Linda Gilbert, who has led Murfreesboro City Schools to gains in student achievement, is Tennessee’s superintendent of the year for 2019.

Gilbert received the honor Sunday evening from the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents during its annual meeting in Gatlinburg.

She bested seven other regional finalists for the award, which last year went to Mike Winstead of Maryville City Schools. They are:

  • Brian Bell, Alcoa City
  • Steve Starnes,  Greeneville City
  • Neel Durbin, Dyersburg City
  • Dan Lawson, Tullahoma City
  • Linda Cash, Bradley County
  • Warner Ross II, Hardeman County
  • Tony Boles, Macon County

A former professor of education and leadership at Middle Tennessee State University, Gilbert has been at the helm of Murfreesboro City Schools since 2010. The Rutherford County district serves about 9,000 students in prekindergarten through sixth grade in 13 schools. About a third of its students are considered economically disadvantaged.

Under her leadership, the school system was designated a Tennessee exemplary district in 2017 for progress in student achievement and for closing learning gaps across student groups such as blacks and Hispanics, or those who are economically disadvantaged, English learners, or have disabilities.

“She always goes above and beyond in her work, and her dedication has not gone unnoticed,” said Dale Lynch, executive director of the superintendents group.

Gilbert will now represent Tennessee in the 2019 national competition sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators.