By Sally Absher


Zaevion Dobson to Receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award

ESPN reports that Zaevion Dobson will be awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS next month. Zaveion, a Fulton High School football player, was shot to death last December while shielding two girls from gunfire.

Just 15 years old at the time of his death, he is the youngest recipient ever to receive the award, which recognizes individuals who embody the spirit of former tennis great Arthur Ashe. Ashe dedicated his life to human rights advocacy.

“There’s nothing more courageous than somebody sacrificing their own life for somebody else,” said Maura Mandt, executive producer for the ESPYS.

Previous winners of the Ashe Courage Award have included Muhammad Ali, Dean Smith, Billie Jean King, Pat Summitt, Michael Sam, Caitlyn Jenner and four United Flight 93 passengers who helped prevent a Sept. 11 hijacking in 2001.

Fulton will host a fundraising gala Aug. 6 at Bridgewater Place to help raise money for a scholarship in Zaevion’s memory. For more information, visit


July 5 is Last Day to Register to Vote in August Election

Madeline and Reagan Horn, above, want to remind everyone to vote in the upcoming August election! They are the daughters of Susan Horn, who received the plurality of votes (45%) in the three-way primary, and will face Buddy Pelot in a run-off election on August 4th. The last day to register for the August Knox County election is July 5! Early voting runs July 15th – 30th.

Last week a group of SPEAK (Students, Parents and Educators Across Knox County) members and friends met in North Knoxville to phone bank for Susan Horn. SPEAK and the Knox County Political Action Committee for Education (KC-PACE) have both endorsed Susan for the 5th District Board of Education seat, which includes A.L. Lotts, Blue Grass, West Valley, and Farragut Primary, Intermediate, Middle, and High schools.


University of Tennessee Chancellor Jimmy Cheek Stepping Down

Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek announced last week that he will step down from his position and return to a faculty position teaching higher education leadership at the University of Tennessee sometime in the coming academic year.

UT President Joe DiPietro will begin the search for a new chancellor immediately, with the goal of filling the job by spring semester 2017.

Cheek has served as Chancellor of UTK for seven years. He described being chancellor as the “best job I’ve ever had” and said stepping down is a personal decision he made earlier this year.

Cheek will join the faculty of the Department of Leadership Education and Policy Studies in UT’s College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

He will be joining former Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre, who joins UT next month as the Director of the Center for Educational Leadership and assistant professor after resigning from KCS.


Six TN Students Finish in Top Ten at National History Day

Of the 58 middle and high school students representing Tennessee in the National History Day competition this month, six students from Knoxville, Maryville, Watertown, and Memphis finished among the top 10 in their categories.

A total of 35 group and individual entries were submitted by Tennessee students who earned the right to compete nationally by winning medals at the state contest, Tennessee History Day, earlier in the year.

The six finalists from Tennessee include:

  • Kenton Smith and Benjamin Hall, Knoxville (L&N Stem Academy), 9th place Senior Group Documentary for their entry “The Music of Vince Guaraldi.”
  • Hannah Robbins and Eli Harrison, Maryville (Clayton-Bradley Academy), 8th place in the Junior Group Performance for their entry “Marconi: Changing the World Through the Exploration of the First Wireless.”
  • Ibtihal Malley, Memphis (Pleasant View School), 4th Place in the Senior Individual Paper for the entry “The French Exploration and Occupation of Syria: Encounters and Exchanges that Left a Lasting Legacy.”
  • Deanna Upchurch, Watertown (Watertown High School), 10th place in the Senior Individual Documentary for the entry “Directing a War: Hollywood’s Encounter with World War II.”


GCA Announces New Head of Upper School

Mr. Tim G. Holland has been named as the new Head of Upper School at Grace Christian Academy. Mr. Holland comes to GCA with thirteen years of teaching, coaching, and administrative experience.  He most recently served as head of the Upper School at The Pine School, a prep school, in Stuart, Florida.