Murfreesboro City Schools Director Dr. Linda Gilbert who has shaped generations of children and educators in Murfreesboro has been named the recipient of the 2019 ATHENA Leadership Award.
Nominated by United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties, Gilbert was honored at the ATHENA Award ceremony, which celebrated the accomplishments of all 16 ATHENA nominees and seven Young Professional nominees from the Rutherford County community. The luncheon ceremony was held Friday, April 12 at Embassy Suites Murfreesboro.
The ATHENA Award recognizes an individual who excels in her profession, gives back to the community, and helps raise up other leaders, especially women.
Throughout her career, Gilbert has embodied the spirit of the ATHENA Award by creating positive change in the community.
"In any life or organization, each new experience, new responsibility, new proficiency we encounter creates change. And while change is inevitable, growth is not. In fact, positive change that moves us forward will only occur in an environment authentic enough to encourage change," Gilbert said.
Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to create an environment for positive change by helping establish Read To Succeed, Saint Thomas Health's Ministry in Motion, Prevention Coalition for Success Rutherford County and Rutherford County’s Books from Birth. In all, she has written and received more than $16 million in grants for schools and nonprofits.
Since she was appointed in 2010, MCS was named 2018 Exemplary ACCESS District for providing all students with high quality instruction and intervention. MCS has also implemented programs to improve student nutrition both in and out of school.
Gilbert was honored along with the other Athena nominees who were Dr. Yuan-ling Chao, American Association of University Women of Tennessee; Kristin Coile Demos, Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation Ambassadors; Judge Lynn England Alexander, Middle Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women; Cherillyn A. Maddox, Goco Center for Aesthetics; Betsy Maples Taylor, MTSU Jennings A. Jones College of Business; Elizabeth McPhee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Pi Nu Omega Chapter; Celeste Middleton, Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County; Dr. Mary T. Moss, Charity Circle of Murfreesboro; Judge Donna Scott Davenport, Junior League of Murfreesboro; Sharon Seibert, Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club; Nancy Skinner, Guaranty Trust Company; Dr. Barbara F. Turnage, MTSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women & June Anderson • Center for Women & Nontraditional Studies; Gina W. Urban, RUTHERFORD Cable, and Mary M. Wade, Murfreesboro Branch of the NAACP.
In addition to founding sponsor RUTHERFORD Cable, community sponsors Pinnacle Financial Partners and Deloitte.
Partner sponsors First Tennessee and Guaranty Home Mortgage Corporation and Sustaining Sponsor TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center. The 2019 ATHENA Awards are supported by sponsors State Farm, Ascend Federal Credit Union, First Tennessee, Farrar|Wright Attorneys and Advisors, Redstone Federal Credit Union and UPS as well as in-kind sponsors Wax Family Printing, Bell Jewelers, Stones River Total Beverages, Daffodilly Designs, Angel Pardue Photography and media sponsor VIP Murfreesboro.
RUTHERFORD Cable is the premiere leadership organization for women’s professional advancement. The 10-year-old organization of more than 250 members provides professional and personal development, as well as business growth through building long-term relationships, structured networking and referrals. The organization is a chapter of the 40-year-old Nashville Cable. Visit rutherfordcable.org to learn more.