Doe students get into the holiday spirit

In preparation for, and to launch this year’s holiday
season, students and teachers at Doe Elementary School have worked hard to put their artistic skills to the test.
Of course, the projects related to Thanksgiving and the rest of the year’s festivities also provided an opportunity to have a whole lot of fun.

Mountain City Elementary Recognizes 2019 “Stampede” Winners


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;
Kindergarten-Weston Payne;
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

Lily Savery is Laurel Elementary School’s Student of the Week

Lily Savery is a first grade student in Mrs.
Freeman’s classroom at Laurel Elementary School. Lily is said to known as a young
students who shows amazing leadership skills at school. She is an active listener with a vivid imagination. Lily is the daughter of Trish Phipps and Clay Savery. Her sister is Emma Savery. When Lily grows up she wants to be a veterinarian. She has a strong love for chickens and other animals. Lily’s favorite subject is Math. She enjoys drawing in her free time.

Local students recognized in drug prevention effort

Choices For Life participants, local law enforcement and emergency management personnel, Mountain City and Johnson County Officials take center stage while celebrating Choices, a drug prevention program. The ceremony was held Monday, November 18 at Heritage Hall. Submitted photos

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.

JCHS culinary arts to compete in Nashville

JCHS culinary arts students Andrew Taylor, Stacy Greer, and Petie Pavusek are ready to compete in the Junior Chef competition in Nashville.

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer
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.

Doe Elementary welcomes new SRO

Pre-K students at Doe Elementary School smile to the camera while welcoming their new School Resource Officer (SRO) Rob Norris. According to school officials, SROs are duly sworn and authorized law enforcement officers assigned to a school setting. By law, SROs must receive 40 hours of specialized training during their first year of duty and an additional 16 hours annually. These trained officers are members of the Sheriff’s Department. Photo Submitted

Thanksgiving poetry at Roan Creek Elementary

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:

JCHS criminal justice classes get hands-on experience

Emily Harrison’s criminal justice class at JCHS with Officers Gladden and Murphy. Harrison had the officers demonstrate best practices for traffic stops with her students on November 8 at JCHS. Photos by Beth Cox

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer

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.

Jo. Co. Schools suggests app notifications

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

Clay Williams is Laurel Elementary School’s Student of the week

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 named Good Neighbor for November

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.

Reading Celebration at Mountain City Elementary

A large group of Mountain City Elementary School students smile at the camera after successfully accomplishing a project that highlighted each of their favorite books. The project was designed to promote and instill in the students a lifelong love for reading. Photo submitted

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.

Laurel Elementary honors local veterans


Laurel Elementary School was pleased to host the second annual ‘Breakfast with a Veteran’ program as a way of saying “thank you” to our local veterans. The event began at 7:30 a.m. on
Friday, November 8, 2019, with breakfast for all students, staff, and 41 special guests.
At 8 a.m., the program began with the presentation of the colors by the Johnson County Honor Guard. As students gently waved flags
in the background, Megan McEwen presented the
National Anthem, and then Rayley Matheson led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following the opening of the program, the students enjoyed a presentation on the history of the flag and flag etiquette given by Richard Dionne, Johnson County Honor Guard.
Afterward, students and guests listened as Junior Maze presented “The Ragged Old Flag” for the group.
Students then gave cards they had made and a sweet note of appreciation to all of the veterans.
After presenting the gifts, students lined up to form a Path of Honor and applauded the veterans as they walked down the path shaking
hands, high fiving, and talking with the students. Students were then excited to have their picture made with various veterans from their family and the Laurel community.
It was an honor and privilege for the students at Laurel Elementary School to learn more about the sacrifice and service of our local veterans, as well as the history and treatment of our great country’s flag.

First annual fashion show comes to Laurel

By Meg Dickens

Laurel Elementary School is hosting its first-ever fashion show on Friday, November 22. Children can sign up in one of three available categories: Sweet and Sassy casual wear, Glitz and Glam formal wear, or Princess and Pirates Disney characters. Each category has themed decorations.

Organizer Donna Ward thought of the idea after her granddaughter Hanna Hartstein participated in the Love Yourself children’s pageant to raise money for breast cancer research.

Ward gushed over how cute the children were and how much fun they were having. Ward also noted that the updated gym/cafeteria has the perfect setup for a show.

Ward told The Tomahawk, “We want people to come out and support our kids. Let’s let them feel beautiful and special for a day.”

There is a $10 registration fee. This covers optional makeup, runway lessons, light refreshments, and professional photos taken by

photographer Jenny Matthews.

