By Eddie West
Teachers returning back to school from summer break were greeted with news of a proposed 12 percent pay raise.
Director of Schools Barry Smith made the announcement as teachers gathered for their annual in-service training at Smith County High School, starting off the 2023-2024 school year for teachers.
The announcement was met with cheers and applause from teachers.
News of the planned pay increase has generated enthusiasm among teachers to begin the school year.
“Like everybody else, I’m excited. We didn’t have a clue. It’s very nice. We weren’t expecting it,” commented Defeated Elementary School first grade teacher Kelley Eden, who is beginning her 34th year of teaching all within the local school system.
“I have been blessed,” commented the veteran teacher, who has taught at Defeated Elementary, where she was once a student, since being hired.
Meanwhile, new Smith County Middle School Principal LeShae Johnson, said it was a positive note to begin the 2023-2024 school.
This year, Johnson is transitioning from her former position as principal at Carthage Elementary School to the middle school.
“It was a big surprise,” the middle school principal remarked.
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