Gratitude and appreciation draped the last Union County Commission Meeting of the commission elected in 2014. The new Commission will have eight new members. Many commissioners expressed their gratitude for the honor of serving the citizens of Union County. Others mentioned their appreciation for the chance to work with people from all over the county to do some positive things. The citizens erupted in applause for the return of Commissioner J. M. Bailey who has been struggling with a serious illness.
Class of 2018 Scholarships Top $1 Million
It might be a school record. Scholarships won by the Union County High School class of 2018 topped $1 million, and school counselor Jennifer Pointer said if it's not a record, only the class of 2008 would have come close.
That's because the classes of 2018 and 2008 were GEAR UP TN classes, in which state and federal grants fund special support for students starting in 7th grade and following them through graduation. The support is aimed at helping make college and other post-secondary training more accessible to students. Jamie Branton works with the GEAR UP students, leading trips to colleges and jobsites, summer programs and more.
"The access is a lot different with those groups because they're more familiar with colleges and what's out there," said Pointer. "It changes the ball game when you have that kind of awareness going on."
UCHS school counselors rotate class responsibilities, meaning that one counselor follows each class from freshman year through graduation. Pointer had this year's senior class, and she said Hope and Tennessee Promise scholarships accounted for a significant amount of the $1 million in scholarships.
"One hundred percent of our seniors applied for Tennessee Promise," she said. "In their senior year we have seminar classes where they come in and we have all the students in a classroom apply for Tennessee Promise and apply for a college that will work with Tennessee Promise, so they at least have all applied for one college."
The school counselors also provide career and college access counseling, two FAFSA Frenzy events in fall and spring to help students apply for federal aid, and they meet individually with students to discuss their goals for life after graduation. They're also sure to announce and celebrate each scholarship a Union County High School student wins to help inspire younger students.
"We try to help them navigate the whole process because it's a little overwhelming," Pointer said. "One of the biggest things I've seen is that it's so easy for them to get that Tennessee Promise scholarship and go to a two-year college, a lot of them don't apply for outside scholarships. We've really come a long way in the state of Tennessee. It's just opened up so much access for everybody.
Pointer said 80 percent of this year's graduates are going on to some kind of post-secondary training, and about 20 percent moved straight into the workforce.
Another factor in that $1 million figure is the number of 2018 Union County grads entering the military and receiving college scholarships through those commitments. The school doesn't count military signing bonuses towards the total, but scholarships to college received from military commitments are counted.
"This was the biggest military group we've ever had," said Pointer. "We had seven or eight in the National Guard, and someone in almost every other branch. It's interesting the way that happened. The National Guard recruits hard at our school. For everyone else, that's just what the kids wanted to do. That's who they were."
Some new local scholarships were formed this year, too. Along with local funds from the Union County Business and Professional Association, Sunset Bay Homeowners Association, the municipalities and other local organizations, Doc Williams of Thunder Road Veterinary Clinic gave a scholarship this year. The Pam Hanson Memorial Scholarship was created this year in honor of a longtime Union County kindergarten teacher by her surviving husband, and two students received scholarships from that fund.
Pointer said she anticipates that UCHS scholarship figures will continue to climb.
"I really think you're going to continue to see growth in these numbers," she said. "Just going forward, we're wanting to continue to grow what we're doing. We want kids to be more aware of opportunities early on, have more face-to-face interventions and more parental involvement. We're working on strategies to improve that."
The staff members of Willow Ridge Care and Rehab would like to thank all those who have so generously donated to provide a 19" wall mounted flat screen television for each of our resident's during their stay. The total cost of the television and mounting hardware comes to just under $100 each. For each $100 donation, we are placing a small sign on each television indicating who provided it. This is a daily reminder to our residents that they are cared for by the wider community. Over the course of a year, many people are touched by this gift.
Allyson Hanna has done her hometown proud by bringing home a state-level win from the Tennessee 4-H Round-Up and All-Star Conference. The 16-year-old homeschooler is a junior this year, and she won her division with a Senior Level 1 consumer education project on the Consumer Bill of Rights.
Hanna has been active in 4-H since she was in the fifth grade, and she credits the program with helping her grow as a leader and a team player.
The “digital divide” is the gap that exists between individuals advantaged by the internet and those individuals disadvantaged by lack of access to the internet. The divide has widened as technology has advanced with the advent of next generation fiber optic broadband that can make 1 GB broadband speeds available. The growing gap disproportionately affects rural areas as rural residents have few choices of internet service providers – or none at all. They pay higher prices for lower quality service.
Year One, Week Thirty-One
Hello, everyone. My name is Oak Grove. I am a two room school building in the Sharps Chapel area of Union County.