These photos will be on Laurel Elementary’s website at Claudette Satchell, recently Laurel’s principal for a day, reached out to organizers to sponsor two children in this show who may have trouble paying the fee.

Any children interested in this pageant must sign up by November 15.
Contact organizer Donna Ward with any questions at 302-875-6140.

Career Day brings community and students together

Johnson County High School seniors, Taylor Cox, Taylor Parsons, Bella Gibson, Adam Manuel and Sydney Souder enjoy learning about the career possibilities after high school Thursday at JCHS during Career Day. Photos by Beth Cox

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer
JCHS students were able to get a glimpse of possible future endeavors and careers last Thursday, as many local vendors gathered on the Atwood Court to showcase their businesses and organizations for Career Day.
Career Day is a collaboration by both the JCHS Counseling Department and GEAR UP Johnson County. The event gives students a foundation for employment opportunities within the region.
According to school counselor and one of the coordinators for Career Day, Priscilla Davis, “the students are exposed to a variety of opportunities, some of which they have never considered before, to begin preparing for life after high school.”
Davis feels that by giving the students a chance to observe and prepare for the future with events such as Career Day, they can create a plan of success after receiving their diplomas.
Adam Manuel felt a sense of direction after experiencing Career Day, and said, “I got to talk to many people in a variety of occupations today. I was able to speak with them and figure out an idea of what I want and what I don’t want to do with my life.”
More than 30 vendors from East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Western North Carolina were available Thursday to not only talk with the students, but many had interactive activities set up to give a clear understanding of the business or organizations.
Brad Reece, with Johnson County Bank, enjoyed visiting with the students and listening to their thoughts about their careers and their future.
“I was impressed with how many of the students already had a sense of direction toward the career path they intended to take,” Reece said. “It was evident they had placed serious thought into what they desired to do. It shows the positive effect the teachers have on many students.”
The success of Career Day is an excellent partnership between School Counselors, GEAR UP, and high school teachers.
“The teachers decided how long their classes would be able to participate in the event with many giving the students 30-40 minutes,” Davis said.
After the career fair, Tina Reece, Health Science teacher for JCHS stated the Career Fair generated many questions from students upon returning to the classroom.
“We not only discussed salaries, but also benefits like insurance and retirement, but we also compared that of working with some of the vendors as being self-employed, it was good interaction and thought-provoking for the students about their future.”

Mountain City Elementary First Nine Weeks Honor Roll

Superior Honor Roll
(All A’s):Kindergarten: Conner Bennett, Olivia Butler, Paris Davis, Danielle Dickens, Corbin Hood, Robert Rivera, Zoe Lipford, Kayden Main, Lyric McGinnas, Anthony Morefield, Westin Payne, Aidan Jennings, Easton Bauguess, Eric Berger, Collin Dugger, Braylee Hammons, Khloe Hewett, Cooper Ingle, Genesis Espinoza, Elias Norman, Aaron Shearin, Ayden Simmons, Casson Smith, Kynzleigh Blevins, Mia Crews, A. J. Freeman, Tray Hensley, Ava Hodge, Jordyn Snyder, Jo Jo Aldridge, Ryleigh Bishop, Corbin Dugger, Jayden Greer, Rylin Hansen, Knox Hayworth, Makynleigh Henson, Jacob Long, Levi Lowe, Taryn Percy, Danica Sutherland and Eduardo Vargas;

First Grade: Levi Bishop, Jacob Brown, Jasper Eckert, Karsen Edes-King, Trystan Eller, Daniella Eppard, Matt Grieve, Braxton Jones, Evan Perkins, Lucas Reece, Faith Roberts, Millie Thomas, Lucas Cretsinger, Paislee Evans, Kaylee Mahala, Judah Norman and Easton Snyder;

Second Grade: Emily Butler, Braylin Hansen, Mason Luckett, Kingston Mills, Allie Mullins, Barrett Parker, Hannah Sharp, Elijah Dunn, Aliyah Farrow, Mason Gregg, Kylee Cannon, McKenzie Jennings, Emmett Johnson, Montana Stewart, Lilly Berger and Elizabeth Mann;

Third Grade: Corbin Gribble, Aubrey Jennings, Rylan Jones, Danny Lipford, Jacob Prater, Clara Wilson, Michelle Chambers, Peyton Edes-King, Macie Farrow, Koen Jones, Addie Ward, Nicole Eppard, Lauren Henley, Kearstan Jennings, Camden Johnson, Tanner Leonard, Savannah Mains and Zach Roark;

