It was another great year for the Mountain City Elementary Stampede as students, staff, and families walked laps to raise money for their school.
Prizes were awarded to all students who participated, and school-wide winners were announced.
School-Wide Winner: Miley Reynolds;
Top Five: Taylin Snyder, Easton Snyder, Landon Johnson, Mack White, and Karlie Jo Fletcher;
Pre-K/Head Start-Sienna Luna;
First Grade-Paisley Wilson and Trenton Greer;
Second Grade-Barry Sanders;
Third Grade-Clara Wilson;
Fourth Grade-Alex Wright;
Fifth Grade-Michael Watson, Ella Icenhour, and Jalyn Blevins, and
Sixth Grade-Izzy Thompson;
Poster Design Winners: Mrs. Crowder’s Kindergarten Class (Pre-K/Head Start-2nd) and Mrs. Osborne’s Third Grade Class (Grades 3-6);
$1.00 Ticket Donation: Madeline Davis and Julia Piatt.
A total of $20,493.05 was collected to purchase instructional supplies and materials for Pre-K/Head Start through sixth grade.
Mountain City Elementary would like to thank the students, staff, parents, volunteers, community, NECC, and the Aquarium of the Smokies for supporting this event
By Tamas Mondovics
Fifth-grade students in Johnson County took center stage and enjoyed the spotlight this month while celebrating the completion of CHOICES, a drug prevention program, in which students voluntarily participate in an essay contest with one winner from each elementary school.
The ceremony was held on Monday, November 18, at Heritage Hall, announcing all the winners who have received bicycles, while all participants received a completion certificate and a t-shirt donated by Angie Stout.
Essay winners included Ethan Robinson (Mountain City Elementary), Eva Matthews (Roan Creek Elementary), Cheyann Gary (Laurel Elementary), Ellie Averill (Shady Elementary) and Gavin Curd (Doe elementary).
Also on hand during the event were local officials Johnson County Sheriff Eddie Tester, Mayor Mike Taylor, along with Melissa Hollaway and Lisa Crowder.
“We would like to thank our sponsors who supplied the bicycles,” said Amanda McGlamery with Coordinated School Health, Johnson County Schools.
According to school officials, CHOICES is a pair of education classes that covers drugs, tobacco, and alcohol awareness and peer pressure as it relates to our youth.
To teach these classes, Coordinated School Health partnered with Johnson County Emergency Management Operations Officer Mike Sumner and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office deputy Mark Gladden.
By Beth Cox
Johnson County High School’s Culinary Arts Department was recently acknowledged as being one of the top eight culinary arts programs in the state of Tennessee.
The distinguished honor qualifies Chef Craig Cox and his culinary arts team to compete in the second annual Junior Chef competition in Nashville.
Cox was thrilled to hear that his program had been honorably recognized.
“I’m excited to compete in the culinary competition in January,” Cox said. “It’s a big accomplishment for us.” He added, “I’m truly happy that we made it, and hopefully, our team can win the whole competition.”
Cox will be taking three culinary arts students who have exemplified both talent and dedication in the chosen field.
Seniors Petie Pavusek and Andrew Taylor were selected for their culinary creativity and food preparation.
Junior Stacy Greer has enjoyed his culinary classes and would like to pursue food and restaurant management after high school. All three students can not wait to compete.
Pavusek said that he is honored to be a part of the elite three. “I give my thanks to Coach Cox for preparing me for the journey we will go on in January, along with my teammates, Stacy and Andrew.” Greer shared his excitement and gratitude to Cox, “Thanks to Coach Cox for this opportunity. I can’t wait to compete in Nashville.” Taylor followed up by reiterating the sentiments of Pavusek and Greer but added, “It will be a fun competition, especially when we win.”
The junior chef competition is a multi-faceted program that encompasses both cooking and articulation. The culinary arts team is required to use local ingredients to create a recipe that adheres to the School Nutrition Program standards and guidelines. The culinary teams must also be able to explain the importance of local purchasing, agriculture industry, and school nutrition for Tennessee. The state competition gives the culinary arts students a better level of understanding and exposure of employment opportunities and potential career paths for future endeavors in culinary arts.
