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.  



Our first Superintendent Spotlight of the new school year is Mr. Tony Boles!  He is starting his fourth year as Director of Macon County Schools.  

Mr. Boles' district is having a great start to the school year with many successes to share.  They are currently training teachers as part of the Read to be Ready program.  In addition, they have been able to place Instructional Leaders and RTI2 Instructors in all eight of their schools.  These IL's model lessons and develop strategies for teachers to use in the classroom, in order to grow ALL students.  The RTI2 Instructor administers the universal screening, and helps intervention teachers develop strategies to differentiate instruction to meet the individual needs of each student.  

When asked what his favorite part of his job is, Mr. Boles listed the positive feedback he receives from students, parents, and faculty; his positive relationship with his school board; and his relationships with surrounding superintendent peers. 

Finally, we asked Mr. Boles for a fun fact about himself.  He told us that he is a big practical joker (so look out!), and he is always trying to lighten the mood around the office.  He said, "I have always felt that the happier and more at ease your employees are, the more productive they will be." 


2018 Superintendent of the Year Nominees

Congratulations to the regional Superintendents of the Year and nominees for the 2018 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year Award! 


Eddie Pruett


Gibson County Special Schools

Troy Kilzer



Chester County Schools

Dr. Danny Weeks


Dickson County Schools


Dr. LaDonna McFall


Coffee County Schools

Jennifer Terry


Bledsoe County Schools

Dr. Melanie Miller


Athens City Schools

Dr. Mike Winstead


Maryville City Schools

Dr. Mischelle Simcox



Johnson County Schools

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! 


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.