Fourth Grade: Haidyn Farrow, Jayleigh Kope, Maddison Price, Bobby Sexton, Jonathan Garza, Liyah Hillman, Gavin Mahala, Sawyer Marshall, Jillian Perkins, Isaiah Eller, Zack Lipford and Zoey Pope;

Fifth Grade: Kassidy Biestek, Jada Furches, Eli Horne, Addy Snyder, Carter Atwood, Kacelyn Dunn, Rylee Henson, Ella Icenhour, Jill Jensen, Alexis Juarez, Braxton Bragg, Emmie Lamarr, Kyle Maple and Aleela Reece;

Sixth Grade: Constance Blankenship, Kaden Blevins, Isabella Ferguson, Carson Jennings, Isaac Lewis, Lexi Mullins, Emily Orr, Dylan Warren, Julia Crews, Emma Dugger, Josie Grindstaff, Emma Jennings, Harris Perkins, Nate Sutherland, Lyric Fritts, Gracie Hammett and Katie Timbs.

(All A’s/B’s or all B’s)
Kindergarten: Corey Kimble and Henry Ramirez;

First Grade: Oisin Fitzpatrick, Nola Furches, Lena Hammons, Madden Reynolds, Kacy Cook, Landen Johnson, Lorelei Lowe, Zackary McKinnis, Mason Roark, Casen Lewis, Zane Spicer, Mason Tolliver and Eva Walters;

Second Grade: Madison Arnold, Addison Joyce, Shelby Lipford, Sheylin South, Kayla Bumgardner, Marley Jenkins, Daniel Plank, Rylynn Snyder, Ethan Wilson, C. J. Jones, Coleman Rider, Barry Sanders, Konner Self, Gracey South, Karoline Thompson and Savanna Younce;

Third Grade: Ivy Abernathy, Jayden Anderson, Joseph Dowell, Jazmine Ellison, Dahlia Hammons, Nevaeh Lewis, McKynlee Smith, Andrew South, Reese Wells, Lindsey Bryan, Reece Bulliner, Henry Cross, Jenesis Eckert, Eli Hammons, Sebastian Johnson, Katey Marshall, Jeremiah McEwen, Scotty Orndorff, Bryce Osborne, Avery Blevins, River Burgess, Madeline Davis, Kelsey Forrester, Alicia Littlewhirwind and Evan Stamper;

Fourth Grade: Lulu Davis, Makenzie Dickens, Clayton Furches, Matthew Greer, Jillian Hatley, Aiden Hope, Joey Jensen, Jaylinn Johnson, Laighthyn Percy, Ezzy Walker, Connor Wallace, Madelynn Wegner, Tristany Lawler, Mason Lefevre, Sophia Lin, Madelyn Long, Emma Miller, Lyric Mosely, Autumn Roark, Alex Wright, Jacy Cook, Carson Dorman, Lucas Dunn, Hunter McElyea, Arraya Mounts, Eli Norris, Emilynn Sedgwick, Abby Sluder and Chea Vanover;

Fifth Grade: Aaron Campbell, Breyonna Clark, Karlie Jo Fletcher, Kaden Jones, Graham Long, Trinity Poe, Karleigh Sutherland, Eli Tester, Summer Wells, Jackson Bauguess, Tamra Brooks, Jacob Frauenthal, Lanaya Joyce, Leah Mason, Julia Piatt, Dylan Reece, Michael Watson, Jalyn Blevins, Emma Brown, Gracie Butler, Savannah Hamm, Chloe Johnson, C. J. Lipford, Maelie Luckett, Nate Price, Mason Spicer and Brayden Taylor;

Sixth Grade: Jayden Bishop, Brooklyn Hicks, Emily Houser, Clayton Lewis, Jacquelin Lunceford, Hunter Paisley, Hailey Shepherd, Kimberly Bonilla, Reagan Greene, Jayden Kimble, Krystal Kite,
Cameron Lewis, Hailey Lewis, Landin Lipford, Josiah McEwen, Eli Stamper, Hannah Stanley, Gavan Conder,
Addison Norman, Josh Potter, Ethan Smith, Izzy Thompson, Paola Vargas, Chris Wilson, Briley Vaught and Keegan Wright.

Life in the fast lane good for Simcox

Dylan Simcox, right, working on it at home. He’s always looking for ways to make his ride better.  Submitted photo.

