Murfreesboro's Director of Schools, Dr. Linda Gilbert, has been named the 2018 Mid-Cumberland Superintendent of the Year by her colleagues. Sixteen school districts from the following counties make up the Mid-Cumberland region: Montgomery, Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Davidson, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson.
Murfreesboro City Schools is a state-identified Exemplary School District, the highest designation available in Tennessee, based on high academic achievement. In addition, the district is noted for its approach to the whole child, with its Farm to School and Nutrition programs, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) initiatives, gifted programs, community partnerships, early childhood practices, Extended School Program, and teacher and principal leadership development. In the past three years, the district has produced two Mid-Cumberland Teachers of the Year and a Middle Tennessee Principal of the Year.
This year, Murfreesboro's Cheer Team, in its first year, ranked fourth nationally, Siegel's Invention Convention team received the top national award, Discovery's robotics team placed regionally, Mitchell-Neilson acquired Lighthouse Leader In Me School status, nine schools were cited for excellence by the state for their approach to social/emotional/behavioral learning, and an employee daycare was begun. Additionally, a Book Bus will hit the road this summer.
Currently, Dr. Gilbert is a member of the State Educator Effectiveness Advisory Council, Rutherford Works Executive Council, Business Education Partnership Executive Board, Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Commission, Wellness Council of Rutherford County, Manufacturing Leadership Council, Mental Health Action Initiative, Child Advocacy Center Board, Project Transformation Board, Red Cross Board, and United Way Board.
In April, she was named a Tennessee Trailblazer by the MTSU Chapter of American Association of University Women. She was the first person featured in Murfreesboro Post's series about Remarkable Rutherford Women, was showcased in the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents' Spotlight, received a 2016 Child Advocacy Center Hometown Hero Award and the Four Star Individual Service Award from the Tennessee Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and was a member of Murfreesboro Magazine's Women in Business class of 2015.
Prior to being appointed superintendent in 2010, she was an Associate Professor in MTSU's Educational Leadership Department, where she organized the Middle Tennessee P-16 Council, co-authored the MTeach grant to expand science and math teachers, received the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Outstanding Public Service Award and the MTSU Outstanding Teacher Award, was the university's first Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellow, was the first recipient of the True Blue Citation of Distinction in Education Award from the MTSU Alumni Association, and was elected to the Band of Blue Hall of Fame. She also received the Rutherford County NAACP Freedom Fund Humanitarian Award, Read To Succeed's Karen Claud Award for Literacy for Rutherford County, TEA Distinguished Higher Education Professional, Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center Honoree for Public Service to Youth, and was president of the Tennessee Association of School Supervision and Administration (TASSA).
Before going to MTSU, she was Associate Director for Instruction in Murfreesboro City Schools. While in that role, she co-founded the St. Thomas Rutherford Mobile Health Unit, Read To Succeed, the Prevention Coalition for Success (CADCOR), the Patterson Park and Franklin Heights community coalitions, and co-authored the original grants for Rutherford County Books from Birth and Steel de Boro.
Prior to becoming Associate Director, she was a general and instrumental music teacher at Black Fox, private flute and piano instructor, the first recipient of WSMV Television's "Apple for the Teacher Award," the 1998 Tennessee Teacher of the Year, and was named an innovator in the NEA Today publication.
She has been organist of Bethel United Methodist Church since she was 12, and has written and received grants totaling more than $17 million. She is married to Steve Gilbert and has two children, Cherry, who is an academic coach in Murfreesboro City Schools, and Brian, who is a United Methodist minister in Princeton, Illinois.