Education News

Special Education, a Core Focus of Curriculum as Collierville Schools Ready for Upcoming Year

SPED pic optWhen classes officially start for Collierville Schools on August 4, 2014, it will be the result of many hours of review, planning and study of prerequisites and resources to ensure the curriculum and services provided are exceptional. "In Collierville Schools, we are fortunate to have started out with a good system. Our priority is to keep as close to the same as possible, with minimum changes," Superintendent John Aitken said.

A key area of interest within Collierville Schools is Special Education (SPED), programs designed for students with a disability. "To benefit from curriculum, some students may need specialized instruction or services to meet their educational needs as recognized by the state of Tennessee." Joyce Keohane, Supervisor of the Department of Exceptional Children for Collierville Schools said," she stated.

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State Department of Education Issues ‘Collierville Schools’ LEA Designation

Collierville Schools Logo opt 2They've been in full work mode for many months in anticipation and preparation of what now has been officially designated as a new 'municipal local education agency (LEA). Gratified Collierville citizens, elected officials and school board members proudly call this new LEA...Collierville Schools.

"The deal is done," Superintendent John Aitken said, holding a copy of the officially executed document that is dated May 9, 2014.

It was early March when the abundant packet of paperwork was forwarded to State of Tennessee Department of Education in Nashville. "It took several months of hard work and determination by staff, school Principals and attorneys to gather the materials needed to create Collierville Schools," Aitken said.

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Collierville Schools Draft Budget Garners Unified Support of Mayor, Aldermen, School Board

BMA School Board opt 2There was a distinct feeling of cooperation and teamwork during the joint meeting of Town of Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Collierville School Board and the administration staff of newly established Collierville Schools. The special meeting was called to review the 2014-15 General Fund Budget for Collierville Schools. Superintendent John Aitken and Chief Financial Officer Anita Hays presented the 53-page document that is the result of countless hours to revise, review, rework numbers and fine-tune programs. The result was a balanced budget of $60.7million for the planned opening of Collierville Schools for August 4, 2014.

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Collierville Schools Names New Principals Blanchard to Lead High School, McConnell at Collierville Elementary

Collierville Schools Superintendent John Aitken has announced that Chip Blanchard has been named Principal of Collierville High School and Melissa McConnell has been selected as Collierville Elementary School Principal. "Each of these people brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and we are pleased to have them join our Collierville Schools system," Aitken said.

ChipChip Blanchard, 35, currently principal at Collierville Middle School, has been with Shelby County School system for 10 years, working in various positions. He has served as classroom teacher, Curriculum Technology Trainer, Assistant Principal at Bolton High School, Vice Principal at Bartlett High School, and for the past year has served as Principal at Collierville Middle School.

"I am passionate about education and desire to build meaningful relationship with students, parents, teachers, and all members of the community," he said. He received a Master's in Educational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University, with an undergraduate degree from Mississippi College. Soon he will begin studies toward with Lamar University Doctoral of Educational Leadership Program with an emphasis in Technology. Blanchard and wife, Jana Jonakin Blanchard, are parents to Belle Anna, 6 and Tripp, 3, who attend Tara Oaks Elementary School in Collierville. Recently, the family relocated to Collierville and "are thrilled to be living, serving, and playing in such a magnificent community." Free time activities include spending time with family, reading a good book on the beach, and renovating their new home.

At the close of this school year, Blanchard will begin working with teachers and staff at Collierville High School to maintain good continuity for the anticipated 2000+ students, 99 teachers and five administrators, as they become a part of the new Collierville Schools system.

MelissaMelissa McConnell, 39, the new Collierville Schools Principal for Collierville Elementary School, has worked in Shelby County Schools for more than a decade. She has served as a special educator, high school English Teacher, Special Education Consulting Teacher and Special Education Supervisor. Most recently, she has served as Director of Support and Professional Development with a focus on teacher support. A native of southern Louisiana, McConnell moved to Memphis in 1991 to attend Rhodes College. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes and then took a job in business and restaurant management in Austin TX. In 2002, she returned to Memphis for a Master of Arts in Special Education at the University of Memphis. In 2007, she earned an administrative license from Christian Brothers University.

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Town of DemoCollierville
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      500 Poplar View Parkway
      Collierville, TN 38017

      Mon – Fri: 8AM – 5PM
      Phone: 901-457-2200

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