By Sally Absher

TONIGHT!! Meet and Greet with Susan Horn

Bring some friends and join 5th District Knox County Board of Education candidate Susan Horn for dessert Monday, July 18th, from 6:30 – 8:30 at Copperstone Clubhouse, 1345 Copperstone Lane. The event is hosted by Jennie Councill, Alison Dotson, Beth Duncan, Blair Kerr, Melissa Mason, Janet Morgan, and Sarah Starkey.

Fifth District BOE candidates were featured on WBIR’s Inside Tennessee on July 10. If you missed the show, you can find the videos here: (Part 3 and Part 4 of the John Schoonmaker, Sheri Ridgeway, Susan Horn, and Reuben Pelot episode).


Fifth Annual First Day Event Going On NOW!

First Day is an annual clothing/school supply drive to benefit the Boys and Girls Club in Vestal. This program, started by Bailey Butler, gives members of the Knoxville community a chance to make a difference in a student’s life.

The event is going on now through July 29. And with the back-to-school sales already in full swing, it’s easy to participate!

Simply contact and they will send you the name, photo, sizes, grade, school, favorite color, etc. (you can state a preference to sponsor a boy or a girl). Then go shopping! Pick out a new backpack with school supplies, 2 new outfits, shoes, socks and underwear, and anything else you can think of to make their FIRST DAY special.

Your clothing and school supply donations can be dropped off at Calvary Baptist Church, 3200 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919. If you can’t drop your donation off,  they will even come pick them up from you!

If you don’t have time to go shopping, you can still help by donating money and someone will do the shopping for you. Checks can be made out to Calvary Baptist Church with “First Day” designated in the memo line. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to Calvary Baptist Church,.


Two Local Students Awarded East Tennessee History Scholarships

The East Tennessee Historical Society has awarded three scholarships to students who participated in the East Tennessee History Day competition, a division of National History Day presented by the East Tennessee Historical Society.

Noah Dunlap from the L&N Stem Academy received the First Place for the East Tennessee History Scholarship. Noah participated in a senior group exhibit titled “The 1982 World’s Fair: Knoxville’s Rise to Prominence,” which analyzed the fair as a turning point in Knoxville’s history that drew people from around the world to explore energy development. Noah, a four year National History Day participant, remarked “My experiences in National History Day competition have made me a demonstrably better student. I have been pushed to look beyond surface level text and delve deeper into the driving forces behind events… I genuinely feel a deeper appreciation now for East Tennessee and American history.” Noah’s project won first place at district and second place at the state competition.

Abigail Prosise, of Farragut High School, Farragut, Tennessee, was the recipient of the East Tennessee History Day Business and Technology Scholarship with her project “From Atoms to Armstrong.” The senior individual website examined the connections, collaborations, and resulting technological achievements of two opposing groups, Jewish physicists and Nazi rocketeers, brought to America for scientific research after WWII. Abigail comments, “I know my passion for history will make me a better person, because learning about the past helps all of us make better decisions about the future.” Abigail’s project won first place at district and second place at state.

Also honored was Kendall Williamson from Cosby High School in Cosby, Tennessee, who received the Second Place for the East Tennessee Scholarship.

The scholarships are made possible annually through the generous donations of Randy and Jenny Boyd, known across the state for their strong support of education.


Haslam Appoints Mike Krause to Lead Tennessee Higher Education Commission

Last week Governor Haslam announced the appointment of Mike Krause as executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).

THEC oversees development of the state’s master plan for higher education, makes recommendations for capital appropriations in the governor’s budget, establishes tuition levels and approves new academic programs.

Krause will replace Dr. Russ Deaton, who has served as THEC’s interim executive director since the retirement of Dr. Richard Rhoda in 2014. Deaton will serve as deputy executive director of THEC.

Krause has served as executive director of the Drive to 55 since 2014 and successfully managed the launch and implementation of Tennessee Promise and other initiatives under the Drive to 55 umbrella.

In addition, Krause will jointly lead the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), which administers state and federal student financial assistance programs, including the state lottery scholarship program, which serves 100,000 students with $300 million in awards.

Prior to directing the Drive to 55, Krause, 34, served as assistant executive director for adacemic affairs at THEC, where he led the statewide expansion of the SAILs (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) program, pioneered state efforts in massive open online education and coordinated multiple grant programs.

Before joining state government, Krause served for eight years in the US Army and TN Army National Guard. Krause earned his bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University and MS in public policy from Vanderbilt.

In summary, we have another policy wonk, with little to zero actual classroom education experience at the helm of the state Higher Education Commission. What could go wrong?