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Message from the Director

corey gardenhourThe Tennessee Department of Education named Elizabethton City Schools a 2017 Exemplary School District for exceeding expected growth among all students including each historically under-served student group. We earned a Level 5 Tennessee Value-Added Assessment (TVAAS) score for substantial academic progress and also ranked third in the state for our 99.5 percent graduation rate. Despite these tremendous accomplishments, there is a movement among students, teachers and Board members to look to the future with a vision that challenges the status quo. This is a vision in which students are prepared for jobs that don’t yet exist. This vision is for students to be passionate and adaptable critical thinkers who take ownership in their education.

While we are proud to perform well on state and national stages, we need to know that our students are going to be successful after graduation. This success begins with a strong foundation in literacy, meaningful educational opportunities at all grade levels and solid pipelines to college and career. Initiatives like our Bartleby Program, expansion of STEM classes, and increasing real-world learning opportunities are essential for our students to experience excellence in their careers and lives.

In 2017, we launched a new logo and brand for the district that represents both our heritage here in East Tennessee and our vision to be the premier experiential learning model in the nation. The transition in our tagline from A Tradition of Excellence to Experience Excellence perfectly portrays the transformation we are making as a school district. From pre-K to grade 12, we are working to connect our students with the community, to give real significance to education, and to allow students the creative space to love learning. We hope you enjoy reading our 2017-18 annual report and learning about how we are working to achieve this vision.

Dr. Corey Gardenhour
Director of Schools