FSSD Takes Top Honors at School Board Convention

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The Franklin Special School District Board of Education, collectively and individually, picked up the highest awards given at the annual state conference of its professional association on Monday, November 16.

During an awards luncheon at Opryland Hotel, the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) announced that the FSSD Board of Education was the 2015 Tennessee School Board of the Year.

TSBA annually honors a school board for excellent service. To be considered for this award, school boards must be a TSBA Board of Distinction; develop, apply and monitor policy; be involved in long-range planning; promote quality education through involvement with the legislature, city/county commission, State Board of Education, community and staff; participate in board development activities, including boardmanship award levels for each member; and exhibit a positive relationship with the media. The FSSD Board is currently in its second of two years as a TSBA Board of Distinction. FSSD Board members include:

* Tim Stillings, Chairman

* Robert Blair, Vice-Chair

* Alicia Barker, Secretary

* Robin Newman, Treasurer

* Allena Bell

* Kevin Townsel

TSBA Master Ambassador: Allena Bell

Other notable awards presented to FSSD Board members at the luncheon include a Master Ambassador Award to Allena Bell for her “outreach efforts to increase community awareness and understanding of public education issues,” according to TSBA. Bell was appointed by the Board of Education in 2013 to fill a vacant seat and was subsequently elected in 2014 to serve a four-year term. She currently serves as the School Board’s representative on the TSBA Tennessee Legislative Network. She has completed training at the state and regional levels, and has attained the credit necessary to achieve Level III TSBA Boardsmanship. She is an active volunteer in all FSSD schools, serving in many different capacities for the individual school PTOs.

Bell is a member of the FSSD Family and Community Advisory Council and served on the FSSD Stakeholder Committee during the 2013 AdvancED district accreditation process.

“Mrs. Bell is one of the most involved parents and Board members I have ever worked with. She spreads her enthusiastic support for our students, parents, faculty and staff across all of our schools in broad measure. Her advocacy and support of public education is unwavering and we appreciate the work she does to create dialogue and partnerships with those both directly and indirectly impacted by public education in our community,” Snowden said.

TSBA 2015 All-Tennessee School Board Member of the Year /C. Hal Henard Distinguished Service Award Recipient: Tim Stillings

FSSD Receives Honors at School Board Convention
Tim Stillings

During the awards luncheon, the TSBA named six outstanding school board members to the 2015 All Tennessee School Board. Members of the board were selected by a panel of judges from nominations made by superintendents, school board members, TSBA district directors, or TSBA Staff. This year, the TSBA announced that FSSD School Board Chairman Tim Stillings was one of the six distinguished members of the 2015 All-Tennessee School Board based on his years of service and leadership.

Each year, the All Tennessee School Board nominee that receives the highest collective ranking by the judges is the recipient of the School Board Member of the Year/C. Hal Henard Distinguished Service Award. This person serves as the chairman of the honorary All Tennessee School Board. TSBA Executive Director Tammy Grissom announced on Monday that Tim Stillings is the C. Hal Henard Distinguished Service Award recipient and, as such, and is the TSBA 2015 School Board Member of the Year. This award is granted to a board member “who has distinguished himself or herself through outstanding service to his or her local board of education and community,” according to TSBA. To be eligible for this award, a school Board member must have earned at least Level IV in the boardsmanship program, demonstrated a high level of service quality, participated in board development activities, and shared in leadership activities at the local, regional, and state levels.

First elected in 1998, Stillings has distinguished his leadership in many ways. He regularly attends national and local School Boards Association events to keep himself abreast of leadership and school management issues. He is a past recipient of the NSBA Distinguished Service Award in 2008, 2011 and 2013 for significant contributions to public education. Under his Chairmanship, the FSSD achieved TSBA Board of Distinction status in 2014. “I have had the honor of working under Mr. Stillings’ capable leadership on the Board since I first met him during the FSSD Director of Schools search process in 2001,” Snowden said. “He is a true champion of public education and his primary focus in all that he does on our Board is the best interest of the students and employees of the Franklin Special School District. He is unwavering in his resolve to provide the very best public education to all students, to remain fiscally responsible in all of his actions, and to honor the tradition of excellence that began in this school district in 1906.”

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