Laurel Elementary honors local veterans


Laurel Elementary School was pleased to host the second annual ‘Breakfast with a Veteran’ program as a way of saying “thank you” to our local veterans. The event began at 7:30 a.m. on
Friday, November 8, 2019, with breakfast for all students, staff, and 41 special guests.
At 8 a.m., the program began with the presentation of the colors by the Johnson County Honor Guard. As students gently waved flags
in the background, Megan McEwen presented the
National Anthem, and then Rayley Matheson led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following the opening of the program, the students enjoyed a presentation on the history of the flag and flag etiquette given by Richard Dionne, Johnson County Honor Guard.
Afterward, students and guests listened as Junior Maze presented “The Ragged Old Flag” for the group.
Students then gave cards they had made and a sweet note of appreciation to all of the veterans.
After presenting the gifts, students lined up to form a Path of Honor and applauded the veterans as they walked down the path shaking
hands, high fiving, and talking with the students. Students were then excited to have their picture made with various veterans from their family and the Laurel community.
It was an honor and privilege for the students at Laurel Elementary School to learn more about the sacrifice and service of our local veterans, as well as the history and treatment of our great country’s flag.

First annual fashion show comes to Laurel

By Meg Dickens

Laurel Elementary School is hosting its first-ever fashion show on Friday, November 22. Children can sign up in one of three available categories: Sweet and Sassy casual wear, Glitz and Glam formal wear, or Princess and Pirates Disney characters. Each category has themed decorations.

Organizer Donna Ward thought of the idea after her granddaughter Hanna Hartstein participated in the Love Yourself children’s pageant to raise money for breast cancer research.

Ward gushed over how cute the children were and how much fun they were having. Ward also noted that the updated gym/cafeteria has the perfect setup for a show.

Ward told The Tomahawk, “We want people to come out and support our kids. Let’s let them feel beautiful and special for a day.”

There is a $10 registration fee. This covers optional makeup, runway lessons, light refreshments, and professional photos taken by

photographer Jenny Matthews.

These photos will be on Laurel Elementary’s website at Claudette Satchell, recently Laurel’s principal for a day, reached out to organizers to sponsor two children in this show who may have trouble paying the fee.

Any children interested in this pageant must sign up by November 15.
Contact organizer Donna Ward with any questions at 302-875-6140.

Career Day brings community and students together

Johnson County High School seniors, Taylor Cox, Taylor Parsons, Bella Gibson, Adam Manuel and Sydney Souder enjoy learning about the career possibilities after high school Thursday at JCHS during Career Day. Photos by Beth Cox

By Beth Cox
Freelance Writer
JCHS students were able to get a glimpse of possible future endeavors and careers last Thursday, as many local vendors gathered on the Atwood Court to showcase their businesses and organizations for Career Day.
Career Day is a collaboration by both the JCHS Counseling Department and GEAR UP Johnson County. The event gives students a foundation for employment opportunities within the region.
According to school counselor and one of the coordinators for Career Day, Priscilla Davis, “the students are exposed to a variety of opportunities, some of which they have never considered before, to begin preparing for life after high school.”
Davis feels that by giving the students a chance to observe and prepare for the future with events such as Career Day, they can create a plan of success after receiving their diplomas.
Adam Manuel felt a sense of direction after experiencing Career Day, and said, “I got to talk to many people in a variety of occupations today. I was able to speak with them and figure out an idea of what I want and what I don’t want to do with my life.”
More than 30 vendors from East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Western North Carolina were available Thursday to not only talk with the students, but many had interactive activities set up to give a clear understanding of the business or organizations.
Brad Reece, with Johnson County Bank, enjoyed visiting with the students and listening to their thoughts about their careers and their future.
“I was impressed with how many of the students already had a sense of direction toward the career path they intended to take,” Reece said. “It was evident they had placed serious thought into what they desired to do. It shows the positive effect the teachers have on many students.”
The success of Career Day is an excellent partnership between School Counselors, GEAR UP, and high school teachers.
“The teachers decided how long their classes would be able to participate in the event with many giving the students 30-40 minutes,” Davis said.
After the career fair, Tina Reece, Health Science teacher for JCHS stated the Career Fair generated many questions from students upon returning to the classroom.
“We not only discussed salaries, but also benefits like insurance and retirement, but we also compared that of working with some of the vendors as being self-employed, it was good interaction and thought-provoking for the students about their future.”

