Friday, May 11, 2012

Challenge: Say something nice about CMS

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is marking employee appreciation month with a chance to post compliments about teachers and others who do the work it takes to educate 140,000 kids each year.

This forum tends to draw a lot of complaints.  That's understandable.  CMS is a big, political organization that spends lots of tax money and has its flaws.

But here's a challenge:  If you've commented on what's wrong with the district, take time to honor at least one employee who's worth a kind word. There are more than 18,000 people teaching classes,  driving buses,  serving meals,  keeping the schools clean  --  and yes, crunching data and manning administrative offices.  Surely you can find one who's doing good work for kids or providing good customer service for adults.

If you want to go straight to the CMS appreciation form, here it is.

If you have children in charters, private schools or other districts, I can't give you a link. But it's always nice to drop a thank-you note.  And if you're into tweeting, a reader just shared this Twitter campaign to #thankateacher.


Anonymous said...

Each day thousands of teachers dutifully report to their classrooms to give their best to students. They are scorned and maligned by politicians and the general public, yet remain dedicated to the profession in spite of continual regression in pay. They educate students who each years leave CMS with millions of dollars in scholarship money and acceptance letters to prestigious universities. KUDDOS to the teachers of CMS!

Ghoul said...

Wow, that first link is an eye opener to the problems at CMS. I quick search of the salary database shows most of the comments are by fellow employees. Its a pat my back and I'll pat yours world.

Then take a look at some of these job titles and you see why CMS is having money problems. Creative services? Really? And schools not have social workers in them? Doesn't the county already have something called DSS? Why is the schools system paying for that?

Anonymous said...

The teachers of CMS are talented and dedicated people who work hard to make a difference in the lives of their students. They do a job everyday that most politicians and those in the general public would run away from.

Thank you to the teachers of CMS who work so hard to make our city and our world a better place!

CharlotteIn2012 said...

My first choice would be Judy Kidd.

This wonderful and intelligent person is always looking out for the kids first.

She is head of the Classroom Teachers group here in Charlotte and they are the more conservative group.

I have seen first hand how she is tireless and works so much behind the scenes to get things working in CMS.

They would never put her in the Central Office as things would improve too much.

So as a Teacher she does all she can for all of us here in Mecklenburg County.

Anonymous said...

Shout out to all the great teachers @ East Meck! A special thank you to Ms. Semmler for making Science fun!

Jeff Wise said...

I'll compliment the principal at Ridge Road Middle School. I cannot begin to say enough about how professional she is, but also how much interest she takes in the personal well being of her staff.

My wife teaches at Ridge Road so you might think me biased. But I'll point out that in her 14 years of teaching my wife has worked with a half-dozen principals, and Ms. Tanner is the only one who has taken the time to get to know the families of her staff.

She cares about her students and her teachers and it shows.

Anonymous said...

CMS with all its challenges and low pay has great teachers. Myers Park, IB program has awesome teachers.Ron Thomas could be replaced.
In general the staff does a great job.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the public schools raise their standards. There's a reason our kids are falling behind kids in other countries. There's a reason teachers are leaving.

I would love to see the public schools raise the bar, both academically and morally. Enough of this wishy washy anything goes mentality.

Instead of using revisionist text books, use books that share the truth with the kids. They deserve the truth, not some revisionist, agenda filled information.

There is a reason more are flocking to privates and charters.

Stop tolerating bad behavior. Start expelling troublemakers.

Raise the standards for teachers.

But, of course none of this will happen. It's not politically correct to do so. Besides, the NEA may get mad.

Raise the standards. Let the NEA pout.

Anonymous said...

How about a shout out to the media specialists. Many no longer have assistants because of cuts but are expected to do as much as ever or more. We hear very little about them because they are in a League of their Own. They teach their student assistants library science and give classes but are not considered teachers when it comes time to recognize teachers. They are also the cruise director of a school because social events for everyone and everything are held in the libraries. They gladly keep the library open many days after school to help out the kids but do not get recognition for this. They probably do not get shown they are appreciated because they wear so many different hats that it would be difficult to pick one. So next time you are at your children's school make a detour by the media center to say thanks and I'm glad you are here for my kids.

Anonymous said...

I'll tag onto the comment from 8:42a.

I met the Media Specialist at Quail Hollow MS last Fall and had a fascinating 15-minute conversation with him about his long and varied career. Extraordinary!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fetty at David Cox Elementary made learning fun for my child. Everyday he would come home and talk about how great school was. I'm a single mother and he took my son and some other boys to dinner and a basketball game(which they had courtside seats). We have moved out of CMS but 6 years later, my son still talks about Mr. Fetty. I'm sure he is still making the same impact on kids daily.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Horn , Mrs Buddo , Mrs. Smitherman the whole staff at Beverly Woods elementary are incredible examples of great educators. My children have learned incredible amounts in a short period with them. The school has a great staff in the cafeteria and custodial staff as well. This is a model CMS school and we need to find a way to take care of the staff that makes this happen. Keith W. Hurley

Anonymous said...