The Junior Chef Program provides an opportunity for culinary arts students to have a better understanding of the importance of the farm to school program, which includes local foods and a strong agricultural presence in the community.
The January Competition is sponsored by The Tennessee Department of Education Office of School Nutrition. The students on the top three winning teams will be eligible for scholarships to Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky. The competition is scheduled for January 9-11, 2020.
By Tamas Mondovics
Members of the Johnson County FFA successfully competed in two contests at the Watauga District level held at Daniel Boone High School earlier this month.
According to JCHS Agriculture Teacher Tracy Dugger, Johnson County FFA placed first for the freshman Parliamentary Procedure event (Conduct of Chapter Meeting) and are looking forward to the next competition.
Team members include Bethany McFadden, Gracie Oxentine, Faith Dowell, Dalton Adams, Clayton Eckert, Destiny Lunceford, and Amy Gunter.
The upperclassmen Parliamentary Procedure team placed second.
Team members include Andrew Dugger, Brett Ward, Colton Long, Haeileigh Thompson, Omar Linares, Leeann Crosswhite, and Harlan Savory.
Each team moved forward and had the opportunity to compete in the Sub-Regional at West Greene High School this week.
By Tamas Mondovics
Sixth Grade ELA teacher, (English Language Arts), at Roan Creek Elementary School, Sherree Schmees was pleased to shed some light on the hard work of her students that wanted to have a small part in this year’s Thanksgiving festivities.
“I have the honor of working with some of the finest students in Johnson County,” Schmees said. “My students love to write. They write narratives, informational articles, and children’s stories for school assignments.”
It was this enthusiasm and passion for when writing that inspired Scjmees to want to do something for her students, and to reward their desire for loving to write.
“I challenged my students to write poems about Thanksgiving, but with a twist,” she said, “they were to write about what their families do during Thanksgiving or things in nature, for which they were thankful.”
The students in Schmees’ class discuss writing daily and to perhaps become becoming young authors.
I told them that I would try to get some of their poems published in the Tomahawk Newspaper.
“You should have heard how excited they were,” she said. “I have fifty-two students that work on all different levels.
These students gave their all to participate in this challenge.
Of course, we couldn’t publish all of them, but I hope your readers enjoy the couple samples as much as I do.”
Please enjoy a few samples below:
By Beth Cox
JCHS’s Criminal Justice teacher, Emily Harrison, gave her upper-level criminal justice students a small glimpse of life as a police officer earlier this month.
Harrison asked local school resource officers and deputies Mark Gladden and Michael Murphy to shed light on the scope of their jobs utilizing a hands-on workshop in class.
Harrison was excited that she and her students were able to understand a different perspective on criminal justice.
“My background is not law enforcement, but more on the legal side of things since I went to law school, so I’m learning right there with the students when it comes to police procedures,” Harrison said.
Gladden and Murphy’s years of experience helped students know all the details of police work.
The students enjoyed listening to the officers, but when Gladden told them they were going to observe an actual traffic stop and possible arrest, the class reached a new level of enthusiasm. Never fear, the officers did not take high school students and troll Johnson County for potential traffic violators; better yet, they used students to be both police officers and lawbreakers.
Officer Gladden and Murphy did a great job allowing the criminal justice students to participate in “hands-on” activities.
The SRO’s discussed how to approach a vehicle, what to look for at a stop, and showed the best practices for arresting someone. In the end, the students were able to take turns being on both sides of the law.
Harrison’s students not only had the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the life of a police officer but to have a more positive experience with the SROs. Harrison hoped the non-threatening environment helped build relationships with the students and the officers,” Unfortunately, a lot of students only interact with officers when something tragic has happened, so this class exercise was a great
way to learn but also build that bridge of communication.”
Harrison will be taking her upper-level criminal justice classes to the annual forensic competition this Friday at TCAT in Elizabethton. The students will be competing in several law enforcement competitions, so having Gladden and Murphy’s police insight will help Johnson County be stronger competitors.
The SRO’s serve three primary purposes; educator, mentor, and law enforcement, officer. Naturally, the SRO’s first responsibility is security and safety, but additionally, to establish a working relationship with school and students, assist students in conflict resolutions, and to be a positive role model.
