District Rebrand, Values, Portrait of a Grad

Weakley County Schools Unveils Rebrand, Core Values, and Portrait of a Graduate
Posted on 10/27/2023
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Weakley County Schools has announced a rebranding for the district, complete with a new logo design and core values, and more will be released soon.

This is the district’s first rebranded overhaul in many years. The new logo design was created to represent Weakley County’s rich agricultural heritage, achievement and growth of students through education, and the commitment to preparing students for success. Local graphic design artist Grant Harper was enlisted to help with the redesign.

Director of Schools Jeff Cupples said that the logo will serve as an emblem that unites the Weakley County Schools team.

“Each of our schools is unique. The new logo does not replace any of our schools’ existing logos. Instead, it serves as a united team insignia that includes all our schools and every person on our hardworking Weakley County Schools team,” Cupples clarified.

New Weakley County Schools logo is red white and blue with an outline of the county and the words Growing Our Future

The logo is rich in symbolism. In the shape of the county, the design embodies the appreciation felt for Weakley County as home. Three students of various ages, showcasing a graduate in cap and gown in the front, represent dedication to preparing students from Pre-Kindergarten to receipt of diploma and beyond.  The iconic Tennessee Tristar was incorporated into the image to highlight the district’s pride as a part of the state. Navy, red, and white reflect patriotism and the unity of the ten schools in the system.

With Weakley County Schools already serving as a resource hub for districts across Northwest Tennessee, Director Cupples believes that the time is right for rebranding.  

“Weakley County Schools is already known as a northwest region solutions center because we’re doing so many things right. We get calls every day from teachers, administrators, and leaders in other districts who want to know what we’re doing and how we get such good results in spite of the limitations that we face. We want to become leaders in the state for high quality education and setting up students to thrive after graduation. It’s the perfect time to launch a rebrand that helps us stand out,” he said.

Director Cupples has also introduced a comprehensive plan to bridge the gap between graduation and what follows high school for students. Titled Portrait of a Graduate, the concept represents the district’s vision of the skills, character traits, and social-emotional competencies that students need to succeed in college, career, and life. The idea is not to replace the focus on academic achievement, but rather to work in tandem as an investment to educate and best prepare students for life after graduation.  

“After 27 years working in education, I’ve seen a lot of changes in workforce trends. In the past few years, and especially since the pandemic, local employers have been struggling to hire dependable individuals with a work ethic. We want to create an education system to help create a workforce that meets those evolving challenges,” Cupples explained.

Since August, Director Cupples and his staff have surveyed students, faculty, elected officials, local leaders in business and industry, and members of the community to help identify characteristics that a graduate should possess to successfully enter the workforce – and more specifically a graduate who wants to work in Weakley County. Concentrated focus groups have been organized to discuss the needs of local employers. The data compiled will be used to build a Portrait of a Graduate that is customized for Weakley County employers and local post-secondary educational institutions.  

“The goal is to identify the most essential characteristics, hard skills, and soft skills that every student should possess by the time they graduate,” said Cupples. “What does it mean to be a graduate of Weakley County Schools? We know that simply having credit hours and a diploma are no longer enough to meet the demands of life as an adult. How can we help create the most effective students that are skilled, informed, and prepared to enter today’s local workforce? Through a lot of targeted research and data analysis, we’ll begin strategically planning in reverse,” he said. 

The district has Career Coaches who work alongside students to help them connect with career opportunities, customize areas of interest, and to plan for a successful future. A variety of Career and Technical Education [CTE] programs are available in the schools for students to explore, gauge their interests, and discover skill set strengths.  

The objective is to encourage and provide training for graduates to be the best that they can be according to Director Cupples.

“We have growing CTE programming, and we want to help students build a strategic plan for success. A successful Portrait of a Graduate includes everything from a graduate who is equipped and ready to go directly to work, or a four-year college, or even an advanced degree. We’re here to prepare students to be ready to follow their purpose, whatever they want that to be,” Cupples related.

At a recent planning session, school administrators and supervisors worked together to select the district’s core values.

Cupples continued, “The administrative team has worked together to determine 3 words that we believe are representative of the district’s core values: Purpose, Growth, and Connection. These values are the guiding principles that every administrator, teacher, staff member, and student can reference to evaluate whether they are on target or off track. It’s our guideline that’s rooted in the belief that every student can learn.”

Coming soon is an updated Weakley County Schools Mission Statement. After analyzing the data collected from surveys, an infographic featuring Portrait of a Graduate attributes will be released.  

Director Cupples knows it’s about encouraging students to explore every available opportunity.

“Working with local leaders to connect students to the interests that set them on the pathway to success is what we’re striving to achieve. We’re already ahead of the game because our teachers are the best you’ll ever find. They are agents of change and we’re growing our future. There is no bigger calling than that,”

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