$1.3 Million Grant Means Most Whiteville Elementary Teachers Must Reapply

Erica Williams

WHITEVILLE, Tenn- A $1 million improvement grant awarded to a low-performing school in Hardeman County could bring about some changes; but not everyone is ready.

The news of the School Improvement Grant came with mixed emotions from teachers and faculty at Whiteville Elementary School.

"Everyone was hurt and scared," said Adijas Woods, a first-year teacher.

The $1.3 million grant, awarded by the Tennessee Department of Education, is focused on school improvement resources.

"This grant will provide some financial resources that as a small rural county we wouldn't have been able to provide for them," said Warner Ross, Director of Schools for Hardeman County.

Some of the improvements will include the hiring of a math and reading interventionist and increased technology; but due to the changes, many teachers will have to reapply.

"I'm worried about if I'm going to be able to be here next year," said Woods.

"We love Whiteville School and we've been here a long time," said Patricia Crisp, a school counselor for more than 30 years. "It kind of feels like an era is ending."

It Is evident that the grant is affecting more than resources, but everyone agreed on one thing.

"The focus is on the students," said Ross.

"Whether I have my job today or next year, I know that I impacted my kids," said Woods.

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