Mountain City Elementary First Nine Weeks Honor Roll

Superior Honor Roll
(All A’s):Kindergarten: Conner Bennett, Olivia Butler, Paris Davis, Danielle Dickens, Corbin Hood, Robert Rivera, Zoe Lipford, Kayden Main, Lyric McGinnas, Anthony Morefield, Westin Payne, Aidan Jennings, Easton Bauguess, Eric Berger, Collin Dugger, Braylee Hammons, Khloe Hewett, Cooper Ingle, Genesis Espinoza, Elias Norman, Aaron Shearin, Ayden Simmons, Casson Smith, Kynzleigh Blevins, Mia Crews, A. J. Freeman, Tray Hensley, Ava Hodge, Jordyn Snyder, Jo Jo Aldridge, Ryleigh Bishop, Corbin Dugger, Jayden Greer, Rylin Hansen, Knox Hayworth, Makynleigh Henson, Jacob Long, Levi Lowe, Taryn Percy, Danica Sutherland and Eduardo Vargas;

First Grade: Levi Bishop, Jacob Brown, Jasper Eckert, Karsen Edes-King, Trystan Eller, Daniella Eppard, Matt Grieve, Braxton Jones, Evan Perkins, Lucas Reece, Faith Roberts, Millie Thomas, Lucas Cretsinger, Paislee Evans, Kaylee Mahala, Judah Norman and Easton Snyder;

Second Grade: Emily Butler, Braylin Hansen, Mason Luckett, Kingston Mills, Allie Mullins, Barrett Parker, Hannah Sharp, Elijah Dunn, Aliyah Farrow, Mason Gregg, Kylee Cannon, McKenzie Jennings, Emmett Johnson, Montana Stewart, Lilly Berger and Elizabeth Mann;

Third Grade: Corbin Gribble, Aubrey Jennings, Rylan Jones, Danny Lipford, Jacob Prater, Clara Wilson, Michelle Chambers, Peyton Edes-King, Macie Farrow, Koen Jones, Addie Ward, Nicole Eppard, Lauren Henley, Kearstan Jennings, Camden Johnson, Tanner Leonard, Savannah Mains and Zach Roark;

Fourth Grade: Haidyn Farrow, Jayleigh Kope, Maddison Price, Bobby Sexton, Jonathan Garza, Liyah Hillman, Gavin Mahala, Sawyer Marshall, Jillian Perkins, Isaiah Eller, Zack Lipford and Zoey Pope;

Fifth Grade: Kassidy Biestek, Jada Furches, Eli Horne, Addy Snyder, Carter Atwood, Kacelyn Dunn, Rylee Henson, Ella Icenhour, Jill Jensen, Alexis Juarez, Braxton Bragg, Emmie Lamarr, Kyle Maple and Aleela Reece;

Sixth Grade: Constance Blankenship, Kaden Blevins, Isabella Ferguson, Carson Jennings, Isaac Lewis, Lexi Mullins, Emily Orr, Dylan Warren, Julia Crews, Emma Dugger, Josie Grindstaff, Emma Jennings, Harris Perkins, Nate Sutherland, Lyric Fritts, Gracie Hammett and Katie Timbs.

(All A’s/B’s or all B’s)
Kindergarten: Corey Kimble and Henry Ramirez;

First Grade: Oisin Fitzpatrick, Nola Furches, Lena Hammons, Madden Reynolds, Kacy Cook, Landen Johnson, Lorelei Lowe, Zackary McKinnis, Mason Roark, Casen Lewis, Zane Spicer, Mason Tolliver and Eva Walters;

Second Grade: Madison Arnold, Addison Joyce, Shelby Lipford, Sheylin South, Kayla Bumgardner, Marley Jenkins, Daniel Plank, Rylynn Snyder, Ethan Wilson, C. J. Jones, Coleman Rider, Barry Sanders, Konner Self, Gracey South, Karoline Thompson and Savanna Younce;

