Newly elected Wilson County School Board Zone 4 member Linda Armistead will be sworn in at the end of the month and is already cultivating ways to improve communication between elected officials and educators.
Armistead unseated longtime board member Ron Britt in the Aug. 7 election.
Armistead began teaching in the Wilson County School System at Mt. Juliet High School in 1973. Although she took a year to teach and create curriculum at Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, she returned to county schools until she retired in 2012.
“Being in the classroom, I understand the needs of the teachers, administrators and students,” she said, noting that Wilson County teachers are one of the reasons the school system has been successful. “We have a great community of dedicated teachers who are working through the mandated policies handed down by the state.”
Once seated, Armistead said one of her goals is to help educators have a voice and communicate with the legislators who represent them and vote on educational issues. “They need to let our legislators know what really goes on in the classroom,” she said.
One issue in particular is testing. Armistead is concerned that testing affects teacher evaluations, pay scales and morale. “We need to question new testing and what it is going to accomplish.”
Armistead is also supportive of new Schools Director Dr. Donna Wright in evaluating the newly implemented seven-period schedules for high schools. County high schools were on a 90-minute block schedule previously; however, under the administration of former Schools Director Dr. Tim Setterlund the choice was made to move to seven periods in order to cut costs of additional teachers. “I trust Dr. Wright’s judgment if she feels that is the need,” she said.
The school year started on Aug. 1, but already one issue has arisen with the new schedule. For more information on this, see the accompanying article.
“I am excited to be able to serve and work with the community,” Armistead said of her new venture as Zone 4 board member. Zone 4 represents County Commission Districts 4, 10, 23, 24 and 25.
Outside of the classroom, Armistead has been involved in organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Wilson County and Mt. Juliet Help Centers and Empower Me Day Camp. She is the president of Wilson Organization for Networking and Education (Wilson ONE). In the past, she served on both the Mt. Juliet Chamber and Lebanon Wilson Chamber of Commerce Education Committees and received “Educator of the Year” in 2003 from the Mt. Juliet Chamber. She is a 2005 graduate of Leadership Wilson.
Armistead is the wife of Wilson County Road Commission Superintendent Steve Armistead. They have been residents of Mt. Juliet since 1979 and have two children and six grandchildren.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.