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Posted on: October 21, 2022

Murfreesboro City Schools Hall of Fame recognizes ten individuals

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The MCS Hall of Fame committee is honored to announce the inaugural inductees for the 2022-23 school year.  The inductees represent educators and support staff that made significant contributions to Murfreesboro City Schools (MCS), its students, and the Murfreesboro community.  


“This Hall of Fame will help preserve the history and impact of Murfreesboro City Schools,” says Dr. Trey Duke, Director of Schools. “I hear stories routinely about a favorite teacher, bus driver or support staff member. We want to honor these individuals who have not only impacted students but also our community.”


Inductees for the 2022-23 year represent outstanding individuals varying from educators who assisted with the desegregation of schools to administrators bringing new national ideas like the Paideia method to our city. Inductees for the inaugural year include:


Ruth Bowdoin – Teacher – Known for the development of the Classroom on Wheels, a program for at-risk preschoolers, Bowdoin inspired students and parents for early education. Bowdoin was honored for her insight by President Bill Clinton and was the first inductee to the Tennessee Teacher Hall of Fame. The Bowdoin Method inspired preschool programs across the nation.


Dr. Delores “Dee” Doyle – Principal – Doyle served in Murfreesboro City Schools from 1972 -2000 as a classroom teacher and later as a welcoming and inclusive principal at Reeves-Rogers Elementary. Doyle was recognized for her classroom contributions as the 1992 Tennessee Teacher of the Year. 


Baxter Hobgood – Superintendent – As superintendent, Hobgood sought progressive improvements in public education including the integration of schools.  He was known to be pro-active in communication among staff, students, and parents. Hobgood possessed a love of knowledge and a vision for education. Hobgood served his community in many roles including MTSU Alumni President early in his career and 40 years later served on the executive committee to develop Cannonsburgh. Before his passing, Hobgood published “Little Bits of ‘boro Lore”, a collection of reminiscent stories of Rutherford County.


Dr. John Hodge Jones – Superintendent – From teacher to Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education, Jones has been a strong advocate and leader in education. With over 30 years of service at Murfreesboro City Schools, Jones committed his career to the education of the youth of Murfreesboro. His accomplishments included the development of ESP for working parents and the opening of Cason Lane Academy as a Paideia school. Jones served as the Chair of the National Education Commission on Time and Learning, was chosen as Tennessee Superintendent of the Year, and served on numerous state and national committees for education.


Emma G. Rogers Roberts – Principal - The first African America educator named to the Tennessee Teachers Hall of Fame, Roberts served with distinction and provided leadership as principal of Bradley Academy from 1955-1972. Roberts was instrumental in establishing the school’s high standards of academic excellence and its tradition of serving the wider community.

Helen Margaret Salisbury – Supervisor of Instruction – Salisbury was known for her support of teachers and her desire for them to be not just good teachers but stellar individuals. Salisbury is a recipient of the Kathleen Wright Education Supervisors Award, Bethel College Distinguished Service Award and named an Outstanding Educator by the Academy of American Educators.


Mary Katherine Simpson – Cafeteria Manager – Simpson served as the cafeteria manager for Reeves-Rogers Elementary for over 30 years before retiring in 2001. Simpson had an uncommon devotion to every student and teacher and pure enthusiasm about feeding them each day. Her holiday feasts were made from scratch and fed nearly 1,000 students and families annually.


Bertha Snowden – Principal – As principal of Mitchell-Neilson, Snowden was admired by teachers, colleagues, students, and parents. A voice for all children, Snowden was one of the leading advocates for inclusion for students with special needs. Snowden was known for her leadership and inspiration in mentoring new teachers. Under her leadership, Mitchell-Neilson Primary was expanded to include a new gymnasium and classrooms.


Mary Scales – Teacher – Scales began her teaching career at Bradley during segregation. Her love of math, and her ability to inspire others, propelled Ms. Scales to additional platforms including being the first African American faculty member hired at MTSU, and later serving as a member of the Murfreesboro City Council. Scales is a member of the Tennessee Teacher’s Hall of Fame, was named Citizen of the Year by Bradley Academy Historical Society and received the NAACP President’s Freedom Award.


Mary Wade – School Board – As the first African American elected school board member in Murfreesboro, Wade made history with her impactful contributions to public education.  Wade was elected Board Chair for five consecutive years and used her talent to serve locally on the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce BEP Board, MTSU Access and Diversity Board, and served as a board member of the Tennessee School Board Association. 


A selection committee including retired educators, current MCS staff, and community members carefully chose the inaugural members of the MCS Hall of Fame. Other nominees that were submitted this year will be reconsidered for the upcoming year. The committee is comprised of Sandra Parks, Minerva Smith, Margie Jennings, Quinena Bell, Roseann Barton, David Scott, Dr. Max Moss, Jeanne Bragg, Maria Johnson, Dr. Trey Duke, and Lisa Trail.


To be eligible for nomination, an individual must have met the following criteria: Regularly employed with MCS for a minimum of 10 years. Retired for a minimum of five years. However, once nominated, an individual will remain under consideration for a period of three years. 


MCS has a rich history of serving Murfreesboro for over 125 years.  Through this time, schools have changed in name and size.  School reports from 1895 show two schools with 641 students, and twelve teachers. From that time, MCS has grown to become one of the top twenty-five school districts in student enrollment in Tennessee with 13 schools serving over 9,500 students.  


A celebration of the Hall of Fame Inductees will be held on November 16, beginning at 5 p.m. at Bradley Academy.  

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