By Tim Chambers

Johnson County has been blessed to have several good athletes over the past two seasons in football, basketball, and baseball, but now they can add drag racing to the mix. Dylan Simcox, a senior at Johnson County High School, is finding success in the sport after giving up basketball to pursue his dream.
Simcox wore the tab as being an excellent shooter from beyond the three-point arc, but he’s also learning how to score at the racing level.
The honor student ran his first race at age 15 at the historic Wilkesboro Dragway in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. He touched on how he got started and what his goals were for the future.
“I have always loved going to the track and watching my papaw race,” said Simcox. He’s been doing it for 40-45 years, and he’s had a lot of success. I am what you could say a “Papaw’s Boy” and he’s the one who bought me my first race car. He’s definitely the one who got me started in this.”
Sonny Gambill, Simcox’s grandfather, has been involved in racing for over four decades. He has raced the same car, a 69 Nova, for more than three decades. So, it was only fitting that he would be able to purchase Dylan’s first race car.
“I actually race a truck,” said Simcox. “My grandfather and I were looking for something that I could get started in, and we found a 1986 Chevy S10 truck. It was the perfect thing for me to get started with. There was a guy in Kingsport that built it, but nothing in it is original, and it is not stocked. I spend a lot of my time working on it.”
Simcox said that he and his papaw plan to add some changes to the vehicle over the winter. He always enjoys the tinkering part that comes along with drag racing.
“We’ve already changed the outside, and we’re planning on changing the rear end this winter. I hope to work on the motor some more before racing season begins in the spring. We’re always looking for ways to make our rides better.”
Simcox does what is called foot-brake drag racing and loves that fact of going fast. His best effort was recently in the Bristol Super Chevy Show.
“I got down into the finals of that one, so it’s probably been my best showing so far. I been in three finals but haven’t won one yet. Every since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to race, and now I’m getting to live out my dream. It’s so much fun when you’re out there going fast on the track legally. But there is so much more to drag racing than going fast.”
His most memorable moment came when he cut his first perfect light. That means that Simcox left the start line when the green lights came on at all zeros. That’s known as the perfect score in drag racing competition.
Simcox touched on some of his favorite drag strips, including the Farmington Dragway at Mocksville, North Carolina, and the Piedmont Dragway in Julian, North Carolina, in addition to North Wilkesboro. But none beat the track that is closest to him.
“My favorite track is Bristol,” said Simcox. “You can’t beat the atmosphere there, so it’s a great place to spend your weekend racing.”
Simcox was quick to compliment his best friend Michael Oxentine, who excels on the basketball court and football field as a senior Longhorns’ athlete. He’s also a pretty good racer too.
“Michael has an S10 too, and he’s been racing a long time. He got involved in junior racing, and he’s very good at it. We’ve only raced against each other one time, and he beat me, but I’ll get him next time. Michael and I are always together at the track, and we’ve shared some special moments. His mother, Amy Thompson, has been very special to me as well. She’s always at the track and has taught me a lot. We’ve all been friends for a long time, and it will continue to be that way.”
Simcox touched on his plans for the future after he graduates from high school, and it does involve staying in the sport.
“I would love to attend a good automotive school and study to be a crew chief or something like that. I’ve always been a hands-on person, and a lot of that is because of my papaw. He’s been there every step of the way and definitely has made me want to pursue my dream even more.”
Simcox is the son of Dr. Mischelle Gambill Simcox and Dirk Simcox. He has a younger brother Connor who is a standout three-sport athlete at Johnson County Middle School.
I asked Simcox if he had any regrets about giving up basketball to devote his time to racing. He was quick to reply.
“I liked basketball, and
all but this is something
that I would love to do for
the rest of my life. I’m not going to look back and regret not playing because I’ve enjoyed every minute that I’ve spent both on and off the track. Choosing racing first has been the best thing for me.”

Journei Donnelly is Laurel Elementary School’s Student of the week

Journie Donnelly shows great leadership, a strong desire to learn, and is always on top of her work, setting a good example of what a student’s work ethic should be in Mr. Taylor’s third-grade class at Laurel Elementary School.
In her spare time, Journie enjoys playing with her baby brother. She also likes playing on her phone.
Her favorite subject in school is reading, and she also enjoys recess.
Journie is the daughter of Brett and Elizabeth Donnelly. She has one older sister and one baby brother. Journie would like to become an artist when she grows up. Congratulations to Journie.
Photo submitted

Roan Creek 4-H students recognized

Abby Dickens, (4th grade), Emma Roark, (5th grade) and Layla Crotts, (6th grade) awarded in the 4-H program. Photo Submitted

Staff Report
During the month of October, the Johnson County Farm Bureau Women, recognized one 4th, 5th and 6th-grade student as 4-H’er of the Month from Roan Creek Elementary.
The students who receive this award have shown hard work and participation in the 4-H program within their class.
The students recognized for this award were: Abby Dickens, 4th grader in Mr. Timbs’ Homeroom, Emma Roark, 5th grader in Mrs. Dugger’s Homeroom and Layla Crotts, 6th grader in Mrs. Schmees’ Homeroom. The students were awarded $10 and a certificate.
The Farm Bureau Women would like to congratulate these students for their great work in the 4-H program.

