Recently retired Murfreesboro City Schools principal Roseann Barton announced today that she is running for a seat on the Murfreesboro City School Board, which oversees the City's K-6 schools.
"I am passionate about children and education, especially the Murfreesboro City Schools system where my children went to school, and I spent 32 years teaching and being a principal. I love this system. It would be so fulfilling for me to give back in a way that would be helpful," Barton said.
"My priority is the same priority I've had for years, and that is the best interest of our children comes first. I will work to ensure that our schools have equitable resources by prioritizing how we spend money at the local level. We have to be sure that safety and security needs are met first, then we move to improving instruction and student learning," she said.
In support of Roseann Barton's candidacy, outgoing School Board Member Nancy Rainier said, "The School Board is a policy making Board. Roseann's years of experience and knowledge of these policies, both as a teacher and a principal, will be helpful when revisions need to be made. If there are questions about an issue, such as the state testing, Roseann will be able to comment first-hand as to how it affected the students. She will be an asset to the Board, as she knows what needs to happen in the classrooms to achieve success. "Roseann is, has been, and always will be, an advocate for our children and teachers. I support her for a seat on the Murfreesboro City School Board," Rainer said.
Over the past few decades, Barton attended numerous school board meetings and helped to develop policy, including a safety plan for schools. Barton and other colleagues worked with the Murfreesboro Police Department and the Murfreesboro City Schools System to develop and implement a safety plan. She has provided input on every subsequent revision to the safety plan.
"We all want to help keep our children safe. Schools must be vigilant with visitors, from allowing them on campus, to keeping up with where they are, to making sure they return their pass when they leave. I think our city schools do a great job with that," Barton said.
"A lot of children and adults who commit violent crimes have mental health issues. Schools need more support to be able to identify mental health issues in children at an early age and begin to provide the needed support - through school programs, partnerships with local guidance centers, and/or additional school counselors in each school - before they harm others," she said.
Barton is currently an Instruction Specialist for Instruction Partners, a Nashville company that helps school systems improve learning. Barton reviews schools in East and West Tennessee to assess their strengths and opportunities for improvements, from which Instruction Partners provides the schools with necessary tools, such as professional development or resources, to make improvements. "Evaluating and assessing these schools has given me a great perspective on what we do here and how it compares to schools across the state," Barton said.
One example is whether standardized test scores factor into teacher hires. TNReady, the State's standardized testing vendor, made headlines in April for malfunctions in its online testing. "I understand accountability, but there are better and more equitable ways to test. Some school systems base employment on these standardized test scores. I think our system does a pretty good job of looking at all aspects before making those important decisions," she said.
Barton also works as a mentor in Middle Tennessee State University's Job Embedded Teacher Program, which enables individuals with degrees in math, science, and other areas to teach, while working toward a teaching certificate within 3 years. She monitors the progress of job embedded teachers in Rutherford, Williamson, and Davidson counties.
"The JET Program is a big help to school systems faced with the challenge of finding candidates to hire in science, math, languages, and other areas. I've really enjoyed it, because I've learned a lot about our neighboring city and county schools," Barton said.
Barton served Murfreesboro City Schools as a principal for 17 years and a teacher for 15 years. She began as a teacher and later became the principal at Reeves-Rogers Elementary School. When Barton became the first principal of John Pittard Elementary School in 2007, she was already familiar with the new school through her involvement in its construction.
"I retired as Principal of John Pittard Elementary School in June 2017, and I am still very tuned into what goes on in our city schools. As the Board prepares to build its next school in the coming year, my involvement with the construction of John Pittard Elementary School will be helpful," Barton said.
"Over the past year, I've visited classrooms across Tennessee to mentor teachers and help provide professional development and resources to teachers. My experience will provide a unique and beneficial perspective to the Murfreesboro City School Board," she said.
Barton was Murfreesboro City Schools Administrator of the Year in 2004 and 2009 and one of only six finalists in the state for Tennessee Teacher of the Year in 2001.
Barton graduated from Oakland High School and earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Master of Education in Administration and Supervision, and an Education Specialist in Education Administration and Supervision from MTSU. She has two children, both of whom attended Reeves Rogers Elementary School.
Barton is active in her community, serving as a Board Member for Journey Home and on the Special Projects Committee for Charity Circle of Murfreesboro. She is a former member of the Murfreesboro Junior League and Mid-South Bank Board and Audit Committee.
A member of First United Methodist Church for 33 years, Barton has served as Pre-School Chair, Stewardship Chair, Vacation Bible School Director, and Sunday School Teacher and is a current member of the Choir, Worship Committee, Safety and Security Committee, and Human Relations Committee.
The Murfreesboro Municipal Election is Aug. 2, with early voting July 13-28.