After six years of concentrated efforts, Eagleton Middle School has set its sights on loftier goals under a new administrative team.
Principal) Becky (Stone) left us in great shape," said Principal
Charles "Tony" Shultz. "Our culture and school climate is in great
shape, and it's a tribute to her."
In February, Stone was named Alcoa High School's principal. In
May, Shultz was named Eagleton Middle's principal and Kim Sullivan was
named assistant principal.
"Kim is a huge part of what we're doing
and what we will be doing," Shultz said. "She's extremely purposeful in
her approach to improvement and focused on meeting those goals. We've
already identified two major areas of focus: student proficiency and
"We'll be looking at value-added data, then creating professional
portfolios and revisiting those portfolios," he said. "Information
related to classroom observations, professional development and student
projections will be included in it." Shultz said that both he and
Sullivan are intensely invested in improving instruction this school
year. "(Director of Schools Rob) Britt was purposeful in his selection,
because Kim and I complement each other well. She's data-driven and has a
great mind for curriculum and programming. My greatest strengths are
related to organizational and structural concerns, such as discipline,
facilities, management, safety and scheduling. Both of us will interact
directly with teachers and work with them to further strengthen their
Educators are also being encouraged to improve their pedagogy
(the practice and method of teaching), he said. One teacher has decided
to implement Singapore Math, which is a teaching method designed to get
students to learn and master fewer math concepts at greater
detail. Shultz has additionally hired a retired teacher to serve as a
part-time RTI2 (Response to Instruction and Intervention) coordinator.
RTI2 is a three-tiered system that helps educators differentiate
instruction for students who need extra help.
In addition to instruction, employees plan to emphasize community
outreach and relationship building. They will also embrace
"Eagleton Middle School is part of this community," Shultz said.
"It's the central cultural hub of our community, and it's not uncommon
for parents to look to us for guidance and leadership. We take that
position seriously."We plan to do more community outreach this year," he
said. "We'll be contacting businesses and hosting community events,
such as car shows and community dinners."
Holly Burns received a grant last year to serve community dinners,
Shultz said. To date, educators have fed more than 600 people. "Car
shows and community dinners have helped us to build more relationships
and strengthen the ones we already have," Shultz said. "However, we're
always looking how to include more community members. One recent success
was our boy's soccer team, which helped us last year to better serve
our Hispanic community.
"Today, we have 30 families who are involved in this school due
to soccer," he said. "It's instilled a sense of pride in the boys and
their families. They're the only middle school team in Blount County.
They've also hosted the best local teams: Farragut Middle School, Oak
Ridge Middle School and Soddy Daisy Middle School. It's done so much for
our school, and we're currently looking into creating a girls'
team." Eagleton Middle also hosted a benefit rodeo last year, Shultz
said. "We're the only school in this area to host a professional rodeo,
and it was a great thing for our community. We welcomed 2,000 people
onto our campus. That's huge for us. We are changing some things this
year based upon family input. We heard that it was too expensive for
some families, so we will reduce the cost per family from $50 to $20.
It's the right thing to do."
Eagleton Middle has implemented several changes this year to support
its technology efforts, he said. He has two technology teachers who will
"ensure year round that computers are up to date," advising that
"students should be able to step into a computer lab and take an online
test at any moment."
Every teacher has an interactive whiteboard and is outfitted with
adequate technology, Shultz said. "I'd stack our technology against
anyone. We're pleased to have adequate technology. However, I've told
our staff that we need to fight for more. It's not going to come to us
if we don't fight. Not to mention, we need it. If you don't emphasize
technology, you're falling behind these days. We've got to be willing to
claw and scratch to get everything we need. That's what our students
and our community needs and deserves."
By Matthew Stewart- The Daily Times