BCS swears in 3 re-elected school board members

Newly sworn-in Bartlett school board members are, from left, David Cook, Shirley Jackson and Jeff Norris, board chair.

Newly sworn-in Bartlett school board members are, from left, David Cook, Shirley Jackson and Jeff Norris, board chair. Photo by Carolyn Bahm.

Under the three flags of the U.S., Tennessee and the City of Bartlett, the mayor swore in the three recently reelected members of the Bartlett City Schools Board of Education last week. The oath of office ceremony was on the stage of the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center on Dec. 6.
Those being sworn in by Bartlett Mayor A. Keith McDonald included current BCS chairman Jeff Norris and board members Shirley Jackson and David Cook.

Dignitaries in attendance included Rep. Ron Lollar (R-District 99), Bartlett Vice Mayor Jack Young, Bartlett Alderman Bobby Simmons, and Bartlett Judge Tim Francavilla. The Rev. Stephen Shapard of Bartlett United Methodist Church gave the invocation and the closing prayer.

Norris named each of his fellow board members and said, “I don’t know that I could serve with four better people than I’ve had the opportunity to serve with, and I regularly take the opportunity to point out that the five of us are really not politicians. And I say that with a lot of emphasis on that because I think that is something that is really important at the core of who we are and what we bring as we serve this community. And I say that because none of the five of us are ever focused on our next election.”

BCS Superintendent David Stephens said while he was preparing his remarks for the night, he looked at his notes from the previous oath of office ceremony. He noticed that at the previous event, he talked about characteristics of “effective” school board members. This year, before he reviewed the previous speech, he had chosen to talk about characteristics of “great” school board members.

“So I went from effective to great because I think our board has moved from effective to great,” he said.

Those characteristics of a great school board, he said, include a clear vision, communication to the community, teamwork, collaboration, respect, advocacy at all levels, and the adoption of a fiscally sound budget.

He listed some of the district’s accomplishments since its inception, including being named an Exemplary School District, having a Reward School, increasing ACT scores three years in a row, increasing the graduation rate, forming a great partnership with the medical device manufacturing community with the high school’s advance machine lab, to name just a few.

“And I tell you, each of you three board members that are being sworn in, with our other two, played a key role into that success. You know, our community is so fortunate to have great board members like David and Shirley and Jeff, willing to come in and serve us.”

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to bartlett.editor@journalinc.com.