A shout out to the staff and teachers at Waddell Language Academy. Ms.Olshausen has done a great job trying to do what is best for all at the school. I'll give special kudos to the teachers who push the kids to learn and give so much of their time. Thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ann, If you track the complaining on this blog its usually not about the teachers its about the downtown decisions. Eliminate the poor decisions downtown and you would not have a blog.

RitaManeata said...

I graduated from CMS. I had some amazing teachers at the 3 schools I attended. I feel that I had more amazing teachers than lackluster ones. I want to thank the teachers that show up despite budget cuts and low pay to inspire children.

BolynMcClung said...


My two grandsons are Hawk Ridge students. All the teachers there are great (50% National Cerified) but what really makes the best impressions is when the school has the annual Fun Run fund raiser. Those teachers are out there have fun with the kids. Actually they are out there acting goofy and and cheering the kids on. It's a side of education we don't often think about but is as important as anything else.

We don't think of a charter as public education, but it is. At Sugar Creek they get by the bus loads, kids who are two, three and four years behind. They work miracles.

Bolyn McClung

BolynMcClung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine Mast said...

Shout out to several teachers and other support staff at Blythe Elementary:

Ms. Emily McKeen
Ms. Christina Perry
Ms. Amanda Conde
Ms. Tracy Eakins
Ms. Stacy Sivick
Ms. Kimberly Burris
Ms. Terri Morris

You've taken such great care of my son... he'll take your love with him throughout his entire life. We can't thank you enough for what you've done for our family.

And to our bus driver Ms. Erma... your beautiful smile every day makes all the kids smile right back. Thanks for taking such great care of all of them.

And as another poster already said:


Anonymous said...

Bolyn-you know that Hawk Ridge gets less than 50% of the money raised for the Fun Run right?

Anonymous said...

Kudos to my son's 3 male elementary school classroom teachers who were so awesome two left CMS for Union County and one for another career. Thanks to the CMS resource officer who encouraged my son to join the track team after spendIng a day together in ISS.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Principal Bob Folk and teachers at AG Middle
Our children are challenged in the classroom to do their very best - we also appreciate the time, energy and enthusiasm you bring to the school each day -

Craig S. Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I would like to say a big Thanks to all the staff at Olde Providence Elementary School! Michelle Corpuz is a bright smiling face in the front office. Nurse Dixie Furr has an infectious sense of humor and is so kind to the children. There are too many teachers to mention, but I'd like to say a big Thank You to classroom teachers Donna Gossage, Crystal Lail and Maureen Nappi. You have all been so kind to my kids and taught them well! To Specials teachers Ms Furr and Mrs McCann, the school would never be the same without your tireless dedication to every single child . And really, from the Principal, teacher assistants, cafeteria staff and custodians, OP is a great place to be. What you do every day matters.

Anonymous said...

It is free, LOL!

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank the teacher who allowed us to watch the class pet hamster over the summer. He had at least two very long lives.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank every teacher from here to Tim Buck Two who never assigned a 7:00 PM diorama project "due tomorrow, mom".

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank my son's 3rd grade teacher who called me at home on a Saturday to emotionally prepare me for my dyslexic son's 1st quarter EOG scores. I would like to thank her for setting up an emergency meeting with other school staff and my husband and I to aggressively address my son's academic challenges. I would like to thank my son's 4th grade teaching team for performing miracles in getting my son's reading score up to the 92% by the end of the year. I would like to thank the principals at my son's two CMS elementary schools for helping me find the "right fit" teachers for my son every year. My son is in high school now and doing well with dreams, goals, friends and plans to attend college. It's been Mr. Toad's Wild Ride but my son will continue to succeed thanks to all the teachers and coaches who have helped him along the way.

BolynMcClung said...

To: Anon 11:42

I know that's true about the fees to the promoters of the Fun Run, but the kids get 100% of the fun. Their parents get to watch them run and best of all the teachers get to write on the back of the T-shirts.

The whole activity is the missing part of the Value-Added-formula-effective-teacher formula.

Bolyn McClung

Anonymous said...

Bolyn - your comment there about value add is spot on, well said!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Mrs. Teal, my daughter's Algebra II teacher at Butler High School. Mrs. Teal tutors before and after school and encourages her students and their parents to hang in there. She always says, it's a hard subject, but they will get it - and they do - thanks to all her hard work.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the wonderful unsung teachers who are never thought of for appreciation day. They make the school run and help students learn.

Thanks to the Media Specialists, the ESL teachers, the EC teachers, the Speech Pathologists, and all those I'm forgetting. So thanks to the _________________ (insert your name here) teachers who are the heart and soul of a child's life.

