SUPERINTENDENT SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Linda Gilbert (Murfreesboro City)

The TOSS Superintendent Spotlight for May is Dr. Linda Gilbert, who has served as the Director of Murfreesboro City Schools for 7 years.  

Dr. Gilbert had a lot of exciting projects and successes to share with us, including her district's ACEs grant,  helping them to enhance their work to development the soft skills students need and the understandings that families need to prepare students for a successful future.  Other programs she spoke of included the following:  


  • Farm to School Program, linked to their Junior Chef program, thriving with greenhouses and gardens;
  • If I Had a Hammer program, taking sixth grade field trips to build a house;
  • A flourishing Leader in Me program; 
  • Their new emphasis on coding, drones, 3-D printing, spheros, and Lego robotics; and
  • Community partnerships, connecting standards to real-world problem solving. 

When we asked Dr. Gilbert what her favorite part of her job is, she stated, "First —always— are the children; there is nothing better than the smile of a child who has achieved academic and personal success. But I am also motivated when I see adults developing into leaders and using their gifts and talents to help others." 

Finally, Dr. Gilbert shared her favorite memory from her superintendency thus far. 

"The first time everyone associated with MCS attended the MTSU Education Day basketball game. Seeing all of the buses roll up to unload the children and experiencing all of MCS together in one place--the feelings of pride, joy, and family filled the entire arena."

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to Murfreesboro's students, Dr. Gilbert! 

Posted on May 17, 2017 .


The TOSS Superintendent Spotlight for March 2017 is Steve Starnes.  He has been serving as Director of Hawkins County Schools for nearly three years.

Mr. Starnes was excited to discuss the titles and awards given to his district in recent years, including the following:

  1. TDOE Exemplary District for 2014-2015
  2. 2016 TSBA School Board of the Year
  3. LEAP 1.0 and LEAP 2.0 Grant Recipient

The LEAP Grants have allowed Hawkins County to offer a Work Ethic Diploma and National Career Readiness Certificate for their high school students.   

When we asked what the best part of his job is, Mr. Starnes said that he enjoys working with the various stakeholders in his district to improve the outcomes of the school system.  He has also enjoyed seeing a great deal of progress made in his district, affording more opportunities for their students to become college and career ready by graduation.  

One of Mr. Starnes' favorite memory from his superintendency so far is from a visit he made to an elementary school on Superintendent Appreciation Day.  When the principal of the school asked some of the kindergarten students if they knew who Mr. Starnes was, several answered "the president."  Not only did this provide a big laugh for the group, but it also gave Mr. Starnes the opportunity to explain to his students what the superintendent does for their school.  

Posted on March 20, 2017 .



This month, the TOSS Superintendent Spotlight is Dr. Buddy Bibb, who has served as the Director of Tipton County Schools for nearly six years.  

When asked what recent successes and announcements he wanted to share from his district, Dr. Bibb listed the following: their students' increase in ACT scores, advancements in early literacy, the opening of the Hunger Stop Cafe, their push for Dual Enrollment, and the district's AdvancEd accreditation.  

Dr. Bibb said he has been given "the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of young people," and he wants to make the most of it.  This, along with seeing his work "family," are what he loves most about his job.

Fun Fact: Dr. Bibb was elected to eight four-year terms on the Tipton County Commission before being appointed as the Superintendent of Tipton County Schools in 2011.  He was also elected to serve as the Chairman Pro Tem for 25 years! 

Dr. Bibb with two Tipton County Kindergarten students in 2016

Dr. Bibb with two Tipton County Kindergarten students in 2016

Posted on February 27, 2017 .


The first TOSS Superintendent Spotlight of 2017 is Mr. Wayne Henry, who is serving in his first year as superintendent in McNairy County Schools.  

Mr. Henry's district has a program that will allow CTE students in their junior and senior year to take dual credit classes, as well as earning a CPT certification that will guarantee them an interview with a local industry.  They are also looking to build around 50,000 square feet of new classrooms in their district.  

When we asked what his favorite part of his job is, Mr. Henry said it is visiting schools, and seeing students and teachers interact to make successful learning happen.  Knowing that his decisions can help create a better academic future for his students motivates him to come into work every day.  

Fun Fact: Mr. Henry is the fourth generation to live on his family farm.  After a long day at the office, he enjoys being outdoors with his family, taking care of their animals.  

Posted on January 20, 2017 .

SUPERINTENDENT SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Bruce Borchers (Oak Ridge)

Our Superintendent Spotlight for the month of December is Dr. Bruce Borchers who is currently serving his fourth year as Director of Schools in Oak Ridge.  

Dr. Borchers was excited to share about his districts Project Based Learning (PBL) initiatives.  One example he listed was the partnership between Robertsville Middle Schools and NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI), which provides access to a low-cost pathway for conducting research and deploying small payloads in a ride-share format.  Students participating in this program hope to have their 3-D printed CubeSat in space next year! 

He was also extremely proud that Oak Ridge ranked number 1 in the state of Tennessee in the Niche 2017 Best School Districts.  This ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents, using data from the U.S. Department of Education. 

Finally, when asked what his favorite part of his job is, Dr. Borchers said: "The biggest motivating factor for me is the ongoing pursuit of offering pathways for our students so they are successful once they walk across the stage at graduation.  We continue to be focused on our Seven Keys to College and Career Readiness, and will not be satisfied until we attain these lofty goals." 

Keep up the great work you're doing for Oak Ridge Schools, Dr. Borchers! 


Posted on December 5, 2016 .