Southern Appalachia Schools

 Bill Torrey Grave Marker

It would have been labeled a failing school, but in the 1970s, the disingenuous scheme by which composite test scores for the entire student body are used to label schools as failing had yet to be devised. Like many elementary schools, here in Southern Appalachia, in the 1970s, relatively low enrollment forced the placement of students of varying academic ability functioning at, above, and below grade level into the same classroom. The one size fits all education model in practice, at the time, served some students well and failed others miserably. Student's outcomes in adult life have been as varied as levels of ability and academic functioning were then. In many ways, I became an educated person in spite of, rather than as a result of, my experiences there.

Realistically, every public school can be expected to produce students who score both high and low and everywhere in between on tests of academic functioning. Unlike private schools, public schools cannot screen prospective students. In all fairness, a low-test score on an academic achievement test may reflect a high degree of achievement for a pupil of limited ability.

The phrase “High Stakes Test” most likely was not part of the vernacular in 1931, but the concept held tragic meaning for one student. By all accounts, reported in the November 19, 1931 edition of The LaFollette Press, Bill Torrey had done well at LaFollette High School. The headline read “Popular Local U-T Student Ends Own Life”. A chemistry examination pad bearing a grade of “46” was found on his body.

Eighty-three years later, it is unlikely that efforts on our part could garner enough information to make a more definitive determination as to why he took his own life than the one offered by his family in The Press, December 3, 1931, “When it was decided that he could go to U.T. he was very happy, worked hard to master his lessons and when he failed to pass as he expected to, it crushed his intense desire to make good and knowing the sacrifice and sympathy and love that parents, brother, and sisters had made to help him, he gave up the battle.”

Speakers at Torrey's funeral included LaFollette City Schools Superintendent Pat Kerr, who described Torrey as a student who “dared to be different and dared to do his own thinking”. According to Kerr, “He cared for the realities of life and was a non-conformist” and “the faculty always loved Bill for his originality”.

LaFollette High School must have had an outstanding faculty in the early 1930s, because it has been my experience that students are often not “loved for their originality” much less for doing their own thinking. For example, one of my college professors required students to complete parallel readings and turn in a written summary. I assumed that included introducing topics, discussing them, and reaching conclusions about what had been read. Apparently, her expectation was that students would simply read the assignments and parrot back what they had read on paper, because she informed me after I had completed the assignments, that I was not qualified to reach conclusions on the readings. Apparently, her students, soon to teachers themselves, were to be expected to fly on autopilot, once out in the classroom, rather than thinking for themselves. Perhaps unknowingly she was preparing tomorrow's teachers for today's mindless testing and data compilation.

Students of all ages are under more pressure than ever to score well on tests. Compounding the problem teachers are expected to produce entire classrooms of high scorers. Compounding things even further, politicians and pundits are demanding the same of entire student bodies and entire school systems.

High Stakes tests are very much a reality of our day. No student of any age should be made to feel like an abject failure as the result of a test score. It is our hope that today’s parents and other influential adults will help pupils to keep things in perspective. Teachers, like the spectators to the parade, in the familiar childhood tale The Emperor’s New Clothes, dare not state the obvious when school administrators perform their magic using sticky notes and data boards.

This is an election year. Ours is the opportunity to insist on common sense rather than Common Core coming out of Nashville and Washington D.C.

Writer's Note. September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

Writer’s Note: Twenty-four-hour support is available from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The site offers a Chat with Lifeline service at the bottom of the homepage.

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Are You Ready?

Archie Wilson

1 Peter 3:15 KJV
[15] But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

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Tripping into Christmas, Part 2

Brooke Cox

“Here you go.” Timmy lays his red and green house shoe down on his bed in front of Tripp.
“This will be a comfortable bed for you.” He pushes down inside it with his finger. “See? It has a thick foam insole.”
Tripp looks up to Timmy and raises an eyebrow. “You want me to sleep in your stinky house shoe?”
“It’s not stinky!” Timmy protests. “My Mamaw gave them to me last year and I only wore them when she was here.”
Tripp pulls glitter out of his pocket and sprinkles it inside the house shoe. “Just in case.”
“Very funny. Now hop in the shoe please.”

Give a Kid the World

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Forty-Eight

It was forty years ago this very month that I received a Christmas gift that I would even now not trade for thousands of dollars.

I’m not even sure how it came about, but somehow my mother began saving S & H green stamps. At some point Hensley’s IGA must have issued them, for I don’t remember my mother ever shopping anywhere else. Perhaps she had my sister Anna Mae, my brother Jerry, or Cousin Lizzie Norton get them for her, as they lived and shopped in Knoxville.