Remember: Teachers make ALL professions possible.

Anonymous said...


CMS is hosting a block party uptown from 6:30p.m. - 9:30p.m. on the first night of end of grade (EOG) testing. CMS is asking all teachers, staff and students to party like its 1999 during EOG's. This illustrates why teachers have such a hard time staying at CMS. How can CMS a respected institution when downright poor behavior is encouraged by executive leadership? This shows just how far out of touch with the reality of education CMS leadership has placed itself. Would it be too much for CMS to plan a party after end of grade testing? This might be a buzz kill, but there seems to be a lot of executives at CMS who have a buzz.

Anonymous said...

So will the teachers who participate in the CMS block party be team players or next on the CMS list to be disposed? Hmmm. Poor EOG's...maybe you should have been working on your lesson plan instead of partying uptown for the whole city to see. All teachers are great. CMS leadership hides behind the greatness of teachers.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:10 p.m.

FYI: CMS employees have been ordered to participate. We have been old that we would be severely frowned upon if we don't show up on Monday night to show our support to CMS. They even hinted that they would use your ticket to take attendance. In other words, we are being told to bend over and smile.

Anonymous said...

Block party? Uptown?

Is this a hoax?


Anonymous said...

I can't believe that there are people who take a chance to dig at CMS when this post clearly asked you to thank someone. Is it really that hard people? Can you not find one decent thing to say about the hard working educators in CMS without a backhanded ( or in some cases, a right out slap in the face) comment? I thank every educator who steps into the classroom, even when they know the public doesn't support them. Thank you for raising the next generation while the couch potatoes and side-seat politicos and wanna-be politicos throw insults at your work. Keep up the hard work and never forget, you are making the difference in the life of a child every minute of every day.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to all the teachers at
Mint Hill Middle School.
especially the ones that teach
in Special Education.
You have done remarkable work with litte resources.

Anonymous said...

CMS management is inept to schedule a party during exams. What a horrible example CMS sets for students. In 20 plus years in education I have never heard of a teacher encouraging partying during exam time. Teachers have worked very hard and now to have a party disrupt exams is a real shame. There needs to be a culture shift in CMS leadership to supporting teachers who educate for a living. To use a party for this shows the immature approach CMS takes toward respecting employees and their efforts. This is a disrespectful event if there ever was one. Give teachers a raise in the base budget and stop playing like children.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank all of the teachers of the former Davidson IB Middle School - such a hard working group of professionals.

Anonymous said...


I really would like to thank the CMS school resource officer who spent two days in a special ISS room and at a special lunch table with my "gifted" son. You inspired my son to run! He's at a good college now.

Anonymous said...


I really would like to thank the 3 males teachers my "gifted" son had in elementary school. They were fantastic.

While trying to stay positive, it is a bit unfortunate that all three teachers are long gone from CMS with no bones about their dissatisfaction with the system.

Something is terribly wrong with public education when good male teachers are leaving the profession at such a high rate.

I know it's politically incorrect, but boys need male teachers.

Anonymous said...


male TEACHERS. Not so much male administrators.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a statistician, but it does seem like a disproportionate number of male teachers win teaching awards at the national and local level. This is great but sometimes I wonder if it's an affirmative action kind of thing that doesn't necessarily help the situation.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Maggie at Park Road Montessori is a gift to children and CMS.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to think of something positive, but am drawing a blank.

No doubt a product of the CMS school system.

Anonymous said...

Despite all you hear about the disruptive and uncooperative students in CMS, there are a lot that still shine. Yet the BOE and the Charlotte Observer regularly put down these parents because they will not raise the "urban" kids.

Piedmont IB, Jay M. Robinson headed for Science Olympiad nationals

Myers Park wins title
Myers Park High School has won the high-school level state championship in the second annual N.C. Association for Scholastic Activities Scholastic Cup.
That competition ranks schools in a variety of academic competitions – ranging from math and science, to chess and choir – during the year. Schools accumulate points throughout the year, and Myers Park topped the state’s high schools with 420 points. Finishing second, with 410, was the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics.

Myers Park won state titles in chess and Odyssey of the Mind.
Ardrey Kell High finished third in the state, and two other area schools – Lincolnton High and Newton-Conover High – tied for 15th.

The state middle school champion is Smith Middle from Chapel Hill. Piedmont IB Middle and Jay M. Robinson Middle tied for third place.

Hats off to the teachers, parents and students who put in this extra time and effort for these learning opportunities.

Anonymous said...

Please remember that CMS BOE can at any time give meaningful teacher raises. BOE has chosen to prioritize the PR Dept, area superintendents, etc. over teacher pay. Somehow several years ago we did without the 5 area supt and with several million dollars less for the PR Dept.