SUPERINTENDENT SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Steven Barnett (Johnson City Schools)

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TOSS's April Superintendent Spotlight is Dr. Steve Barnett who is finishing up his first year as Director of Schools in Johnson City.  It has been great welcoming Dr. Barnett to TOSS and getting to know him this year!  

Dr. Barnett shared with us two initiatives Johnson City Schools is currently working on.  First, they are now offering the Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma for students at Science Hill High School, which will include a new year-long seminar and research component.  Additionally, they are supporting their 1:1 Digital Transformation in grades 3-12 by entering year three of their technology teacher leader initiative.  This is building capacity in their schools to lead the changes in teaching and learning that new technologies are bringing to schools.

We asked Dr. Barnett what his favorite part of his job is.  He said, "we have so much to accomplish and so many different things to do and work on each day. It's exciting to get up each day and make decisions that impact our students and teachers in positive ways." 

Fun Fact: Dr. Barnett is the 5th of 12 children!  He said that having 11 siblings taught him to appreciate the things in life that really matter. 



Platinum Partner Spotlight: Education Networks of America (ENA)


TOSS is excited to begin a new segment on our website to spotlight our many wonderful and supportive Platinum Partners.  The work we do would not be possible without them! 

Our January 2018 Platinum Partner Spotlight is our longest running partnership, Education Networks of America (ENA).  ENA has been partnering with TOSS since 2002! 

Education Networks of America (ENA) delivers transformative technology solutions supported by exceptional customer care. Founded in 1996, ENA began with a vision to provide Internet access to every K–12 school in Tennessee, and they made that vision a reality by creating one of the first statewide K–12 networks in the nation. Today, that vision has been greatly expanded, and ENA now delivers broadband, Wi-Fi/LAN, communication, cloud, and security services to education and library institutions across the nation. Empowered by solutions that save them time, money, and frustration, ENA’s customers can focus on what matters most: preparing students, strengthening communities, and building leading educational enterprises.

ENA is privileged to provide services to 94 percent of Tennessee school districts. Additionally, ENA serves several of the state’s private K–12 schools and higher education institutions.

“ENA has been a valuable partner of ours for several years. Because they only serve education and libraries, they possess a keen understanding of our unique needs and challenges. They put students first and always go the extra mile to ensure they are meeting and exceeding our expectations. “ - Dr. Melanie Miller, Director of Schools, Athens City Schools

SUPERINTENDENT SPOTLIGHT: Leah Rice Watkins (Roane County)

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With a new year comes a new Superintendent Spotlight!  For January 2018, the TOSS Superintendent Spotlight is Dr. Leah Rice Watkins who is currently in her second year as the Director of Schools in Roane County. 

There are a lot of exciting things happening in Roane County Schools right now, but just to name a few: 

  • 1:World technology implementation
  • Transition to a Google District
  • Amazing leadership team
  • Recognition as an Exemplary School District
  • Improvement from a Level 1 in Literacy to a Level 5 in Literacy

When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Dr. Watkins said, "Every day brings new challenges!  I love the pace and the learning curve present with this roll.  I also have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people through the system and county." 

Fun Fact about Dr. Watkins: She loves gardening and working outside (fencing, farming, yard work, etc.)! 

Keep up the great work, Dr. Watkins and Roane County Schools!  

SUPERINTENDENT SPOTLIGHT: Dr. David Snowden (Franklin Special School District)

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The TOSS Superintendent Spotlight for October is Dr. David Snowden.  He has been the superintendent of the Franklin Special School District for nearly 17 years! 

In Dr. Snowden's district, they have been working on several exciting initiatives.  They have just completed their 1:1 initiative for grades 5-8, and are looking forward to expanding to lower grades soon.  Another exciting project is their STEM initiative in grades 6-8 called "A World in Motion," which is in partnership with Nissan Corporation.  

Dr. Snowden shared that his favorite part of this job is having the opportunity to work with a great team of educators and a supportive Board of Education to positively impact the lives of their students each and every day.  

When asked what his favorite memory is from his time as FSSD superintendent, Dr. Snowden said: "My favorite memory is when the Franklin Community rallied to support my former community (Pascagoula, MS) after Hurricane Katrina. The efforts began to collect a small van load of basic supplies and ended by filling two eighteen-wheelers within 30 hours. I had known this was a special community before that event but those monumental efforts truly substantiated that this was a caring and generous area! My friends in Pascagoula still talk about those efforts people in Franklin made for them after that disaster."

Thank you for sharing, Dr. Snowden, and keep up the great work! 


SUPERINTENDENT SPOTLIGHT: Bobby Mullins (Crockett County)

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For the month of September, TOSS is happy to spotlight Mr. Bobby Mullins, who is in his seventh year as the Superintendent of Crockett County Schools.  

Mr. Mullins shared some exciting things going on in his district, including their partnership with Instruction Partners who do instructional audits to check the depth and rigor of standards taught in ELA and Math.  He also talked about Crockett County's development of ACT strategies in their high school.  They now have students taking ACT pretests in their Freshman and Sophomore years, and the ACT test is given during the Junior year with a retake available to Seniors.  Mr. Mullins said that they are hoping to continue to expand this program into the middle school next year.  

When we asked Mr. Mullins what his favorite part of his job is, he said: "Visiting our schools as often as possible.  It is great when the students see you in public and come running up to you to say 'hi'.  Sometimes the parent's reaction can be priceless also."

Finally we asked Mr. Mullins to share his favorite memory from his time as Superintendent.  He said that it is the time he has spent sitting down and eating lunch with the Kindergarten students, who offer an enlightening perspective.