Why I Choose Bedford County Schools

Graciela Arroyo-Stewart

"Bedford County Schools believes diversity of staff reflects the population of our students and helps with understanding a growth mindset to produce academic and social success within our students."


Dr. Graciela Arroyo-Stewart, Harris Middle School







"Why did I choose Bedford County? Why not choose Bedford County… Bedford County is my home. Home is a happy place where you can live and learn. Home is a place where you are respected and loved. Education is my home and the Bedford County School System has provided me with a life purpose to instill a love for learning in our next generation. I have a chance to help others pursue their dreams and even change the world. Becoming an educator was an easy choice. Selecting the Bedford County School System was an obvious choice which has allowed me to touch many lives in my own community. Education is truly the foundation of a child’s success and I am honored that Bedford County gave me the opportunity to help our children reach their fullest potential. Knowing that I have made a difference in the lives of many is an incredibly wonderful and humbling feeling. Teaching is my mission and I am proud to call Bedford County my home."
Lee Ann Butts, Districtwide Instructional Coach
patti"At Cascade Elementary, our teachers and administrators truly care about students’ success. Our faculty is more like a family that loves and nurtures every child. We set high expectations for our students and work to achieve a love of learning. Cascade Elementary has wonderful community support and is a great place to teach."
Patti Clinton, Cascade Elementary
"I was born and raised in Bedford County.  As a student here, I had many great teachers who greatly influenced my decision to go into the educational field.  As an educator, I want to do the same to my students.  Although I could teach elsewhere, Bedford County feels like a part of my family. I am teaching children of former students and we share a connection I don’t feel I could get anywhere else."
Kristie Collier, Community Elementary

 Julie Hill“For me, choosing Bedford County Schools was never a question. I was a product of Bedford County Schools: Liberty School for kindergarten through 8th grade and then Shelbyville Central High School. I was equipped with the knowledge, tools, and life skills to further my education and become an educator. I still remember when I graduated being asked by a Shelbyville Times-Gazette reporter, “What are your plans for after graduation?” to which I answered that I would go to college and return to my community to be a teacher. I had many outstanding teachers going through school, and I only hope that I can be that for this upcoming generation of Bedford County students.”


Julie Hill, East Side Elementary

Chris Hobbs


“Leadership reflects performance, and performance reflects leadership! This is the philosophy for why I selected Bedford County Schools! The leadership, guidance and support of Dr. Tammy Garrett, Tim Harwell, Lori Sexton and Dr. Robert Ralston is the starting point of my why! Bedford County Schools is a state-designated, Level 5 district for the last school year! I say again, ‘Leadership reflects performance, and performance reflects leadership!’”


Chris Hobbs, Community High School


Beth Keele"Why did I choose Bedford County? I was born and raised in Bedford County. I knew when I was younger that I wanted to be a teacher in my hometown. I had such an amazing education here that I wanted to give back to the community when I got older. My teaching experience has been amazing since I first got hired in Bedford County in 2007. This is and will always be “my town!” I wouldn’t have it any other way."
Beth Keele, Thomas Magnet School
Amanda Lemmons"Initially, I chose Bedford because my husband is a lifetime resident, and my family has deep roots here. However, after twenty-six years, I keep choosing Bedford because it has become home. As a part of this school system, we encourage one another each day in the school buildings and beyond. I enjoy seeing other educators in the community; the camaraderie we share is such a blessing. Last year, my family faced some challenging times due to my husband’s health. The outpouring of love and support from my Bedford County School friends, students, and former students reminded me why this place is so special. Yes, I originally chose Bedford based on logistics, but I continue to choose Bedford for the people who invest their lives in students and each other."
Amanda Lemmons, Community High School
Amy"This is my tenth year teaching in Bedford County. I choose to teach in Bedford County for many reasons. I was born and raised in Bedford County. I want to see my community strive and be successful. Teaching is one way I can give back to my community. Each day I am given the opportunity to be a positive influence to make a child’s life better,brighter and more successful. I am proud to be a Bedford County teacher!"

Amy McGee, Eakin Elementary



Kristen Reese"Upon my college graduation, when exploring opportunities and options, one word kept coming to mind in my quest to find where I was supposed to be- family. Bedford County has always been home to me, and there was an overwhelming sense of peace and belonging I felt within the classrooms and hallways during my student teaching at Cascade Middle School and now teaching at Community High School - family. Each student is seen, valued, and loved daily, and educators are supported, encouraged, and appreciated. So, when the time came to choose, the decision was easy. I choose Bedford."
Kristen Reese, Community High School 
Jennifer Simons"Bedford County is where I was born, raised, and educated! Bedford County is where I live and where I plan to retire. What better way to give back to the county that I love than by becoming a teacher and educating our future, our kids! Our students are our future and I pride myself in supporting students and teachers so that they can all be successful in school and in life. Building relationships with students is key and is so important to me. Our students have to know we care so that they know they have someone who believes in them and supports them, always. It is my hope that students love school, feel safe in school, and have fun in school. I choose Bedford County because I believe in investing all that I have into the future of each and every child, not just the students at my school- East Side, but all students of Bedford County. I love the students, teachers, and staff at East Side. We are a family and we love our students enough to have high expectations for each student and believe that every student matters and has something to give back this big old world! These are the reasons that I call Bedford County and East Side school, home!"
Jennifer Simons, East Side Elementary
"I grew up in Bedford County and loved all my school experiences. When I got married, we moved to Murfreesboro and as we began our little family, I knew I wanted my children to have the same wonderful experiences in school as I did so we moved back to Bedford County. A wonderful opportunity opened for me to teach Health Science at Shelbyville Central and Cascade High School. I made a huge transition from the hospital world as a Registered Dietitian to now a Health Science teacher. I absolutely love my students and the wonderful people I get to work with each day. Bedford County is a great place to live and work. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else." 
Susan Smithson, MS, RD, LDN, Cascade High School 
Ali"Growing up in Murfreesboro, I always assumed that that is where I would end up teaching. However, I am beyond thankful that life has led me to Bedford County. I love the small community feel that I get here. Not only does our district provide many opportunities for continued growth as educators, but they are always willing to problem solve and support in any way possible. I feel valued and supported and I feel so lucky to be a part of this community that I’ve grown to love. Bedford has a special place in my heart!"
Ali Taylor, Learning Way Elementary
"I chose Bedford County because it’s home! Being away for almost 20 years has given me a new appreciation for my home town. I love the close family atmosphere at not only my school but the community as a whole. Being around my lifelong friends and family has been wonderful and the new friends I have made at BCLA has renewed my love of teaching. I’m over the moon excited to be back home."
Julie Toombs, Bedford County Learning Academy 
Wortham"I have the unique opportunity to teach at the school that I attended as a student. As a teacher at Community Middle School and now at Community Elementary, I have observed and experienced the same caring and supportive environment that I remember experiencing when I sat on the other side of the desk. 'Community' has always been an apt description of our schools, and I trust that will continue to be the case."
Keith Wortham, Community Elementary School
"I have been proud to call Harris Middle School my education home for the past 35 years. Even though the challenges we face in helping young people have changed over the years, this school's commitment to excellence hasn't wavered. I am also happy to say that I have many great friends who are Bedford County educators."
Jon Brock, Retired, Harris Middle School
mtc"I have had the unique opportunity to shape and educate students at Southside School, my former elementary school, for many years. I absolutely love my job! Our faculty works together to create a productive, positive, and rewarding atmosphere. Throughout my career, the administration and school board have been dedicated to providing the best for teachers and students. At the end of my teaching career, I will have no regrets of teaching in Bedford County!"
Mary Tim Cook, Retired, Southside Elementary