Chester County School Board held the regular September meeting at the Chester County Junior High School Library on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

The Board announced that Presley Connor, a senior at Chester County High School, has received the Student Recognition Award for the southwest district of the Tennessee School Board Association. Connor was nominated in May, and she received her award at the fall TSBA district meeting. She will now compete with eight other Tennessee students for the statewide award and scholarship.

Board members also recognized East Chester Elementary School first grade teacher Julie Miller for being named the WBBJ Teacher of the Week. Superintendent Troy Kilzer II stated that the week Miller was presented with the award, her achievements were overshadowed by an incident involving threats from parents directed at the East Chester administration. The incident made the Jackson area news the same night that Miller’s story aired.

Miller stated that her goal is to build relationships with her students and their families. “I push students to learn because I care and love and pour myself into every one of those students,” she said.

Miller is in her fourth year of teaching at East Chester, and she told the board that she approaches teaching with prayer and working as a team with parents, administration and the school board.

“You grow to love this place, and this school system shows it,” she added.

Following the celebrations, Chairman of the School Board Bob Moore proposed that the board renew the superintendent’s contract from three years. The proposal was put into a motion by board member Glenn Naylor and seconded by Norris Frank. The contract passed five to one with Dwight Bingham casting the single opposing vote.

During Kilzer’s tenure as superintendent he has overseen numerous projects and achievements for Chester County Schools. These include the following partnerships:

Negotiations and security of an academic partnership with Freed-Hardeman University titled “Griffin Program” that offers dual enrollment courses for Chester County High School juniors and seniors; academic partnership with Jackson State Community College to offer local dual credit courses for Chester County High School students; academic partnership with Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Jackson to offer dual enrollment courses of Advanced Manufacturing; academic partnership with Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Crump to offer dual enrollment courses of welding; academic partnership with local medical facilities and industries to provide students work-based learning opportunities and internships; partnership with Tennessee Department of Education with Chester County Schools for the Tennessee Early Literacy Network (TELN); academic partnership with National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to support the professional growth of school leaders in the district; and academic partnership with Tennessee Department of Education to support the professional growth of educators in the district.

Chester County Schools have also been recognized for the following achievements: Tennessee Risk Management Trust as a Distinguished Member; one of the top 10 school districts in Tennessee for academic growth of students scoring proficient and advanced on Tennessee State assessments in grades third through eighth for both mathematics and reading/language arts from 2011-15; Cathy Whitehead named Tennessee Teacher of the Year (2015-16); Chester County School District received the “Charles Bridwell, Award for Excellence” by UTrust for unemployment compensation; Christy McManus named West Tennessee Teacher of the Year (2016-17); Hayley Cloud named Southwest Regional Teacher of the Year (2017-18); Tennessee Department of Education Reward School Status with Chester County High School (student growth) and Jacks Creek Elementary School (student achievement); Niche Ranking of Best TN Counties of Public School Districts- 15th rank (2017-18); Tennessee Department of Education Reward School Status with East Chester Elementary School; and Niche Ranking of Best Tennessee Counties of Public School Districts – 16th rank (2018-19).

The board also approved policy revision recommendations from the TSBA and redrafted policies for fundraising, which keeps in line with online solicitations and fundraising opportunities. The policy manual was also updated to include bus availability outside of school hours as drivers are available.

In updates, Kilzer announced that the cafeteria expansion at Chester County High School is now open. The CCHS East Hall remains under construction, but contractors anticipate that barring any setbacks, it could be available ahead of the January schedule.

The next School Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25.

Personal Leadership Roles while Superintendent:

Serving as committee member of National Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Bylaws Review Advisory Committee (BRAC), 2018-2020.

Board Member of Henderson-Chester County Chamber of Commerce, 2014-present.

Personal Honors and recognitions as Superintendent:

Named as Superintendent of the Year for Southwest Tennessee Region, Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS), 2018.

Named as School System Administrator of the Year, Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA), Athletic District 7, 2017.

Site visits by Tennessee Government Officials/Dignitaries to Chester County Schools including West Chester Elementary School by First Lady of Tennessee Crissy Haslam (2017); Chester County High School by Tennessee Department of Education Leaders:  Commissioner Candice McQueen (2016) and Deputy Commissioner Lyle Ailshie (2018); and West Chester, Chester County Middle School and Chester County Junior High School by Tennessee Senator Dolores Gresham.

Chester County School District Capital Improvements :

New CC Soccer Stadium Lighting (2015-16) $46,000.

Replacement CC Eagle Football Stadium Lighting (2015-16) $50,000.

District wide security system upgrade (2015-16) $115,000.

Replacement of CCJHS gymnasium bleachers (2015-2016) $85,000.

New press box CCHS Football Stadium (2016-17) $55,000.

Additional Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Advanced Manufacturing coursework with TCAT financial contributions of approximately $100,000.

Refurbishment of A.C. Jones Vocational Shop to include Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) welding courses with TCAT financial contributions of approximately $50,000.

Roof replacements to West Chester Elementary School, Chester County Middle School (2018) $150,000.

Negotiations and security of “Seeley Properties” to expand Chester County High School facilities (2016) $240,000.

Negotiations and security of “Whisker’s Restaurant” to expand Chester County Schools Coordinated School Health and Family Resource Center, “Eagles’ Edge” (2016) $240,000.

Negotiations and security with Chester County Commission of a twelve year note  at $1,700,000 for capital improvements in the school district.

Additions to Chester County High School Cafeteria and East Hall Classrooms/PAES Lab facilities (2018) $1,800,000.

Replacements of HVAC units to multiple Chester County School sites.

Financial Audits for Chester County Schools have been clean for four (4) years- (2014-present)

Grants Awarded to Chester County Schools:

Teacher Incentive Funding, 4th Edition (TIF4) at approximately $2,442,000.

Tennessee Pathways to Prosperity Grant at approximately $60,000.

Summer Read to be Ready Grants @ East Chester (2017, 2018) and West Chester (2018) at approximately $100,500.

Tennessee Early Literacy Network (TELN) at approximately $

Tennessee State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) at approximately $20,000

UTrust Mini-Grants at multiple Chester County Schools at approximately $30,000

Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Grant (2016- 2019) at approximately $1,057,000.

CTE - Perkins grant (2015-2019) $215,000.

Focus Grant (2016-2018) $198,000.

CTE - Equipment Grant (2018) $113,000.

Family Resource Grant (2015-2019) $150,000.

Coordinated School Health Grant (2015-2019) $450,000.

Read to Be Ready Coaching Grant (2017-2019) $25,000.

IDEA Discretionary Grants (2017-2019) $62,000.