December 2023 News

slight sel director December 15th, 2023

Director of Middle Schools and Administrative Appointments Announced in December 2023

CMCSS has announced the following administrator appointments.

Director of Middle Schools
slight sel director

Matthew Slight has been selected as the Director of Middle Schools. He has served as the Interim Director of Middle Schools since October. Previously, he served as the Director of Social and Emotional Learning for CMCSS, six years as the principal and six years as an assistant principal at West Creek High School, and he has served as an assistant principal at Northeast High School, criminal justice teacher at Kenwood High School, and an English teacher at Northwest high school, beginning his tenure with CMCSS in 2003. Before pursuing a career in public education, he was a patrol officer, field training officer, detective, and narcotics agent with the Clarksville Police Department from 1995-2003. He earned his M.A. in instructional leadership from Cumberland University and his B.A. in English from Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Ill.

West Creek Elementary School Principal

Michelle Rhodehamel has been selected as the principal of West Creek Elementary School. She has served as an assistant principal at West Creek Elementary since 2012. Rhodehamel began her career in public education in 2002 and has taught kindergarten and fifth grade at Northeast, Kenwood, and West Creek elementary schools. She was named both the Teacher of the Year and a Distinguished Classroom Teacher in 2011. Rhodehamel earned her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University and her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies K-8 Education from Austin Peay State University.

New Providence Middle School Assistant Principals

Michael Cumberledge, Beth Pounds, and David Shuman have been selected as assistant principals at New Providence Middle School, serving with the newly announced principal, Melanie Steinlage.

Michael Cumberledge has served as an assistant principal at Jo Byrns High School in Robertson County since 2020. Previously, he served for 11 years in CMCSS as a physical education teacher, Assistant Athletic Director, and Student Support Coordinator at Kenwood High School. Cumberledge has served in numerous school-based leadership roles and completed the Aspiring Leaders Program in Robertson County Schools. He earned his Ed.S. in Accountability and Instructional Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University, M.S. in Sports Management from California University of Pennsylvania, and B.S. in Physical Education and Health Education from West Virginia University.

Beth Pounds has served at New Providence Middle School since 1995. Currently, she serves as the RTI2 Data Coach and Jumpstart Coordinator. Pounds served for 26 years as a math and Algebra I teacher and has also served as a Site-Based Induction Specialist and on the school’s Leadership Team. She completed the CMCSS Aspiring Administrators Academy, Ayer’s Institute for Coaching, and has served as a state-level mentor teacher for TDOE since 2003. Pounds was named the New Providence Middle School Teacher of the Year in 2020, awarded the Green Apple Award in 1998, and selected as the CMCEA Distinguished Educator for New Providence in 2003, 2006, 2011, and 2021. She earned her M.S.Ed. in Educational Administration from Trevecca Nazarene University and B.S. in Elementary Education from Austin Peay State University.

David Shuman currently serves as a science teacher at Kirkwood Middle School. He began his career in education in 2008 and has taught at New Providence Middle School, Rossview Middle School, Aspen Valley Middle School in Colorado Springs, CO, and Carson Middle School in Fort Carson, CO. Shuman entered his career in public education after serving a 20-year career in the United States Army as a non-commissioned officer. He completed the CMCSS Aspiring Administrators Academy and the University of Northern Colorado’s Tointon Institute School and Teacher Leadership Academy. He earned his M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education and B.S. in Biology and Professional Education from Austin Peay State University.

Barkers Mill Elementary School Assistant Principal

Jaclyn Mefford has been selected as an assistant principal at Barkers Mill Elementary School. She has served at Barkers Mill Elementary since 2012. Currently, Mefford serves as a Math Academic Coach K-5 and Interventionist, and previously she served as a Multi-Classroom Leader and fourth and third-grade teacher. She has served in numerous school-based leadership roles, including CMCSS Teacher Communication Group Representative, TN Purple Star School Award Chairperson, and New Teacher Content Mentor. She earned her M.A.Ed. in Educational Leadership and B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with K-6 certification from Austin Peay State University.

These administrative appointments were announced on December 5, 2023. 

New Providence Middle School

Melanie Steinlage has been selected as the principal of New Providence Middle School. Currently, Steinlage is the principal of West Creek Elementary School, where she has served since 2021. She began her career with CMCSS in 2010 and has served her entire career in public education in Title I schools as a teacher, Academic Coach, assistant principal, and principal. With the support of her instructional leadership, her schools have earned numerous Reward School designations, a National Title I Distinguished Schools designation, and TVASS level 5 composite scores for growth. Steinlage has served in numerous school and district-level leadership roles in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and school improvement. She earned her M.S. in Educational Leadership K-12 from the University of Tennessee at Martin and her B.S. in Education from the University of South Florida. Steinlage has completed numerous national trainings on Kagan strategies and McREL Balanced Leadership.

Steinlage stated, “I look forward to joining the Mustang family! My goal as a principal is to utilize my experience, education, and leadership skills to promote a positive environment that nurtures character and elevates student achievement.”

