Meagan Turnbow Named Next Coordinator of English as a Second Language for Rutherford County Schools

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Photo from RCS

By JAMES EVANS
Rutherford County Schools

When Meagan Turnbow — who currently serves as an assistant principal at Riverdale High School — was a student in college, she dreamed of teaching English overseas.

While she majored in English, she also pursued minors in international studies and TESOL, a common term in education, which stands for “teaching English to speakers of other languages.”

Her interest in teaching English in other countries was sparked while she was on a mission trip to Mexico in sixth grade. In total, Turnbow has visited 14 countries and in the process, developed a love for other cultures.

“I enjoy the differences in people,” Turnbow said.

But it was during her first year teaching she realized she didn’t have to travel the world to teach English to speakers of other languages. Since then, she has held several positions in education, but English learners have always been a focus, she said.

She has been named the next coordinator of English as a Second Language for Rutherford County Schools. She succeeds Nona Hall, the longtime ESL coordinator who has announced her retirement.

“Our ESL department is very strong,” Turnbow said. “I have been fortunate to work with them as an instructional coach and assistant principal. Mrs. Hall has built a solid program that has sustained even with the growth RCS has experienced. I look forward to working with our ESL central office department and teachers.”

Turnbow has an extensive background serving ESL students.

She previously taught high school English for five years in Bedford County before teaching ESL at both the high school and elementary school levels for five years.

She then joined Rutherford County Schools at Oakland Middle School in 2017 as a reading interventionist. Turnbow was then hired as an instructional coach at Rocky Fork Middle School, where she worked heavily with the English learner population. She was promoted to assistant principal at the school before transferring to Riverdale, where she has served the past three years.

“Meagan has a demonstrated work ethic and a unique set of professional experiences ranging from serving as an English Learner teacher across all grade bands to being a reading interventionist and then serving in school administration,” said Dr. Kelly Chastain, assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “The combination of those skills is exactly what we need as we address the challenges associated with our growing English Learner population.”

Chastian added: “We look forward to building on the work of Nona Hall and her team to ensure we are meeting the individual needs of all our students.”

Turnbow will finish out the school year fulfilling her duties at Riverdale before transitioning to her new role this summer.

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