By Meg Dickens
Bill Hagerty, who announced his campaign for Lamar Alexander’s soon to be vacated seat on the Tennessee Senate, met with the people of Mountain City on Thursday, November 21, to discuss his political views. Hagerty has been visiting with Tennesseans for about three weeks now supported by former Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee Ron Ramsey, who, along with President Donald Trump, has personally endorsed the candidate.
Mountain City Police Chief Denver Church, City Mayor Kevin Parsons, and County Mayor Mike Taylor were all in attendance during Hagerty’s visit at Farmers BBQ during an open forum.
Hagerty opened the floor by going around the room, asking attendees their names and occupations, before branching off into his personal history in business and politics.
As a fourth-generation Tennessean, Hagerty describes himself as a “very conservative” businessman with an outside perspective. He is a father of four with family ties to education, farming, and the military.
Hagerty started his business career on Wall Street at age 22. Later in life, he was forced to leave a position when his father fell ill. His firm welcomed him back, promoted him, and sent him to Tokyo, Japan, before getting involved with the White House during George Bush Sr.’s administration.
Haggerty says that he is the only businessman in the running with a group of doctors. He believes his business experience will be an asset.
“President Trump told me he needs somebody who has actually been on the execution end of some of our policies. He says I’m the most articulate member of the senior administration that can talk about the threat of China,” explained Hagerty. “He wants me to join in the US Senate to help build a bridge. My goal is to come back and make a difference. Tennessee is looking to send a Christian conservative with a strong track record of working with President Trump.”
Hagerty plans to do these types of meetings every month. Any questions on his campaign can be directed to Nick Castle at (423) 967-9200 or [email protected] The Tennessee Senate election will be on November 3, 2020. All candidates must be signed up by April 2, 2020.
By Beth Cox
On Friday, November 1, the lower courtroom at the Johnson County Courthouse was filled to capacity as family, friends, and loved ones gathered to witness the official adoption of brothers Laighthyn and Taryn to Jeff and Johnson County Trustee, Lisa Crowder.
Jeff and Lisa Crowder were never able to have children of their own, so after many years of prayers and encouragement, Lisa agreed to try adoption.
“God got a hold of me and told me that this was His will for our lives,” Lisa said.
The journey began in March of 2018 with a lot of paperwork and six weeks of classes. The couple used Freewill Baptist Family Ministries, who are a bridge between the state and the adoptive parents. After the classes and all other requirements were completed, the couple waited patiently.
It took a little while, but they finally got the anticipated call; two young brothers needed permanent placement.
Jeff and Lisa were very excited about meeting the boys. Lisa said the process started with weekend visits, but the Crowders knew right away that the boys were the perfect fit for the family.
Lisa and Jeff were allowed to take the young brothers on their first trip to the beach in October 2018. After the beach trip, they continued to foster the young boys until November 1 when they became an official family.
A few months into fostering, the couple talked to the boys about adoption. When the Crowders got the official adoption date, the soon to be family of four had to pick out middle names for the boys. Lisa states, “Taryn was initially given Jeff’s middle name, Charles, while Laighthyn was given Jeff’s first name, Jeffrey,” Lisa said. “Taryn came to me and told me he did not want to be Charles. He wanted to be Jeffrey, too, so fighting back the tears, Taryn was also given the name “Jeffrey.”
Jonathan Huff from Family Ministries knew right away the two young brothers became the “the missing piece” for the Crowder family. Huff states, “As an agency, we were excited to be a part of their special day.”
There are currently over 8000 children in the
foster care system in the State of Tennessee. Family Ministries is always in need of dedicated foster parents. If interested, please call 423-470-2122.
By Tamas Mondovics
“Everyone has a story to tell; some are funny and entertaining, some are serious, and some are lessons of history,” said Minnie Miller of Mountain City.
Miller was pleased to announce that local residents Barbara Seals and
Priscilla Herman Brown, will be the guest storytellers at the Johnson County Senior Center for an evening of a literary banquet.
The event is scheduled for Monday, November 25, 2019, at 11:30 a.m.