Roan Creek Elementary First Nine Weeks Honor Roll

Kindergarten All A’s
McKenzie Courtner
Bailey Martin
Talhia Ortiz
Zyler Poteat
Blake Wells

A’s & B’s
Brayden Arnold
Hannah Brewer
Llonatan Espinoza
Chailyn Johnson
Layla Jennings
Landon Lewis
Hayes Perry
Braxton Phillips
Brooks Phillips
Shiloh Simcox
Derek Robinson

1st Grade All A’s
Josie Baker
Lillian Bendon
Charlotte Canter
Lille Johnson
Fernando Linares
Kitiana Poteat
Gunner Shull

A’s & B’s
Krystal Brooks
Edith Collette
Emma Costigan
Waylon Forrester
Leon Gentry
Blake Greene
Emma Hoffman
Jonah Izquierdo
Averie Perry
Lily Potter
Aiden Roush
Michael Sileo
Bethany Stout
Janecy Trochez
Stacy Trochez
Adalynn Winters

2nd Grade
All A’s
Vada Clifton
Darren Eggers
Viviana Robinson
Austin Shaw
Paisley Sturgill

A’s & B’s
Elijah Beam
Brady Blevins
Trina Brewer
Dominic Baldock
Elijah Costigan
Carson Icenhour

3rd Grade All A’s
Mason Brown
Marley Burgos
Bree Dunn
Katerlin Garcia
Lucas Gentry
Taylor Jennings
Madison Johnson
Nathaniel Lowe
Ella Rufty
Savannah Simcox
Kagen Townsend
Lindsey Yates

A’s & B’s
Joey Bendell
Jacob Bentley
Embry Bolin
Emma Cannon
Nick Cano
Gabbi Crowder
Eli Danner
Lexie Faircloth
Jenna Forrester
Rosaley Guy
Sophia Meade-Hernandez
Macie Morefield
Olivia Roark
Brook Robinson
Prailey Roop
Logan Trippi
Gracelynn Trochez
4th Grade
All A’s
Gibby Anderson
Elsie Clifton
Karter Cox
Braiden Folsom
Claira Porter
Audrey Shaw
Alyssa Stout
Christian Stout
Ariya Toth
Dylan Vanover

A’s & B’s
Luke Anderson
Jake Anderson
John Baldwin
Jennifer Berduo
C.J. Brown
Ethan Cannon
Nadia Castro
Billie Coffey
Izzy Davis
Abby Dickens
Bradley Henderson
Avonna Humphrey
Audrina Lynch
MacKenzie Maine
Hailey Meade
Infinity Minor
Summer Moses
Dominic Ruiz
Amelia Stout
Connor Stout

5th Grade All A’s
Kayleigh Crotts
Annika Davis
Daniel Gunter
Emily Ibarra
Eva Matthews
Catie McFadden
Josh Simmons
Ben Sturgill

A’s & B’s
Riley Brown
Matthew Davis
Kaleigh Dunn
Grayson Espinoza
Tyler Hicks
Aiden Holdaway
Cora Johnson
Chris Key
Roma Lipford
Maria Olmedo
Jaden Phillips
Anna Potter
Trevor Rawls
Chloe Rhymer
Emma Roark
Marley Snyder
Kaitlyn Trippi

6th Grade All A’s
Maddi Baldock
Madeline Bendon
Haiden Cobb
Josie Cox
Layla Crotts
Landon Greene
Elizabeth Jennings
Parker Miller
Emily Roark
Charlie Salmons
Shayla Sileo
Destiny Stout
Chloe Sutherland

A’s & B’s
Liddy Arnold
Ansley Clifton
Myleigh Crowder
Jonathan Csillag
Logan Davis
Tru Dunn
Zoe Epperly
Abel Johnson
Emma Lipham
Katelyn Osborne
Harris Perry
Kevin Williams
Trinity Winters