Correction and Employment Security. His total years with the State and teaching totaled 32. Tom is a veteran of the U.S. Army having served in Vietnam in the early 1970’s. He hold a Master’s Degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in Supervision and Administration, a Bachelor’s Degree from the State of New York, and attended Lee University. He graduated from Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, TN. His goal on the Board of Education is to reestablish harmony and trust with the staff of Cleveland City Schools. As a teacher, he fully understands how trust between the two can create an atmosphere to continue to move our system forward and increase teaching, learning, and performance of our teachers and students. He also wishes to strive to be accessible to everyone in and out of his district. He is married to his wife Jeanie.
Elected in 2014, Charlie Cogdill represents the City At-Large for the Cleveland City Schools Board of Education. Mr. Cogdill retired in 2009 after 36 years in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator. The first 25 years of his career were spent as a teacher and coach in elementary, high school, and college. In 1976 a coaching job at Cleveland State Community College brought him to Cleveland, where he raised his family. His extensive coaching experience in basketball included assisting Ray Grant when Cleveland High School won the 1997 AAA Boys Basketball State Championship. During his remaining 11 years in education, Mr. Cogdill served as assistant principal and athletic director at Cleveland High School. Mr. Cogdill was awarded the TSSAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2003. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College, Master’s Degree from Tennessee Tech University, and advanced graduate studies from Trevecca Nazarene College. Mr. Cogdill was married for 37 years to Mary Jim Cogdill, who passed away in 2012 after working at Bradley Memorial Hospital and SkyRidge Medical Center for 35 years. His daughter Kelly, former teacher at Yates Primary School, and son-in-law Josh Bishop are both Cleveland High School graduates and they have two children, Mary Grace and Brooks. His son James and daughter-in-law Sloane (Phillips) are also both CHS graduates. Mr. Cogdill is a member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland, and Senior Circle of SkyRidge Medical Center.
Murl Dirksen is a veteran member of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Lee University as Professor of Anthropology/Sociology. He has served more than 10 years as department chair and is one of the few Lee professors that has received both the Excellence in Scholarship Award (1993) and the Excellence in Teaching Award (1991). In addition to his more than 40 years of teaching at Lee, Dirksen completed post-doctoral studies at Duke University as well as a visiting professor at University of Florida under the National Endowment for the Humanities. A cultural anthropologist, Dirksen has worked on a multi-disciplinary archaeology research team working on the Karak Plateau in central Jordan and presently assists the Bureau of Land Management with excavations in eastern Colorado. He spent several years in China at Henan University and Anhui Teachers College in the late eighties. Under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Dirksen served as the project director for developing curriculum and student travel to Latin American and China.
Locally, Dirksen has served on the Board of Directors of the local affiliate of Habitat and is a member of the Hopi Mission School Foundation Board in Arizona. He has travel and lived in over 35 countries. Dirksen grew up in the village of Kykotsmovi in the Hopi Nation, attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, and holds a M.A.T. from the UT Chattanooga in addition to a Ph.D. from UT Knoxville. His spouse, Dr. Carolyn Dirksen served 14 years as Vice-President of Academics at Lee and currently is Director for Center of Teaching Excellence. They have a daughter, Sara, who attended Arnold Elementary School, is a graduate of Cleveland High School, and is presently completing a doctorate in English at Georgia State University. Dirksen enjoys “teaching”, skiing, swimming, and playing tennis.
Dirksen represents the second district on the City School Board having been elected in 2004. He remarks, “During the past 10 years I have enjoyed every minute of service on the Board and feel that together with wonderful teachers, staff, and Director of Schools we have been able to truly enhance the educational quality of Cleveland City Schools. It is such an honor to work with such a wonderful group of professionals.”
George Meacham represents the first district where he has lived for forty-three years. Mr. Meacham was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His family later moved to Rossville, Georgia where he attended Osburn Elementary School for grades 1 – 7 and Rossville High School for grades 8 – 12. Mr. Meacham attended Georgia Tech on the Rossville Memorial Foundation Scholarship graduating with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Textiles. He was employed at Burlington Industries in Rossville, Georgia and later transferred to Burlington Industries Cleveland plant where he was employed until it closed in 1974. George also served with the Tennessee Air National Guard for six years. He is a member of Rossville High School Alumni Association, Georgia Tech Alumni Association. He is a Charter member of the Rossville Jaycees and a member of the American Legion Post 81. In his leisure time, George enjoys attending school sporting events and taking walks. George was appointed to the Cleveland City School Board in August of 2011 and elected to the position in 2012.
Martin Ringstaff, Ed.D.
Martin Ringstaff, Ed.D.
Dr. Martin Ringstaff is in his fourth year as the Director of Cleveland City Schools. He currently serves on the Common Core Leadership Council for the Tennessee Department of Education. Dr. Ringstaff is one of twenty-eight school superintendents chosen from across the country to participate in the inaugural class of the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program.
Before coming to Cleveland, he was the Director of Personnel and Support Services in the Bristol, Virginia Public Schools. He has also been a high school teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal, and principal.
- Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, VA
- Masters Degree from The George Washington University, Washington D.C.
- Doctoral Degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA
Dr. Ringstaff is married to Heather Ringstaff, a math teacher at Cleveland High School. They have three wonderful children, 11 year old son, Colby and 10 year old twin daughters, Jayden and Jordan.