Faculty / Staff // August 11, 2021

“Thank you for providing quality professional development opportunities for those of us ‘on the go’ after school hours.”

“I enjoyed the convenience of this session. Being able to join virtually will allow me to attend more sessions than if I needed to make the trip to campus.”

“Very well presented. Left me wanting more.”

“I can't wait to participate in another meeting!”

Reactions such as these have followed the initial sessions presented by Freed-Hardeman University’s Bobbie Solley Center for Excellence in Teaching. Launched in January 2021, BSCET offered online sessions April 13-June 7. Approximately 180 educators have participated, according to Sarah Hibbett, director of the center.

The participants, representing both public and private schools, work in 10 school districts. Presenters for the spring/summer sessions have come from each of Tennessee’s grand divisions as well as Vanderbilt University, University of Nevada and Freed-Hardeman University.

Topics have included race and education, being a trauma-sensitive educator, battling burnout, using Google Suite, asking effective questions as well as others.

Dr. Bobbie Solley, former director of International Education Development for Healing Hands and a retired professor from Middle Tennessee State University, established the Bobbie Solley Center for Excellence in Teaching at Freed-Hardeman University. 

Utilizing the mantra, “Reaching Students, Empowering Teachers, Transforming Instruction” (RET), the center’s mission is to develop teacher and school leaders committed to making a positive impact on student learning and fostering high student academic achievement for diverse student populations. A five-year plan has been developed to assist the center in reaching its goals.

In addition to Solley and Hibbett, five educators serve on the center’s board of directors: Kim Chalmers, former educator; Troy Kilzer, Chester County Schools Superintendent; 

Dr. Sharen Cypress, Dean of the FHU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; Dr. Clint Pulse, Director of Academics at Columbia Academy; and Dr. Amy Downey, chair of the FHU Department of Education. A 30-member advisory board has also been appointed.

Upcoming sessions and registration information may be found at