Third Grade: Ivy Abernathy, Jayden Anderson, Joseph Dowell, Jazmine Ellison, Dahlia Hammons, Nevaeh Lewis, McKynlee Smith, Andrew South, Reese Wells, Lindsey Bryan, Reece Bulliner, Henry Cross, Jenesis Eckert, Eli Hammons, Sebastian Johnson, Katey Marshall, Jeremiah McEwen, Scotty Orndorff, Bryce Osborne, Avery Blevins, River Burgess, Madeline Davis, Kelsey Forrester, Alicia Littlewhirwind and Evan Stamper;

Fourth Grade: Lulu Davis, Makenzie Dickens, Clayton Furches, Matthew Greer, Jillian Hatley, Aiden Hope, Joey Jensen, Jaylinn Johnson, Laighthyn Percy, Ezzy Walker, Connor Wallace, Madelynn Wegner, Tristany Lawler, Mason Lefevre, Sophia Lin, Madelyn Long, Emma Miller, Lyric Mosely, Autumn Roark, Alex Wright, Jacy Cook, Carson Dorman, Lucas Dunn, Hunter McElyea, Arraya Mounts, Eli Norris, Emilynn Sedgwick, Abby Sluder and Chea Vanover;

Fifth Grade: Aaron Campbell, Breyonna Clark, Karlie Jo Fletcher, Kaden Jones, Graham Long, Trinity Poe, Karleigh Sutherland, Eli Tester, Summer Wells, Jackson Bauguess, Tamra Brooks, Jacob Frauenthal, Lanaya Joyce, Leah Mason, Julia Piatt, Dylan Reece, Michael Watson, Jalyn Blevins, Emma Brown, Gracie Butler, Savannah Hamm, Chloe Johnson, C. J. Lipford, Maelie Luckett, Nate Price, Mason Spicer and Brayden Taylor;

Sixth Grade: Jayden Bishop, Brooklyn Hicks, Emily Houser, Clayton Lewis, Jacquelin Lunceford, Hunter Paisley, Hailey Shepherd, Kimberly Bonilla, Reagan Greene, Jayden Kimble, Krystal Kite,
Cameron Lewis, Hailey Lewis, Landin Lipford, Josiah McEwen, Eli Stamper, Hannah Stanley, Gavan Conder,
Addison Norman, Josh Potter, Ethan Smith, Izzy Thompson, Paola Vargas, Chris Wilson, Briley Vaught and Keegan Wright.

Life in the fast lane good for Simcox

Dylan Simcox, right, working on it at home. He’s always looking for ways to make his ride better.  Submitted photo.