Event organizers explained that the duo’s story will be based on the “History of Danny Herman Trucking Company (DHT).”
“It is quite a story about how a family started with one truck and has
grown into a huge company with its corporate offices right here in Johnson County,” Miller said.
She added that the company, under the leadership of Danny and Barbara and more recently, Joe Herman and his daughter Priscilla has always shared its
success with our county.
“All of it was accomplished by the company’s philanthropic projects as well as the many jobs
it has provided,” she said.
Storytelling is on the last Monday of the month.
If you would like to share a story with the Center, contact Minnie Miller at 727-6993.
Miller says everyone has a story to tell; some are
funny and entertaining, some are serious, and some are lessons of history.
Spirits were high, and excitement was evident as people gathered to honor veterans at the Johnson County Senior Center on Friday, November 8, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at the 3rd Annual Veterans Day Recognition.
Senior Center Director Kathy Motsinger welcomed veterans, families, and guests, followed by Anna and Laura Jones leading everyone in the pledge to the American Flag. After everyone had been seated, Anna and Laura sang “America The Beautiful.” Terry Reece, a local member of VFW Post 6908, gave a Veterans Day tribute and Invocation.
A military branch recognized veterans during the Armed Forces Medley moderated by Dr. John D. Payne, President of Johnson County Senior Center Advisory Board. Lindsay DeBord Yoggerst honored the veterans in attendance by singing, “It is an Honor to Serve.”
The Blue Ridge Mountains Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter members Janet Rhea Payne, Nancy Wills, and Margaret Westphal gave certificates of Appreciation and American flag lapel pins to 56 veterans in attendance.
Joseph Lipford, a veteran of WWII, was the oldest veteran in attendance at the age of 98. He was given a quilt of red, white, and blue stripes with yellow stars that had been donated by
the Blue Ridge Mountains DAR Chapter and quilted by the
Senior Center Quilting Bees.
Two Purple Heart Recipients were in attendance recognized for their extraordinary service and sacrifice to our country were Joseph Lipford and Terry Reed. Those in attendance gave these two veterans a standing ovation in appreciation for their service.
In closing, Junior Maze sang “That Ragged Old Flag,” and Jackie Warden sang “God Bless the USA.” Don Payne prayed offered a prayer for the veterans and the blessing of the food.
Lunch provided by the Johnson County Senior Citizens Center followed with the veterans being the guests of honor.
Appreciation for making the Veterans Day Recognition possible was given to Blue Ridge Mountains DAR, Family Consume Education, Mountain City Funeral Home,
First Tennessee Human Resource Agency,
the Johnson County Senior Center Staff, Quilting
Bees, and volunteers.
Bruce asks: Why are we conditioned to be busy instead of being still and practicing self-care?
Nice question, Bruce. Since the age of television, things have certainly changed in this manner. Media, as it is now called, has taken over many aspects of our lives.
The programing and messages sent to us through our engagement with media has indoctrinated us, or better said, we have allowed media to indoctrinate us, and our belief systems. Much of this is related to appearances, such as looking certain ways and having certain things, thus creating stress on us regarding self-esteem, self-worth, money, and finances.
Many of us have decided collectively that we are acceptable, lovable, successful, and important by measuring ourselves against these now social norms, which is self-defeating at best.
Instead of this helping our society to grow and evolve in healthy ways, it has caused great anxiety, fear, stress, and depression in many people. It has also caused increased pressure and value based on performance, appearances, and the bottom-line.
It is unfortunate because very few of us feel a sense of well-being daily, or if you do, you must put a lot of effort into creating this for yourself. However, there is some good news. Since 2013 there has been a large trend in individuals, groups, and families living off the grid and being partially or completely sustainable.
It tells us that many are pushing against these social norms and willing to drastically change their lives so that they do not participate in the world in these ways.
Whether you want to seek a lifestyle of living off the grid or not, you can start right where you are. You can get rid of the television. Get off social media.
Create a 5 to 10-year plan for yourself to move in this direction. There are now many options and possibilities to step away from the social pressures and start creating more ease of being within.