Chiropractic and Professional Baseball and Football

Chiropractic and Professional Baseball and Football

Chiropractic’s integration into professional sports medical teams has resulted in the creation of the Professional Baseball Chiropractic Society (PBCS). The first annual PBCS workshop was held in March 2015. Many of the team chiropractors in Major League Baseball were in attendance as well as a few from Minor League Baseball. This first seminar even included a surprise visit from former MLB manager Joe Torre, who took some time to address those in attendance on how beneficial chiropractic was not only to him, but also to the players on the teams he managed.

Parallel Parking

Parallel Parking

Can you parallel park? I did once, only once. I quit while I was ahead. It is hard to do. I need a forty acre field on a good day. How I ever got through life without bumping fenders trying to park, I'll never know. Yes, I do. I always looked for a diagonal parking space or a parking garage where the attendant parked my car.

A Weird Twist on Snow

A Weird Twist on Snow

A lot of folks had their first taste of snow recently, and since snow is more welcome during the Christmas season, I decided to use it as this week’s topic. Trouble is I’ve written several articles about snow in the past, so I had to dig harder to find something fresh to write about. I did find something surprising, that I’d have to classify as weird science. It involves something called heavy water, so prepare to go sub-atomic.

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Chocolate Bon Bons

Chocolate Bon Bons

My favorite kind of chocolate to work with is cocoa. However, that doesn't work for making dipping chocolate. At least I don't know how to do that. I have several candy recipes I make every Christmas, but Anne's favorite is my Chocolate Bon Bons.

I came across this candy recipe a few years ago. It certainly didn't look like a candy recipe. What candy lists flour among its ingredients? This is the only one I know of.

Action on SR-33 and SR-61 Pending – You Can Make a Difference

The Tennessee North Rural Planning Organization (RPO) meets on Thursday the 13th of December to prioritize TDOT funded road projects in the RPOs seven county region. Union County does not have any TDOT projects under construction, although the SR-33 project from the Knox County Line to South of SR-144 was recently moved to the Construction Phase.

2018 Year End Tax Planning

What a wonderful time of the year! Celebrating Christmas and the New Year with family and friends, good food, memories of Christmas’ past and creating new memories. The New Year is a time for making resolutions and planning for changes we would like to experience in our lives in the coming year. With only four weeks remaining in 2018, we are running out of opportunities to take advantage of tax planning.

Andrew Ernest Morgan: Controller of Water, Mover of Men

Andrew Ernest Morgan

Most of us probably do not even recognize the name of Arthur Ernest Morgan; yet for those of us living in the the rural communities of the Tennessee Valley, Morgan should be remembered every time we switch on our lights or plug in our computers. Arthur Morgan was the first Director of the Tennessee Valley Authority, but he was much more than just a political appointee or bureaucratic figurehead. Morgan, a civil engineer, was an expert in water flow and water control. He was a hands on director who busied himself with the most intimate parts of the TVA: the inner workings of the dams and the communities they served. As an engineer, he designed the dams, made the earth move, mined the rock, and poured the concrete. As a visionary, he designed communities with energy efficient housing and environmental consideration. As an educator, Morgan saw the need to teach the people to use better farming practices and to train people to use electricity to make their daily chores easier.

Events

Need A Ride To Church

Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 10:00
Need A Ride To Church

Fellowship Christian Church located at 746 Tazewell Pike Luttrell TN 37779 will pickup anyone in the local area needing a ride to church. Call Sam at 865-607-3741 to schedule a ride.

Worship Services

Sunday School 10:00 AM
Sunday Worship Service 11:00 A.M
Sunday Evening Service 6:30 P.M
Wednesday Service 7:00 P.M

UCBPA Meeting

Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 12:00

UCBPA meets the second Tuesday of each month for approximately one hour. Membership is $25 annually. The meeting begins at noon at Hardee's in Maynardville. Anyone interested in making Union County a better place to live, work, worship, or play may attend.

Union County Election Commission Meeting

Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 14:30
Union County Election Commission

Union County Election Commission meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 2:30pm in room 101 of the Union County Courthouse to conduct election business which comes before the commission pursuant to its duties listed in, but not limited to TCA $2-12-116, and to conduct any other business that may come before the election commission at that time. Union County Election Commission, 901 Main Street, Suite 108, Maynardville, TN 37807, (865) 992-3471 http://www.electionsunioncountytn.com

Obituary

Tony Lynn "Pap" Brogdon, Sr.

Tony Lynn Brogdon, Sr. “Pap”-age 58 of Knoxville passed away Monday, December 17, 2018 surrounded by members of his close family. He was a member of Stonewall Baptist Church. Tony was a dump truck driver but worked with skills second to none.

