Safe and Accountable Schools Insitute Helping Educators Serve Students

Distinctive leadership in high profile positions characterizes the careers of three Tennessee Tech University College of Engineering graduates who will be honored at this year’s Engineering Week Awards Banquet on Thursday.

Along with the annual awards for two Engineers of Distinction, TTU’s College of Engineering will present its first Technologist of Distinction award, created to annually recognize the distinguished career of a TTU manufacturing and industrial technology department graduate.

Alice L. Cannella, plant superintendent for the City of Chattanooga’s wastewater treatment facility; and Randy G. Darcy, senior vice president and chief technical officer of General Mills, will be honored as the 2004 EnginCOOKEVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 22, 2002) -- More than2 50 educators from the region recently attended the Upper Cumberland Safe and Accountable Schools Institute at Tennessee Tech University, still studying and discussing how to respond to crisis situations more than a year after Sept. 11.

But this year's institute provided a balance of topics between student safety issues and learning issues, including literacy, improving test scores and vocational education.

Clay County Schools' Director Alan West, who chairs the Upper Cumberland Directors' Study Council, opened the meeting with comments about recent safety concerns, state educational funding issues, and new federal regulations brought about by the "No Child Left Behind" Act.

"If we see incidents like those recently in the Washington, D.C., area, we will have a whole new burden of safety on us," said West.

Attorney Charles Cagle, who represents about half of the state's school systems, covered pressing legal issues of interest to school leaders. He updated the audience on the state supreme court's decision on the state's funding formula issue, saying the court held that funding should be "adequate but not equal" across all school systems.

Cagle also commented on the "No Child Left Behind" Act, and emphasized the current level of uncertainty about the way regulations would impact schools. He said the 701-page act resulted in more than 1,200 pages of regulations. He also covered recent court cases involving the practices of school resource officers.

Other featured presenters included Joyce Hayes, the State Department of Education regional director, and Martha Wiley, the department's legal compliance and documentation consultant. Putnam County Schools' Director Michael Martin and District Attorney General Bill Gibson also presented a session on child abuse legislation.

Teachers, principals and supervisors, school directors, school board members and county officials attended the conference that also branched out to cover topics including school discipline, improving test scores through technology, and positive behavioral support.

Tennessee Tech's College of Education and School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Extended Education, in partnership with the Upper Cumberland Directors' Study Council and the Tennessee Department of Education's Upper Cumberland District Office, hosted the fifth annual conference.