Design your own life that supports self-acceptance, care, love, and peace.
You’ve got this!
Send your questions to [email protected]
By Holly Fletcher
Senior Media Strategist
The annual transition to and from daylight saving time (DST) has clinical implications that last longer than the days where clocks “fall back” or “spring forward.”
Over time, DST eliminates bright morning light that critically synchronizes biologic clocks, which can be associated with increased risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke, as well as other negative effects of partial sleep deprivation.
Average sleep duration shrinks by 15 to 20 minutes for adults during DST transitions, which may also increase the risk of fatal accidents. “People think the one-hour transition is no big deal, that they can get over this in a day, but what they don’t realize is their biological clock is out of sync,” said Beth Ann Malow, MD, Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development, and professor of Neurology and Pediatrics in the Sleep Disorders Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“It’s not one hour twice a year. It’s a misalignment of our biologic clocks for eight months of the year. When we talk about DST and the relationship to light, we are talking about profound impacts on the biological clock, which is a structure rooted in the brain. It impacts brain functions such as energy levels and alertness,” she said.
Malow and colleagues published a JAMA Neurology commentary today recapping large epidemiological studies that advocate for ending the practice of setting clocks forward or back.
Some people may have more flexible circadian rhythms and adjust quickly while others are more sensitive. Malow, an expert on autism and sleep, said that the transition impacts some children with autism for weeks or months.
While the sleep and circadian communities believe returning to standard time may be more biologically appropriate, gaining political buy-in for a nationwide change remains a challenge.
State legislation is “all over the map,” with some states considering a return to standard time and others in favor of permanent DST.
Tennessee has passed legislation supporting permanent DST, although such a change would require action from the U.S. Congress.
By Meg Dickens
Locals are aware of the Johnson County School System’s call notifications system for schedule changes, events, and general info. Parents, staff, and students rely on this information.
During the last few months, parents have complained that these notifications are unreliable. Since then, the school system has been investigating the cause. Its most recent step is notifying the public of a way to ensure they receive notifications.
The Johnson County School System has used SchoolMessenger for several years. Unfortunately, there have been some issues over the last few months as the software updated, causing email notifications not to be sent with voice calls.
Parents complained that the program would leave approximately five seconds of silence in their voicemail instead of the actual notification.
The Johnson County Schools Technology Department thought it was a Sprint provider issue because many who complained were Sprint customers.
Further research showed that system updates caused the problem. After speaking to the SchoolMessenger software team, the tech department found that downloading the new app would eliminate these issues.
The app works with voice calls and emails, while also keeping a record of 5 to 6 old notifications for reference. Those without the app will still receive normal voice calls at their current number, but they cannot receive automatic emails.
“We’ve been using SchoolMessenger for some time,” said Johnson County Schools Director of Technology Rob Sutherland. “The reason we recommend parents download and link the app to their email account is so they’ll automatically receive notifications. It is the most reliable way.”
The SchoolMessenger app is a free app from West’s Education Group, that is available on the Apple and Google Play stores. Sign up using the email address on file with your child’s school.
Those who do not have the app can still get voice call notifications as usual but cannot receive automatic email notifications.
For more information, contact the parent company West Corporation at (800) 920-3897 or check out the website at schoolmessenger.com.
Clay Williams is a second-grader in Mrs. Freeman’s class at Laurel Elementary School and is a leader in the classroom. Clay received this week’s recognition for showing great improvements with his school work this year. His favorite subject in school is math and physical education. When he grows up, Clay wants to be a police officer because he loves to help others. In his spare time, he enjoys to play outside and games on his tablet. He is the son of Buddy and Christie Williams. Congratulations Clay.
Johnson County Middle School student Savannah Crosswhite has been named the Good Neighbor
for November, 2019.
Sponsored by the Johnson County Chapter of
Delta Kappa Gamma
International, the Good Neighbor Award recognizes students in
the Middle School who demonstrate neighborliness through exemplary kindness and respect, as well as an awareness of when
others need help and a
willingness to offer whatever assistance is necessary.
Savannah’s teachers describe her as a young woman who always tries to do the right thing, who is honest, trustworthy and always a team player.
