Growing Students - Building Futures is the driving force, for not only the six years Dr. Linda Cash has served as Director of Bradley County Schools but throughout her entire educational career. That drive, encompassed with a quest for excellence, leaves an indelible mark on all she touches. She is driven to serve and empower all those around her from the youngest, most vulnerable students, to those in leadership positions. Her belief in public education compels her to press forward to provide educational opportunities for all to excel.
Building futures through advocating for public education
Dr. Cash is a product of and advocate for public education. She and her husband, John, are the proud parents of three grown children, who graduated from public high schools and went on to further their education at the university level. She has taught at elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as in the higher education arena. Of her 35 years in education, 15 were spent in the classroom before being tapped for administration, where she served as assistant principal and principal. In pursuit of continuous education, she has obtained several degrees, the last of which is a doctorate from Trevecca University. She has been chosen twice as Superintendent of the Year for the southeast area of the state and was the Tennessee Arts Superintendent of the Year in 2020. Dr. Cash has spent her life using her personal and career experiences to grow students and teachers. Under her leadership, the District has become FUTURE STRONG!
Building futures through early literacy
Dr. Cash began her work in the community with a focus on early literacy. Her future-driven vision was launched with one of the first community celebrations of early literacy, bringing together the Tennessee Commissioner of Education, along with business, church, government, and educational leaders from across the region and state. It was here that Dr. Cash shared her vision for literacy and publicly proclaimed the district’s goal of having 90% of third graders on reading level within a five-year period.
Building futures through partnerships
With her unique gift of bringing people together, the vision spread, and other organizations picked up the mantle. Cleveland Rotary, United Way, the School Board, and the County Commission assisted in getting the message out. Little Libraries were built throughout our community and the READ 20 vision was begun. A community-wide media blitz began to support the importance of literacy.
Building futures through mentoring others.
The goal was later extended to writing and math literacy, and it was her leadership that led to writing and math teacher leaders. An intentional focus was placed on providing students the best educational curricula available to provide an academically rigorous and relevant education. She took her vision to the State LEAD conference and trained others.
Building futures through college and career readiness
Dr. Cash placed an equally important focus on college and career readiness. This vision led to the creation of the Partners in Education (PIE) Center. Under her leadership, the district will move into this innovative center in the early part of the next school year. Upon completion, it will become a center of student learning, unique to the state in its function to prepare students for future careers. Through the PIE Center Partnerships, students will have the opportunity to learn valuable employability skills, job shadow, and participate in other work-based learning opportunities. It will foster a future strong workforce that will impact our community and serve as a model to the nation.
Building futures through exposing students to training beyond the classroom Dr. Cash’s vision of “We Build Futures” for student success extends beyond the classroom. By involving teachers in the world of business and industry, the District is creating a culture shift and exposing students to future opportunities outside of the formal classroom. To ensure the Future is Strong, Dr. Cash continues to focus on the needs of students through student and parent advisory groups, along with strong business, church, and community partnerships.
Building futures through developing leaders
Dr. Cash has been intentional in developing leaders across the district. Students, teachers, administrators, and supervisors are all receiving training to advance as leaders. Teachers are provided opportunities to advance as teacher leaders, mentors, and instructional coaches. Leadership skills are taught from Pre-K-12. Students in elementary write goals and track their progress using Leadership Logs. Information is shared through student-led conferences with parents. At middle school, community service and citizenship are added, and at high school, digital career portfolios are created.
Building futures through in-person education
As the COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of education across the nation, Dr. Cash remained focused on serving students and families. The success of Bradley County is recognized across the state of Tennessee, especially with the full opening of schools for in person learning for 2020-21. Her testimony for the Tennessee General Assembly in 2021 was a catalyst for the value of students being in person to accelerate learning. The focus on school safety and learning followed an extensive plan for reopening while continuing with the district’s goals for academics and preparing students to be College and Career Ready. Building futures through working with legislators to develop educational policy As Dr. Cash continues to focus on advocating for public education, she has become actively involved in the legislative process through building relationships with local and state government officials. As
the legislative representative to the SE Tennessee region, she has weekly conversations with key legislators and stakeholders with the intention of being a voice for educators, while keeping students at the center of every decision. Her role in the legislative process proved valuable in the areas of literacy, the teacher discipline act, and promoting elected superintendents in Tennessee.
Building futures through positive outcomes
The results of Dr. Cash’s efforts are substantiated by higher ACT scores, improved graduation rates, increased attendance, and more students being career and college ready. For the first time in the district’s history, students will begin the year with one-to-one technology. Relationships have been nurtured with governing bodies and the community has come together for a united cause…building futures for our children.
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader!" –John Quincy Adams