Wishing good luck to Jason Sykes

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The Better Bartlett committee congratulates one of our members who is stepping down to give his full attention to his new position as director of the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center.

Jason Sykes joined our committee in January 2013 and was instrumental in the second referendum campaign for Bartlett City Schools. He has also helped guide our committee as we’ve transitioned from a singular focus on education to a broader dedication to community service.

Jason has spent the past decade working for Lifeblood, while also serving on a number of city boards and committees. These include the Bartlett Education Foundation, the Bartlett Chamber Foundation, Movies in the Park and several others. He was voted “2012 Man of the Year” by Bartlett Express Reader’s Choice for his impressive record of volunteer service and involvement.

Please join us in congratulating Jason Sykes and wishing him the best at BPACC.

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Celebrating the launch of Bartlett City Schools

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Saturday’s Bartlett City Schools Kickoff marked the district’s launch with music, dance, decoration and addresses from many elected leaders who were instrumental in launching our school system.

Here’s a great video recap of the event by Oliver Morrison at Chalkbeat Tennessee:

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Bartlett City Schools Kickoff

The Bartlett community is invited to attend the Bartlett City Schools Kickoff, organized by Bartlett United Methodist Church, Bartlett City Schools, the City of Bartlett, the Bartlett Education Foundation and the Better Bartlett committee.

Please join us on Saturday, August 2, from 10am to 12 noon, on the campus of Bartlett United Methodist Church near Bartlett High School.

Featured guests include Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald, Bartlett City Schools Superintendent David Stephens, Tennessee Rep. Ron Lollar, Doug Cupples, David Skelton, and the Bartlett PTA leaders.

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A tour of Bartlett with Mayor McDonald

Better Bartlett leaders Jaime Osborn and Phillip Walker review a map of the city with a Public Works employee

Better Bartlett leaders Jaime Osborn and Phillip Walker review a map of the city with a Public Works employee.

Late last month, we had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with Mayor Keith McDonald to discuss his vision for Bartlett and to consider how we may continue to be of service to our city.

After a lunch meeting in the conference room at City Hall, Mayor McDonald took us on the same driving tour offered to executives considering doing business in Bartlett. We circled the entire city and explored Bartlett’s diverse neighborhoods, industrial areas, retail locations and public parks.

Throughout the tour we were able to ask questions about the opportunities Bartlett has to grow and expand, and about the city’s philosophy for maintaining our public infrastructure and investing in strategic areas of interest, such as Bartlett Station.

After the tour, McDonald invited us into the Mayor’s office to share his goals and priorities for the coming years. Of course, McDonald remains particularly interested in the formation of the Bartlett City Schools district and would like to see a smooth transition as its first academic year begins this August. His other goals include building a splash park at the Bartlett Recreation Center, revitalizing and improving access to W. J. Freeman park and attracting new retail business to the city.

Finally, McDonald said Bartlett needs more young men and women to take an active interest in the city and to gain the experience needed to step into leadership roles now and in the future. He said he would like to see dozens of young leaders getting more involved in Bartlett.

The Better Bartlett committee continues to explore ways to serve. Much of our attention remains on rallying behind the new school system and encouraging residents to support the district. We are also following local political developments and trying to keep Bartlett residents informed and engaged in civic affairs. We thank Mayor McDonald for sharing his ideas with us, and we appreciate all of our friends and followers for continuing to join us in these efforts.

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The Better Bartlett Committee: a new beginning

Better Bartlett Committee members Mick Wright, Phillip Walker, Jaime Osborn, Derek Venckus, Mike Burns and Jason Sykes

Better Bartlett members Mick Wright, Phillip Walker, Jaime Osborn, Derek Venckus, Mike Burns and Jason Sykes

The Better Bartlett Committee was originally founded as Better Bartlett Schools in April 2011 in order to explore the issue of school consolidation and to assist the city government and the community in defending Bartlett from the merger’s harmful impact.

The committee led the referendum in favor of Bartlett municipal schools in August 2012, and again in July 2013.

In October 2013, the committee hosted a forum for the first Bartlett school board candidates. In March 2014, the committee transferred control of the “bartlettschools” username on social media networks to the new Bartlett City Schools district, coinciding with a change in its own name and focus.

Now as the Better Bartlett Committee, we continue to seek ways to serve the City of Bartlett and its residents.

Have an idea for how we can serve you? Leave a comment below, send us a message on Facebook or Twitter, or email info@betterbartlett.org.

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