He is survived by his five children, Tony Brogdon, Jr., William Brogdon, Brandy Brogdon, Sheridan Brogdon and wife, Janet; Dixie Hopson and husband, Josh. He had many grandkids and siblings who loved him dearly and he will be missed. In lieu of flowers, the family ask for donations to be made toward Pap’s funeral service in his name.

Martha E. Berkley

Martha E. Berkley, age 92 of Knoxville passed away December 16, 2018. She was a member of Washington Pike Baptist Church. Martha retired from Knox County Circuit Court. She was a strong Christian woman, a devoted mother, and a loving wife. Preceded in death by William G. Berkley; parents Herman E. and Cassie Turner; brother H. Eugene Turner Jr.; granddaughter Jill Berry. Survived by daughter, Sharon B. Kirkland and husband Garrett; sons, Tobe Cowden and wife Chela, and Mike Berkley; 5 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren.

Goneau Gentry Heath

Goneau Gentry Heath was born August 20, 1921 and went to her heavenly home on December 13, 2018 at the age of 97. Goneau was a longtime member of North Knoxville Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her father, Cleve Gentry and her mother, Bonnie Stooksbury Gentry; Aunt who raised her, Cora Stooksbury; husband of 51 years, K.C. Heath; Brothers, Ray and Carson Gentry; Sister, Jessie Beeler; Granddaughter, Julie Hourigan; Son-in-law, James "Jim" Bean.

Wanda Faye Henry

Wanda Faye Henry, age 81, of Corryton joined her husband in heaven on December 12, 2018 at Tennova Powell. Member of Clear Springs Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband Harvey Henry; parents Luke and Elizabeth Everett; sisters Juanita Boling, Iola Chandler, Lelia Davis; and brother David Everett.

Rev. Gains Harrell Lewis, Sr.

Rev. Gains Harrell Lewis, Sr.-age 86 of Maynardville went to his Heavenly Home Friday morning, December 14, 2018. Harrell, above everything else, loved the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour and preached and witnessed so others would do the same. He was saved and was a member of Hubbs Grove Baptist Church and attended Fellowship Christian Church. He had pastored Leatherwood Baptist Church and Head of Barren Baptist Church. He was proud to be a lifetime citizen of Maynardville, Tennessee and was well-known and had many friends and family.

Betty Sue Baumgardner

Betty Sue Baumgardner – age 77 of Washburn, passed away on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. She was a member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville. Betty was a loving wife and enjoyed crocheting and quilting.

She is preceded in death by parents, Edgar and Dorothy Glover; sisters, Mary Ann Glover and Nell Harper. Betty is survived by loving husband of 60 years, Reverend Albert “Dick” Baumgardner; sister, Jenntte; brother, Edward Glover; and several nieces and nephews.

Jesse D. Coffman

Jesse D. “J.D.” Coffman-age 89 of Washburn passed away peacefully Thursday morning, December 13, 2018 at his home. He was a U. S. Army Veteran of the Korean War. J. D. was a member of Central View American Christian Church, Washburn.

Nicole "Nicky" Tyson

Nicole “Nicky” Tyson, age 42, passed away on December 11, 2018. She was an outgoing woman who never met a stranger. She was the happiest when surrounded by family, friends, and her fur babies, whom she was very passionate about. Nicky could light up any room she walked in and will be missed by many. She is survived by fiancé Kenny Thomas, daughter April Tyson (Boo), sons Nicholas Gene Beaver and Hunter Dylan Leon Foster, parents Janice and Jim Shipley, granddaughter Payton McKenzie Abshire, close cousin/sister Kelly Williams, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Charles "Charlie" Winton Campbell

Campbell, Charles "Charlie" Winton, age 68 of Corryton, adored daddy and the most treasured grandpa, was welcomed into the arms of his Lord and Savior on, Wednesday, December 12, 2018. Awaiting this great reunion day was Charlie's sweetheart and the love of his life, Glenda Kay Campbell, his beloved wife. Also preceding his death are; parents Henderson & Ruth Campbell and sister Katherine Ann Campbell.

Sonja Denise Brown

Sonja Denise Brown-age 53 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at her home. She was a member of Mynatt Road Baptist Church in Halls. Preceded in death by father, Leonard Allen Ridenour.

Survivors: husband, David Lee Brown; mother, Reba Evelyn Ridenour; brother, Ronnie Lynn Ridenour and wife, Donna; sister, Donna Michelle Gordon and husband, Gerald. Several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

Graveside service and interment 12 Noon Saturday, December 15, 2018, Dyer Cemetery, Powder Springs. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

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