Maryville City Schools won a state award tonight that includes a $25,000 cash prize.
The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) announced winners shortly after 6 p.m. central time at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Maryville won the award on the district level. The event was hosted by SCORE Chairman and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and featured a performance by Grammy-nominated country music star Josh Turner.
“Josh Turner is still playing. We are so excited. This is really great,” said Sharon Anglim, director of communications for Maryville City Schools.
Anglim said two members of the school board, Christi Sayles, board chair, and Denny Garner, were on hand with a large contingent of teachers from Maryville. “We have a lot of teachers here. They worked all day, jumped on a bus and came flying into Nashville at the last moment,” she said. “It was really great. We’ve got a lot of Maryville folks here from the high school and the elementary school and the district.”
When the 12 finalists were announced for the inaugural SCORE Prize Award on Sept. 7, Maryville was a finalist for district, with John Sevier Elementary a finalist for elementary schools and Maryville High School in the running for high school. The prize was awarded schools and the school district in Tennessee that have most dramatically improved student achievement in spite of the challenges they face.
SCORE presented the inaugural awards at the end of a two-day conference for principals and administrators in Nashville.
Anglim said the presenters announced the elementary level candidates and winners first, followed by the middle school and the high school.
“We were really hopeful by the time we got to the district level we would be successful and when they called our name, it was so exciting,” Anglim said. “Honestly, it was so competitive and such whirlwind in terms of how quickly it came to be, so we haven’t talked about how the money will be spent. We’ll have to figure out where best to use it. There will be plenty of places to use it.”
Anglim said this is the first year SCORE has presented what will become an annual award.