She jumps in to help whenever she sees someone in need, and is a friend to all. She truly exemplifies all the characteristics of a Good Neighbor.
Teresa Stansberry, Principal of JCMS, joined Sheila Cruse representing DKG,
in presenting letters of congratulations to Savannah.
Books are magical! They allow readers to learn something new, expand their minds, and boost ones imagination. Most people have a favorite book and the students at Mountain City Elementary School are no exception. Students in grades Pre-K/Head Start-sixth grade designed creative projects highlighting their favorite book and projects were displayed in a Reading Fair for families and visitors to enjoy. The goal of the Reading Fair was to instill a lifelong love of reading. A first, second, and third place project was chosen from each classroom. The 2019 Reading Fair winners are:
Pre-K/Head Start: Mrs. Bauguess: 1st Place-Mason Brown, 2nd Covie Bauguess and 3rd Katelyn Creekmore; Mrs. Baker: 1st Place Samuel Bumgardner, 2nd Violet Evans and 3rd Lauren Begley; Ms. Brooks 1st Place-Paityn Laws, 2nd Bryson Ward and 3rd Cash Adams;
Kindergarten: Mrs. Crowder: 1st Place-Danielle Dickens, 2nd Aiden Jennings and 3rd Kayden Main; Mrs. Davis: 1st Place-Easton Bauguess, 2nd Casson Smith and 3rd Braylee Hammons; Ms. Strahan: 1st Place-Kynzleigh Blevins, 2nd Ava Hodge and 3rd Kolton Hicks; Mrs. Wills: 1st Place- Rylin Hansen, 2nd Ryleigh Bishop and 3rd Samuel Brown;
First Grade: Mrs. Arnold: 1st Place-Levi Bishop and Lena Hammons, 2nd Evan Perkins and 3rd Paisley Wilson; Ms. Hyder: 1st Place-Charlee Wells, 2nd Macy Hampton and 3rd Joseph Gambill; Mrs. Wilson: 1st Place-Easton Snyder, 2nd Kaylee Mahala and 3rd Mason Roark;
Second Grade: Mrs. Cornett: 1st Place-Braylen Hansen, 2nd Allie Mullins and 3rd Aaliyah Barnett; Mrs. Dunn: 1st Place-McKenzie Jennings, 2nd Aliyah Farrow and 3rd Kylee Cannon; Mrs. Wilson: 1st Place-Lilly Berger, 2nd Nyiah Reece and 3rd Cameron Baker;
Third Grade: Mrs. Childers: 1st Place-Clara Wilson, 2nd Aubrey Jennings and 3rd Ivy Abernathy; Mrs. Howell: 1st Place-Addie Ward, 2nd Serena Dowell and 3rd Sebastian Johnson; Mrs. Osborne: 1st Place-River Burgess, 2nd Tanner Leonard and 3rd Avery Blevins;
Fourth Grade: Mrs. Greer: 1st Place-Makenzie Dickens, 2nd Haidyn Farrow and 3rd Aiden Hope; Mrs. Icenhour: 1st Place-Jonathan Garza, 2nd Ashtin McCoy and 3rd Madelynn Long; Mrs. Long: 1st Place-Zackary Lipford, 2nd Brock Jones and 3rd Eli Norris;
Fifth Grade: Mrs. Chambers: 1st Place-Eli Horne, 2nd Summer Wells and 3rd Breyonna Clark; Mrs. Finney: 1st Place-Kacelyn Dunn, 2nd Ella Icenhour and 3rd Rylee Henson; Mrs. Graham: 1st Place-Chloe Johnson, 2nd Emma Brown and 3rd Nate Price.
Sixth Grade: Mrs. Gentry: 1st Place-Kayden Blevins, 2nd Chris Wilson and 3rd Hunter Paisley; Mrs. Henson: 1st Place-Josie Grindstaff, 2nd Emma Jennings and 3rd Darren Chappell; Ms. Oakley: 1st Place-Hayden Parker, 2nd Ethan Smith and 3rd Katie Timbs and Andrew Long.
Thanks to the staff, students, and families for supporting this event. Reading can make a difference in the academic success of all children.