By Sally Absher

Knox County TSA Students Win Big at TSA National Conference

Local Technology Student Association (TSA) teams and individuals from the Knoxville area scored in the Top 10 in a number of categories at the National TSA Conference held in Nashville in June.

KCS Middle School Students scoring in the Top 10:

Tyler Duckworth, Karns MS, 9th Place CAD Foundations

Noah Kelley, Karns MS, 5th Place, Chapter Team, Written

Natalie Rash, Bearden MS, 6th Place, Chapter Team, Written

Jordan Parker, Karns MS, 10th Place, Chapter Team, Written

Natalie Rash, Bearden MS, 1st Place, Digital Photography

Will Whitehead, Bearden MS, 7th Place, Tech Bowl, Written

KCS Middle School Teams Scoring in the Top 10:

Karns MS – 7th Place, Biotechnology Design

Karns MS – 1st Place, Challenging Technology Issues

Bearden MS – 1st Place Chapter Team Presentation

Karns MS – 3rd Place – Chapter Team Presentation

Karns MS – 5th Place, Forensic Technology

Bearden MS – 9th Place, Leadership Strategies

Karns MS – 3rd Place, Medical Technology

Bearden MS – 7th Place, Structural Engineering

Karns MS – 5th Place, System Control Technology

Bearden MS, 8th Place, Tech Bowl, Oral

KCS High School Students scoring in the Top 10:

Cameron Johnson, L&N Stem Academy, 5th Place, Career Preparation

Owen Sanders, L&N Stem Academy, 3rd Place, Chapter Team, Written

Ryan Hart, Hardin Valley Academy, 7th Place, Chapter Team, Written

Cameron Johnson, L&N Stem Academy, 10th Place, Essays on Technology

Lauren Tenpenny, L&N Stem Academy, 5th Place, Photographic Technology

KCS High School Teams Scoring in the Top 10:

L&N Stem, 3rd Place, Chapter Team Presentation

Fulton HS – 10th Place, Children’s Stories

Hardin Valley Academy – 5th Place, Debating Technological Issues

L&N Stem Academy – 10th Place, Debating Technological Issues

L&N Stem Academy – 6th Place, Digital Video Production

L&N Stem Academy – 3rd Place, On Demand Video

Fulton HS – 7th Place, On Demand Video

Hardin Valley Adademy – 7th Place, Technology Bowl, Oral


State Parks to Host Student Volunteers on TN Promise Saturday

Tennessee State Parks and Natural Areas are offering volunteer events across the state to help Tennessee Promise scholars log community service hours on Saturday, July 23.

“TN Promise Saturday is a way for our parks to connect students to the outdoor opportunities available here in Tennessee while supporting their academic goals,” said Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation Brock Hill. “We’re excited to get as many students as possible outdoors and involved in hands-on activities.”

All 56 Tennessee State Parks are offering volunteer events, which include clearing brush, limbs and invasive plants; planting flowers; building trails; assisting with fun community events; or maintaining historic features. Projects are designed to beautify Tennessee’s parks and natural areas, as well as provide meaningful outdoor experiences for volunteers.

“tnAchieves is grateful for Tennessee State Parks and Natural Areas for its efforts to ensure TN Promise students cultivate a culture of giving back to their communities,” said Krissy DeAlegandro, executive director of tnAchieves. “This is another great example of how all Tennesseans are aligning for increased student success.”

The Tennessee Promise, part of Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiatives to increase the number of Tennesseans with a post-secondary credential to 55 percent by 2025, provides tuition-free community and technical college to recent high school graduates. All Tennessee Promise students utilizing the program this fall are required to complete eight hours of community service by Aug. 1, 2016.

View a current list of TN Promise events being held at Tennessee State Parks and register at or contact Nancy Schelin at (615) 532-5249 or


West Valley Middle Teacher Attends George Washington Teacher Institute

West Valley Middle School 8th grade Social Studies teacher Dean Burress was selected to participate in a four-day, residential professional development program June 21-25, 2016 at  George Washington’s Mount Vernon. The George Washington Teacher Institute program, Leadership and Legacy: Lessons from George Washington, included an intensive study led by noted Washington scholar Dr. Denver Brunsman of The George Washington University. Participants collaborated with Mount Vernon’s knowledgeable historians, curators, and educators while on site.

In addition to studying the extraordinary leadership of George Washington on the battlefield and during the presidency, participants explored Washington’s story in his own words using primary sources as well as the landscape and buildings of the Mount Vernon estate to discover how Washington’s leadership continues to inspire today’s students and educators.

While at the Institute, Mr. Burress lived on George Washington’s estate, within view of his mansion, and attended daily sessions in the 45,000-square foot Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington which opened in 2013. He will develop and conduct a professional development workshop for his education community in order to share information from the Institute.