By Sally Absher

Buzz Thomas Joins KCS as Interim Superintendent

Appointed Interim Superintendent Buzz Thomas officially took the reins as Director of Knox County Schools on June 15. He’s not quite “flying solo” yet though – outgoing Superintendent Jim McIntyre will be hanging around until July 8, to work in an “advisory role” to Thomas.

Thomas is known as a great communicator – something his predecessor is not. It was reported that he is working on an open letter to the community, outlining his plans and priorities for the summer.  The KNS reported Thomas to say, “…I think the people in Knox County deserve to know what specifically are you going to do that’s different and what are your priorities for the summer.”

While for most teachers and students, summer means a long, well deserved vacation (or summer job), not so for the administration. In recent years summer has been a time of restructuring (sometimes referred to as “churn”) in Knox County Schools. McIntyre has already been busy making many appointments for principals and assistant principals.

Thomas indicated that he will “overturn a few of them…”

It will be interesting to see what Thomas will bring to KCS during his (presumably) short stint as Interim Superintendent. Better communication and a willingness to do things differently than his predecessor are givens. He seems genuinely concerned about improving morale and listening – really listening – to teachers and parents.


First Ever Fulton Gala to Honor Zaevion Dobson #24

Fulton High School is holding a gala event on August 6, 2016 to raise money for the Zaevion Dobson Scholarship. The event is sponsored by Tennova Healthcare.

“A Maroon and White Affair” honoring Zaevion #24 will be held August 6th from 6:30 to !0:30 p.m. at Bridgewater Place.There will be a silent and live auction; Hors d’oeures, beer and wine, and dancing.  The event is “Dressy Casual.” Individual tickets are $50.  Sponsorships are available: Bronze $250, Silver $500, Gold $1000, Platinum $2500, and Maroon and White Sponsor $5000.

For more information, or to purchase tickets or sponsorships, go to

Fulton High School’s goal is to annually award the Zaevion Dobson Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $2400 to a graduating senior who exemplifies the character, spirit, and selflessness of Zaevion Dobson. With your support, Fulton is hoping this single event will raise the funds needed for this endowed scholarship.


Knoxville Symphony Orchestra String Camp This Week!

Summer String Camp will be help at Hardin Valley Academy June 20 – 24 from 9 am to 3:30 pm. A record-breaking 224 students will attend the String Camp this year to rehearse with KSO musicians and public school music specialists, learn team building skills, and practice their string instruments in small groups and as part of a larger orchestra.

This is the 22nd season for the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Association Summer String Camp. Students range in age from 6 to 18 and perform at all levels. The students attending String Camp this year represent 57 different schools in 18 cities in 10 different Tennessee counties.

Students will learn from and practice with five KSYO Conductors, seven KSO musicians who are coaches, and 18 area orchestra directors, private instructors, and University of Tennessee Music Majors and Alumni. Graduates/alumni of the KSYO also volunteer to help with String Camp.

The Camp will culminate with a final performance of all 224 students along with members of KSO and public school music instructors on Friday, June 24 at 2:30 pm at the Hardin Valley Academy. The performance is FREE and open to the public.

“These young musicians work with coaches throughout the week to rehearse,” said Kathy Hart, Manager of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra (KSYO) and founder of String Camp. “This year, the theme is “That’s Entertainment!” and the kids will play music from Broadway, TV and film scores. String Camp combines fun with rehearsal and results in a fantastic group performance at the end of the week. 73 of the 224 kids are brand new to string camp this year and have never performed with the KSYO. It is always a treat to see the progress of these young musicians as they hone their skills and fall deeper in love with music.”


Local Students Attend Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities

Sydney Fuhrig, Breanna Piercy and Lauren Fiet, all of Knoxville, are participating in Governor’s School for the Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Martin this month. The four-week program allows selected high school juniors and seniors to earn academic credit and get a taste of collegiate life. Fuhrig is a student at the L&N STEM Academy; Piercy is enrolled at Hardin Valley Academy; and Fiet attends Farragut High School.