• June 29, 2021

    Congratulations to a group of five TCSS leaders, also known as Team #RealTalk, for representing our school system this week at the 2021 Model Schools Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Their message focuses on the critical role of relationship building, in having meaningful, constructive conversations about race. The International Center for Leadership in Education, which hosts the Model Schools Conference, selected TCSS as a 2021 Innovative District, based on the work of Team #RealTalk. Only nine districts in the nation were selected for this honor!

    “Innovative Districts are courageously leading the charge on a system-wide level,” International Center for Leadership in Education Founder Dr. Bill Daggett said.

    “In a year full of turmoil that has included living through a pandemic, racial tension around the globe, economic shutdowns, and political disarray, it’s no longer an option to avoid the hard conversations,” the TCSS presentation team said in a description of their program, titled “#RealTalk: Conversations About Race Relations.”

    “The impact of those circumstances comes to our districts. That impact comes to our schools. How do we learn from this, so we can lead and move forward?”

    Over the 2020-2021 school year, the #RealTalk team led a year-long focus among TCSS’s school counselors and social workers, on having positive, candid conversations about race relations. The focus has involved developing safe and trusting relationships, the ability to acknowledge and respect perspectives other than your own, and how to initiate healthy conversations about race in your areas of influence. The team has demonstrated how to address sensitive race relations topics with grace. They have also focused on the importance of history in shaping perspectives of ourselves, others, and our communities.

    Team #RealTalk includes:

    Ty Blocker, TCSS Coordinator of Student Services

    Jackie Hudgins, TCSS Director of Accountability

    Greg Hurst, TCSS Director of Student Services

    Cheryl Wallace, TCSS Director of Assessment

    Suzette Wyatt, TCSS Attendance Officer

    Read more about the work of Team #RealTalk.