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School Board earns first Five-Star Award

At a recent Utrust member appreciation gathering in Nashville, Johnson County Board of Education became the state’s first and only recipient of the Utrust Five Star Awards Program for Excellence in Employee Management.
This award recognizes school boards which have met five standards designated by the Utrust Board of Trustees as standards of excellence in employee management.
“A board that meets these standards is treating its employees fairly and with respect. It is helping employees have better morale and be more productive because they see evidence that they are appreciated,” said Dr. Dan Tollett, Utrust Administrator. “These boards are also saving money because of personnel practices they have implemented.”
Utrust published the standards last year and the Utrust trustees determined that only boards that earn the Five Star Award will be eligible for future dividends or grants from Utrust.
“People of Johnson County should be very proud of your superintendent, Morris Woodring, and your school board,” said David Jones, Utrust Board Chairman and a member of the Hancock Board of Education. “This is a significant award and it is a great honor for Johnson County to set the pace for the rest of our school boards and be the first school system in the state to qualify for the award.”
In accepting the award on behalf of Johnson County, Superintendent Morris Woodring said, “Johnson County has always strived to be a board of distinction. It’s the responsibility of the board to set an example for the entire school system and excellent personnel policies and practices benefit employees, students and the community.”
Members of the Johnson County Board of Education are Gerald Buckles, Chairman; Ann Parsons, Vice Chairman; Howard Carlton, Bill Gambill, Kevin Long and Josh Hamilton, student board member.
“We are impressed by the achievements of the Johnson County School Board and superintendent. It is our hope that other school boards across the state will follow their example and make becoming a Five Star Board their goal,” Tollett added. “Students deserve the best we can give them and this is one more way to become the best.”
Utrust is a statewide organization for local school boards which promotes excellence in employment practices and assists boards in controlling costs for unemployment compensation. It has saved school boards in Tennessee millions of dollars and has awarded more than $3 million to 52 school boards in Tennessee. Utrust developed and promotes the School Employee Appreciation Program in Tennessee and sponsors an annual writing competition about school employees who have made a difference in the lives of students. The Make a Difference writing competition offers 17 cash awards.