Longtime Metro schools leaders announce retirement

Friday, April 16, 2010 at 3:25am

Gregory Patterson, associate superintendent of elementary schools, and Sandra Tinnon, associate superintendent of middle schools, were allowed to remain in their central office leadership positions when Jesse Register took over in January 2009.

During a massive central office reorganization, Register said the two had been in their current positions less than a year and should be given the opportunity to work under the new structure.

It turns out a year under new leadership was enough for the pair. Metro Nashville Schools announced Thursday that the two longtime leaders will be retiring June 30.

“Sandy and Greg are beloved educators who have made their marks on thousands of students over their decades of service,” said Jesse Register, director of schools. “Over the years, their students have mastered the required curriculum while learning important life lessons as well. Both of these fine educators have inspired some of their students to become teachers, which is the ultimate compliment.”

Patterson is retiring after more than 30 years with the district. In 2003, his peers selected him to receive the National Distinguished Principal of the Year for the state of Tennessee. In 2004, he received the Administrator of the Year Award from the Metropolitan Nashville Principal Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award from TSU. Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education honored Patterson with the Distinguished Educator Award in 2008.

“I have had a glorious career with Metro Schools and it has been an honor and privilege to work with all of the students, teachers, parents, support staff, administrators and community,” said Patterson. “I have enjoyed every aspect of my career and I look forward to continuing my work in the field of education.”

Tinnon began her career with Metro Schools in 1977 as an elementary school teacher before finding her professional home in middle school education. She earned the Teacher of the Year honor from John Trotwood Moore Middle School in 1988 and has served as a middle school assistant principal, a middle school principal and an executive director of learning support services.

“As a product of the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, I have enjoyed investing myself in continuing the challenges of providing quality education for students in this District. The opportunity to serve my home community has indeed been my pleasure for the last 32 years,” said Tinnon.

“Throughout this year, I have contemplated retirement; however, it was very important to me to begin the middle school reform effort. Now that this initiative is underway, I can look forward to retirement and spending time with my family including the arrival of my new grandchild.”

“Sandy has focused her talents on serving students who are making the often difficult transition from childhood to adulthood, and on supporting their teachers,” said Register. “That can be a tough assignment and Sandy has handled it with unfailing grace and good humor.”

10 Comments on this post:

By: global_citizen on 4/16/10 at 6:23

Not to be disrespectful to the two retiring MNPS staff, but my sentiment in general is, this is a good start. Having worked in the school system, it was always apparent to me that there were too many high-level (and high salaried) administrators at the central office.

I know both Greg and Sandy and have nothing against either one, but both were in positions created simply to give them a job, to find a place for them in the MNPS system just because they were long time employees.

If Mr. Register is smart (and I believe he is) he will opt not to fill these vacancies and instead direct those freed up resources to other things that will have a larger impact on student learning.

By: artsmart on 4/16/10 at 7:47

I wish I had the same faith in Dr Register that you do global citizen. Unfortunately my experience with him is that he is just a different form of Pedro. By that I mean the kingdom is the first priority in every decision.

By: idgaf on 4/16/10 at 8:39

If Jesse doesn't show us any progress we have to get rid of the idea of going outside for the top job and promote from within. Someone that knows the problems and the players and don't have to learn them and waste time.

If they don't produce you get rid of them pronto.

By: wasaw on 4/16/10 at 2:19

Unfortunately, real progress will not begin until Ralph Thompson leaves.

By: global_citizen on 4/16/10 at 2:31

I agree with that, wasaw. If there was a campaign to start ridding MNPS of highly paid do-nothings, Ralph Thompson would be the indisputable number one target.

By: artsmart on 4/16/10 at 3:06

Gee I thought I was alone in my disdain for Ralph Thompson. I would love to be the one to hand him his pink slip. If Register was interested in fixing things Ralph would have been one of the first out the door. Until someone sends him out the door I will not believe there is change.

By: idgaf on 4/16/10 at 3:51

Who is this Thompson you are talking about?

What position does he hold?

By: artsmart on 4/17/10 at 8:05

He is supposedly in charge of safety and security for schools. His real job is promoting Ralph. No one is more impressed with Ralph than Ralph.

By: Teeb on 4/17/10 at 8:22

Thompson is an assistant superintendent and is over more than just safety and security. He's also responsible for the the social workers, discipline, attendance, truancy, and student health services.

By: richgoose on 4/18/10 at 2:32

There is Hume Fogg and MLK. Then there is the children made up mostly of those that pay no Federal Income Tax. The United States is the only country in the world where having no job equates at worst to being on a low budget vacation.