By Sally Absher


KCS Adult Education to Hold Final Graduation

The KCS Adult Education graduation will be held on Thursday, May 26 at 6 p.m. at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church (701 Merchants Drive).  This is an historic event as it is the last time the adult education students will graduate as part of the Knox County Schools.


Buzz About the Incoming Interim Superintendent

There have been reports that Buzz Thomas, who begins his term as interim superintendent on June 15, has already been making school visits. A post on social media notes, “…To learn what is happening in our schools. By himself. Without an entourage. Without cameras. Or TV stations. Or reporters. And that he wants to hear from teachers. Is that allowed??? Refreshing!”

Another teacher posted “I got to meet him – at Mt. Olive’s Field Day. He made me feel appreciated, though he’s never seen me teach. He appreciates what I do. That’s a breath of fresh air…”

And a former KCS teacher writes, “Seems like he’s more interested building trust, relationships, and goodwill than implementing agendas, putting on media dog-and-pony -spin shows and gaining control. A regular, natural person who doesn’t need to be “humanized” –  seems he’s off to a good start.”

But others caution, “There have been some entourage ops, as well. Yes, he is a nice guy. However, qualifications also matter.” And “There is a significant and very real difference in what is needed in an interim superintendent, and a permanent superintendent.”

When the Board of Education was discussing qualifications and requirements for the next (permanent) KCS superintendent, K-12 classroom teaching experience was at the top of the list for the majority of BOE members, especially those who will be tasked with selecting the next Superintendent.

Mr. Thomas’ people skills and effective communication are much needed – and appreciated – to begin to restore the trust and confidence of our teachers, but Mr. Thomas does not meet the qualifications to be the next superintendent of KCS. Too many disastrous reform policies are being put in place by people who have no boots on the ground classroom experience. KCS can’t afford to make that mistake again.


Junior League of Knoxville Funds Bikes for DA’s Truancy Reduction Initiative

Last week in a presentation at Maynard Elementary School, Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen presented 19 bikes to reward students for perfect attendance as part of the DA Office’s Truancy Reduction Initiative. The funds for these bikes were donated through a grant from the Junior League of Knoxville.

The initiative aims to reward students for staying in school. Studies confirm that staying in school is one of the leading factors in preventing children from committing crimes. More information about the Truancy Reduction Initiative can be found at

Funds for this donation were raised at JLK’s 2015 Tinsel & Treasure event. to learn more visit


Perfect Attendance for Bearden High Graduate Haley Lynn Mullins

From Bearden Elementary to Bearden Middle to Bearden High, Haley Mullins never missed a day of school. Mullins, a 4.0 student and member of the 2015 Lady Bulldog softball team that went to State, was the only student in the BHS graduating class of 497 students to achieve this honor! She will be attending ETSU this fall and plans to major in elementary education. Congratulations Haley!


South Doyle High School Collision Repair Students Present KCS Security with Vehicle

Last Monday students enrolled in Mr. Rod McMahan’s Advanced Collision Repair course at SDHS presented a 2014 Chevrolet Impala to the KCS Security Department.

The car had 4,470 miles on the odometer when it was involved in a front end collision, and was declared totaled. Applying content learned in the classroom, the SDHS students completed repairs to the vehicle, passing the stringent Insurance Institute certification criteria.

“The completion of the Impala Project is just one example of how Career and Technical Education in the Knox County Schools continues to provide rigorous technical content while meeting high 21st century demands,” said Don Lawson, Director of Career, Technical and Adult Education for the Knox County Schools. “Programs like this provide strong evidence that we are utilizing personalized instruction to meet the individual needs of all Knox County students.”


Second Monthly KCS Bus Driver Safety Awards Granted

Last Wednesday five more bus drivers received awards during the second monthly Knox County Bus Driver Safety Awards. Those honored include:

  • Larry Mercier, Copper Ridge Elementary and Halls HS, 1 year service;
  • Darlene Boling, Sequoyah Elementary and West HS; 22 years’ service;
  • Martha Cowden, Powell Schools; 39 years’ service;
  • Jerry House, Farragut Primary and Middle; 4 years’ service;
  • Earl Atkinson, West View Elementary; 4 years’ service.

The drivers received a Certificate from KCS along with a $100 check from Ted Russell Ford. The drivers selected have been graded with high standards by the Knox County School System, the contractors, the Sheriff’s department, and school staff. Thanks also to WIVK 107.7.


Knox County Education Association Donates $500 to Zaevion Dobson Scholarship Fund

The Knox County Education Association has made a $500 donation to the Zavion Dobson Scholarship Fund at Fulton High School. It came from donations made by KCEA school representatives and other members across Knox County. Because part of the KCEA mission is to promote quality education in Knox County, the executive board felt it was important to be a part of helping to further a student’s education.

KCEA President Lauren Hopson said, “As teachers who recognize the efforts of their students every day, we felt that donating to the Zavion Dobson fund was a way to honor the memory of a heroic student and encourage others who engage in selfless acts every day, which are the kids this scholarship fund will help.”

Fulton Principal Rob Speas attended the May KCEA Representative Assembly meeting in order to receive the donation and offer his thanks.