Eighteen teachers from Murfreesboro City Schools and one from Rutherford County Schools recently received their gifted teaching endorsements after completing the Middle Tennessee State University and the Murfreesboro City Schools Gifted Academy, according to an MCS news release.
The Gifted Academy, sponsored by MTSU, MCS and The Jennings and Rebecca Jones Foundation, seeks to expand gifted education programs by equipping teachers with tools to identify and engage gifted students.
The program presents teachers with advanced training to assist in planning higher-level thinking activities and detailed tasks to effectively work with the gifted-learner population.
Since its inception in 2015, 186 teachers have graduated from the academy to receive their Tennessee Employment Standard for Gifted Teaching.
Principals nominate teachers annually to be considered for the academy, and teachers complete 80.5 hours of contact work to meet the state’s standard for gifted teaching.
“Although the program has evolved over the years with our school district partners taking ownership of the training, we are happy to remain a collaborative partner and supporter of this work,” said Dr. Robyn Ridgley, associate dean of MTSU’s College of Education.
The 2022-23 graduates are: Michael Hebron, Marina Dupes, Christina Barnes, Kaitlyn Campbell, Charlotte Young, Crystal Landis, Nicole Jones, Kristin Bowers, Megan Mayton, Jennifer Beets, Amber Robinson, Katherine Tennant, Deming Wehby, Janice Michelle Grande, Alexandria Thornton, Emma Arnette, Kayla Stephens and Kelsey Faye Bond from the Murfreesboro school system and James Scannell from the Rutherford County Schools.
The academy allows classroom teachers to participate in professional development to learn additional approaches of delivering instruction to address the unique needs of advanced students.
Additionally, MCS has gifted specialists working in the schools with teachers and parents to ensure that gifted and talented students are connecting to thought-provoking learning experiences.
— Stephanie Barrette (Stephanie.Barrette@mtsu.edu)