Rossview Elementary School Assistant Principal

Ellen Scruggs has been selected as an assistant principal at Rossview Elementary School. She currently serves as an Academic Coach at Glenellen Elementary School and served as a Leadership Resident at Barkers Mill Elementary School for the 2022-2023 school year. Scruggs began her career with CMCSS in 2012 after a successful 21-year career in the private sector as a manager and business owner and operator. She has taught at Barksdale and Rossview elementary schools and has served in several school-level leadership roles, including Site-Based Induction Specialist. Scruggs was named Teacher of the Year in the 2020-2021 school year. She earned her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Austin Peay State University and B.A. from Carson-Newman College.

December 14th, 2023

Northeast High School Multi-Agency Disaster Relief Center

The Northeast High School Multi-Agency Disaster Relief Center is closing at 2 p.m. on Monday, December 18. Donations that remain on-site will be distributed to local agencies and the coordinated Clarksville-Montgomery County warehouse space.

The Red Cross Shelter is moving from Northeast High School to Park Lane Church of the Nazarene at 225 Cunningham Lane at 2 p.m. on Monday, December 18. You can access the free Red Cross Emergency app or call 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) and select the disaster option for more information about resources from the Red Cross.

FEMA has moved to the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library at 350 Pageant Ln #501. Please call 1-800-621-3362 or visit for more information.

World Central Kitchen and Macedonian Missionary Service will serve their last meals at Northeast High today. We appreciate both of these incredible partners for coming to Clarksville-Montgomery County to serve our community. For more information on World Central Kitchen, visit For more information on Macedonian Missionary Service, visit

Since Saturday, December 9, over 500 CMCSS employee volunteers and numerous partners have been able to serve thousands of community members in need with tens of thousands of meals, donations, and services. As we close operations at Northeast High, numerous community agencies will continue to need your support over the coming days, weeks, and months. Please visit the City of Clarksville or Montgomery County Government websites and click the “Tornado Information” banners for more information on how you can support.

Thank you, Clarksville-Montgomery County, for showing the world the true meanings of community, empathy, love, and service!

December 4th, 2023

Parents, Principals & Pastries #2

December 4th, 2023


CMCSS offers several non-traditional schools and programs of choice for students. These innovative programs are designed to provide families the opportunity to choose schools and programs that will help their children reach their potential. In January 2024, the open enrollment period will begin for schools and programs of choice for the 2024-25 school year. Please click here to learn more about CMCSS’ schools and programs of choice, upcoming interest meetings, and application information.

Schools of Choice: CMCSS K-12 Virtual, Spanish Immersion at Barksdale Elementary, Moore Magnet STEM Elementary, Early Technical College at TCAT, and Middle College at APSU

Programs of Choice: Academy of Business and Marketing (Clarksville High School), STEM Academy (Kenwood High School), Supply Chain Management Academy (Kirkwood High School), Academy of Plant and Animal Systems (Montgomery Central High School), Computer Information Technology Academy (Northeast High School), Health Science Academy (Northwest High School), Academy of Media Arts and Technology (Rossview High School), Academy of Law and Criminal Justice (West Creek High School), and Academy of Teaching and Learning (West Creek High School)

For open enrollment in traditional schools, due to elementary rezoning, the district will not be able to post available seats in the December-February timeline. Families will receive notification of open seats and an opportunity for open enrollment upon completion of the rezoning and analysis of capacities, tentatively around March 2024.

December 4th, 2023


Earlier this week, it started to feel like Jack Frost might be nipping at our noses! Winter is coming, and if you are new to Middle Tennessee, hold on tight for an adventurous season of ups and downs. From ice storms and snow to tornadoes and flooding, winter can come with many surprises, and we want to ensure all families know how to receive accurate information about school closings.

The Chief Operations Officer (COO) always errs on the side of caution to ensure the safety of students. To make the best recommendation, the COO looks at weather data and has transportation and operations staff checking the road conditions across Montgomery County. He also studies the radar, attends National Weather Service briefings, and calls forecasters. Sometimes the decision is easy. The more difficult decisions come when there is uncertainty about the timing or the significance of the event.

For school closing decisions, the CMCSS Communications Department will use ParentSquare to notify families. Depending on account settings, you may not always receive a phone call if your phone successfully receives text messages and push notifications via the ParentSquare app. The district will also share inclement weather closure updates on official CMCSS social media accounts,, and local media. Please ensure that you check your sources when viewing school closure information on social media. For official CMCSS social media, follow us @cmcssinfo on Facebook and Instagram.

2023-2024 Inclement Weather Make-Up Plan

The first five days missed by students will not be made up and will come from stockpiled student days.

The sixth day missed and subsequent days will be made up as available:

  • January 3, 2024 (staff development day)
  • February 7, 2024 (staff development day)
  • February 19, 2024 (Presidents Day)
  • Thirty minutes added to thirteen days not to infringe upon the state testing window to account for one make-up day

Days missed beyond this plan will be determined as circumstances require.