TCS mission statement aims to nurture well-rounded students

At a November retreat, the Tullahoma City Schools Board of Education held a workshop on what the new vision and mission statement for the district would be. The new mission statement, which focuses on stoking students’ passion for learning and supporting their academic, emotional and social development was unanimously adopted at the Nov. 26 school board meeting.

With a new superintendent at the helm, the Tullahoma City Schools Board of Education has officially adopted a new vision and mission statement for the district.

At a November board retreat, members of the school board, along with the new Director of Schools John Carver, spent hours discussing where they wanted to take the students of Tullahoma in the future.

According to Carver, he and the board took stock of where the district currently is and where it needs to go for about four hours before refining that vision into a mission statement that encompasses the board’s wishes for Tullahoma students.

“Tullahoma City Schools (TCS) exist to provide challenging and innovative experiences that support each student’s academic, social and emotional development, preparing them to live with integrity and a sustained passion for learning,” says the new mission statement for the district.

The board adopted the new mission statement with a unanimous vote at its Monday, Nov. 26 meeting, with Carver showing enthusiasm for the new direction the district was going to take.

“This would be the foundation from which everything that we do going forward can build on,” Carver said.

Carver said the key to the mission statement was the idea about children’s passions – citing Nutrition Director Angela Cardwell’s journey as an example.

Carver shared a video interview he had with Cardwell in which she explained her passion for food service and serving her community as a teenager.

In the video, Cardwell explains she decided to forgo getting a doctorate in physical therapy in favor of following her passion for food service.

“I think the thing that’s important about that is she had a passion in high school for food service and for serving,” Carver said once the video concluded. “She went a different direction into college [but] ended up going back to what she was passionate about in the first place.”

The new mission statement “speaks to that” idea of leaning into students’ passions, he said.

“We need to identify the passion and the skills of every kid and get them situated so that they can chase that passion and also have a profession … and sustain the passion,” he said.

When students pursue and sustain their passions, they are more likely to be prepared to tackle the world, according to Carver.

Earlier this month, Carver said stoking the fire of each student’s individual interests will “empower them.”

“Planting in each child the desire to live with integrity, responsibility and sustaining passion for learning will empower our young people with the moral compass and grit to be a problem solver and a doer,” Carver said in an email to The News earlier this month.

Carver also lauded the district’s dedication to teaching to each child’s strengths, including their non-academic strengths.

“Few public school systems in Tennessee and beyond are bold enough to commit to supporting not only each child’s academic development, but also their social and emotional growth as well,” he said.

Erin McCullough may be reached at