For the past two weeks my “scribe” Ronnie Mincey has written articles about me, detailing pertinent points of my history for school terms 1932-1933 and 1934-1935. His main source for information has been the old registers on file at the Union County Board of Education’s Central Office, my “diaries”.
I have always been just a little different. For instance, my idea of a fun place was not the same as most other kids’ back in the 70s. They wanted to go to the pinball arcade or the skating rink, whereas I wanted to go to the laundromat.
The only time we washed clothes there was when the electric pump on our well messed up. No pump. No water. No washing clothes at home.
Seems like everyone has a Twitter, Facebook or some kind of social media account, well everyone except me. Thus far, I have avoided social media platforms, unless of course, you count the occasional religious article like this. But, I do read and listen to a lot of news, much of it digital. So even though I have no social media accounts, I still have exposure to everyone else’s social media rants via the news. I liken social media to the 1970s phenomenon of “Streaking”. Sooner or later you are going to get flashed! “Look out Ethel” If you don’t get the reference look up Ray Stevens song, “The Streak”.
The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education will be held on Thursday, August 23, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.
REGULAR WORKSHOP UNION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 2018 6:00 p.m. Union County High School
"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" Margaret Chesney
Ava Kathryn Easterday, age 8, passed away August 18, 2018. She was a dancer at Prima Dance Studio. Ava attended after school care and summer care at Wallace Memorial and was a student at Powell Elementary School. Ava’s passion in life was to dance. She loved being at the studio and she loved competing. She loved anything pink, teal, sparkly, shiny and glittery. She was a true girly girl and full of sass. She loved to make people laugh and could light up an entire room with her beautiful smile. She was a free spirit and full of adventure.
Phyllis Keny, 90, passed away Thursday, August 16, 2018. Born in Aberdeen, S.D. to Mae and Alphonse Zemlicka, she was very bright and talented in art and music, singing in the choir at Sacred Heart Church where her mother was the choir director/organist for many years. She attended Mt. Marty Catholic High School graduating in 3 years, then Northern State U. with a major in art. During that time, she performed as a singer at various campus venues. She tried out for a spot on the Laurence Welk traveling show in the Dakotas, before the age of TV.
Clay Edward Smith, age 57, passed away on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. He is preceded in death by father, William Smith; mother, Thelma Smith; and brother, Billy Joe Smith. Clay is survived by sisters brothers, Helen Williams, Linda Collins, Joyce Sheffield, David Smith, William Smith, Fred Smith and Michael Smith as well as several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City Chapel on Sunday, August 19th from 5-7pm. Family and friends will gather at Water Cemetery on Monday, August 20th at 10:45am for an 11am graveside service.
Frances Kilgore Norman, age 83, of Lakeland Florida, formerly of Knoxville, Tennessee passed away on August 12, 2018 at her home in Lakeland Florida. She was of Methodist faith. She was a member of Eastern Star, Mascot Tennessee Order. Frances was a certified nursing assistant. She worked at Lakeland Regional Medical Center and in Home Health Care. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and friend to many.
Dorothy Dean Hatmaker Weaver, 83, is now with her creator and keeper, Jesus Christ. She died August 13, 2018.
She is survived by her son, Daniel Weaver; sister, Aileen Hatmaker Ruland; nieces, Kim, Tracy, and Renee; a great-nephew and a great-niece.
She is preceded in death by daughter, Candace Weaver Ayers; sister, Barbara Hatmaker Sizemore, and parents.
Thomas Edward Lawless, July 27,1940-August 11, 2018, Thomas (Tommy) Edward Lawless of Maynardville, Tennessee passed away peacefully, Saturday afternoon, surrounded by his loving family at his home on August 11, 2018. Tommy was a graduate of Clinton High School class of 1958. He continued his education at East Tennessee State College and then served in the United States Navy (Vietnam) on a Mine Sweeper as Second Lieutenant for four years. He taught high school math and retired from Frontier High school in Ohio.
Bessie Mae Delozier-age 87 of Luttrell passed away Wednesday morning, August 8, 2018 at North Knoxville Medical Center. The Lord has called. I must go home. I take this time to say goodbye to my family and friends. I was born May 10, 1931 to a pretty little part Indian girl, age 16, Grace Dotson, who married Bill Line. I married at age 16. God gave me 5 wonderful children, 14 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. I am so blessed with two wonderful step-daughters, three step-grandsons and one step-granddaughter. I leave lots of good friends.
Taniciah Montana Little-age 60 of Speedwell was born March 31, 1958 in Middletown, Ohio. She went home to be with the Lord Monday, August 6, 2018. Taniciah was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Little; mother, Lucetta Jane Hodson, father, Pierce Hays; sister Gloria Prater; brother, Perry Hays; nephew, Joey Prater.