Thumbs up to the Wilson County Board of Education for approving a 12.5 percent pay raise for teachers. The increase will be the district’s top priority on its needs assessment list it plans to present to the Wilson County Commission. Sottek said he hopes the commission will research and give options on how to fund the increase. The Wilson County Board of Education does not have the ability to implement or raise taxes. “When you look at where teacher average pay is, we’re nearly [$4,000], almost $5,000 below the state average. To get us at or above the state average, I would like to make a recommendation to increase teacher pay by 12.5 percent,” board member Tom Sottek said. Sottek said he has spoken with teachers for the last six months about a potential pay increase.
Thumbs up to Cumberland University supporters who helped the university raise more than $680,000 toward the Cumberland Corner project. Cumberland University president Paul Stumb said he received dozens of messages and calls after the Lebanon City Council declined to donate $850,000 for the project last month.Many residents voiced concerns about the plans, mainly about the project’s benefit to the city, or the belief that taxpayer funds should not go toward the private institution and used on other ventures and issues. Since the meeting, the university has raised $685,100 of a $1.1 million goal to buy the 9 acres. Landowner Drew Boggs said he gave the university an extension on the land purchase following the council meeting.
Thumbs up to Hollywood Memorial Ride cyclists who peddled through Wilson County on Tuesday on their way to Washington D.C. The goal of the trek is not only to pay tribute to the 146 law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty each year on average, but also raise awareness of their sacrifice and raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The Hollywood Memorial Ride is a group of four Los Angeles police officers who bicycle more than 2,980 miles from Hollywood, California to the National Police Week Memorial Services in Washington, D.C. he officers stopped first at Springdale, then West elementary schools. They also rode through an area near Walter J. Baird Middle School and Coles Ferry Elementary School, where students lined the street to cheer for them.