MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) - Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Schools for Murfreesboro City Schools, died on Wednesday, the school system announced.
"We are heartbroken to announce that our friend, mentor and boss, Dr. Linda Gilbert, passed away earlier this afternoon," Murfreesboro City Schools posted on its Facebook page. "Dr. Gilbert has served Murfreesboro City Schools and the community with compassion and fervor for many years. She was a dedicated mother, grandmother and educator and will be truly missed."
Gilbert had served as the system's director since 2010. Under her leadership, the school system saw drastic improvements, going from School Improvement II status to a state-identified Exemplary School District. MCS has also implemented programs to improve student nutrition both in and out of school. The Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS) honored Dr. Linda Gilbert for her leadership as the 2019 Tennessee Superintendent of the Year.
"Linda Gilbert was an extraordinary school leader. She always had everyone in her vision, students and employees as well," said Butch Campbell, chair of the Murfreesboro School Board. "Her whole philosophy was teamwork. That's evident in what she's done and how all the employees have worked together. She will be greatly missed."
Throughout her career, Dr. Gilbert has worked tirelessly to create an environment for positive change for children including helping establish Read To Succeed, Saint Thomas Health's Ministry in Motion, Rutherford County's Prevention Coalition for Success and Rutherford County’s Books from Birth. In all, she has written and received more than $17 million in grants for schools and nonprofits.
More than 9,000 students attend 13 schools in the Murfreesboro City Schools system, which educates students inside the Murfreesboro city limits in grades grades Pre-K through sixth grade. Students in Murfreesboro attend county middle and high schools for grades 7-12.
“Dr. Gilbert spent her lifetime dedicated to serving children, and our community has lost a great advocate of public education. She was a valuable colleague, and I will miss her friendship," said Bill Spurlock, Director, Rutherford County Schools, said in a statement. "Our prayers are with her family and the city of Murfreesboro as they mourn this tragic loss.”