By Tim Chambers

Johnson County has been blessed to have several good athletes over the past two seasons in football, basketball, and baseball, but now they can add drag racing to the mix. Dylan Simcox, a senior at Johnson County High School, is finding success in the sport after giving up basketball to pursue his dream.
Simcox wore the tab as being an excellent shooter from beyond the three-point arc, but he’s also learning how to score at the racing level.
The honor student ran his first race at age 15 at the historic Wilkesboro Dragway in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. He touched on how he got started and what his goals were for the future.
“I have always loved going to the track and watching my papaw race,” said Simcox. He’s been doing it for 40-45 years, and he’s had a lot of success. I am what you could say a “Papaw’s Boy” and he’s the one who bought me my first race car. He’s definitely the one who got me started in this.”
Sonny Gambill, Simcox’s grandfather, has been involved in racing for over four decades. He has raced the same car, a 69 Nova, for more than three decades. So, it was only fitting that he would be able to purchase Dylan’s first race car.
“I actually race a truck,” said Simcox. “My grandfather and I were looking for something that I could get started in, and we found a 1986 Chevy S10 truck. It was the perfect thing for me to get started with. There was a guy in Kingsport that built it, but nothing in it is original, and it is not stocked. I spend a lot of my time working on it.”
Simcox said that he and his papaw plan to add some changes to the vehicle over the winter. He always enjoys the tinkering part that comes along with drag racing.
“We’ve already changed the outside, and we’re planning on changing the rear end this winter. I hope to work on the motor some more before racing season begins in the spring. We’re always looking for ways to make our rides better.”
Simcox does what is called foot-brake drag racing and loves that fact of going fast. His best effort was recently in the Bristol Super Chevy Show.
“I got down into the finals of that one, so it’s probably been my best showing so far. I been in three finals but haven’t won one yet. Every since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to race, and now I’m getting to live out my dream. It’s so much fun when you’re out there going fast on the track legally. But there is so much more to drag racing than going fast.”
His most memorable moment came when he cut his first perfect light. That means that Simcox left the start line when the green lights came on at all zeros. That’s known as the perfect score in drag racing competition.
Simcox touched on some of his favorite drag strips, including the Farmington Dragway at Mocksville, North Carolina, and the Piedmont Dragway in Julian, North Carolina, in addition to North Wilkesboro. But none beat the track that is closest to him.
“My favorite track is Bristol,” said Simcox. “You can’t beat the atmosphere there, so it’s a great place to spend your weekend racing.”
Simcox was quick to compliment his best friend Michael Oxentine, who excels on the basketball court and football field as a senior Longhorns’ athlete. He’s also a pretty good racer too.
“Michael has an S10 too, and he’s been racing a long time. He got involved in junior racing, and he’s very good at it. We’ve only raced against each other one time, and he beat me, but I’ll get him next time. Michael and I are always together at the track, and we’ve shared some special moments. His mother, Amy Thompson, has been very special to me as well. She’s always at the track and has taught me a lot. We’ve all been friends for a long time, and it will continue to be that way.”
Simcox touched on his plans for the future after he graduates from high school, and it does involve staying in the sport.
“I would love to attend a good automotive school and study to be a crew chief or something like that. I’ve always been a hands-on person, and a lot of that is because of my papaw. He’s been there every step of the way and definitely has made me want to pursue my dream even more.”
Simcox is the son of Dr. Mischelle Gambill Simcox and Dirk Simcox. He has a younger brother Connor who is a standout three-sport athlete at Johnson County Middle School.
I asked Simcox if he had any regrets about giving up basketball to devote his time to racing. He was quick to reply.
“I liked basketball, and
all but this is something
that I would love to do for
the rest of my life. I’m not going to look back and regret not playing because I’ve enjoyed every minute that I’ve spent both on and off the track. Choosing racing first has been the best thing for me.”

Journei Donnelly is Laurel Elementary School’s Student of the week

Journie Donnelly shows great leadership, a strong desire to learn, and is always on top of her work, setting a good example of what a student’s work ethic should be in Mr. Taylor’s third-grade class at Laurel Elementary School.
In her spare time, Journie enjoys playing with her baby brother. She also likes playing on her phone.
Her favorite subject in school is reading, and she also enjoys recess.
Journie is the daughter of Brett and Elizabeth Donnelly. She has one older sister and one baby brother. Journie would like to become an artist when she grows up. Congratulations to Journie.
Photo submitted

Roan Creek 4-H students recognized

Abby Dickens, (4th grade), Emma Roark, (5th grade) and Layla Crotts, (6th grade) awarded in the 4-H program. Photo Submitted

Staff Report
During the month of October, the Johnson County Farm Bureau Women, recognized one 4th, 5th and 6th-grade student as 4-H’er of the Month from Roan Creek Elementary.
The students who receive this award have shown hard work and participation in the 4-H program within their class.
The students recognized for this award were: Abby Dickens, 4th grader in Mr. Timbs’ Homeroom, Emma Roark, 5th grader in Mrs. Dugger’s Homeroom and Layla Crotts, 6th grader in Mrs. Schmees’ Homeroom. The students were awarded $10 and a certificate.
The Farm Bureau Women would like to congratulate these students for their great work in the 4-H program.

Roan Creek Elementary First Nine Weeks Honor Roll

Kindergarten All A’s
McKenzie Courtner
Bailey Martin
Talhia Ortiz
Zyler Poteat
Blake Wells

A’s & B’s
Brayden Arnold
Hannah Brewer
Llonatan Espinoza
Chailyn Johnson
Layla Jennings
Landon Lewis
Hayes Perry
Braxton Phillips
Brooks Phillips
Shiloh Simcox
Derek Robinson

1st Grade All A’s
Josie Baker
Lillian Bendon
Charlotte Canter
Lille Johnson
Fernando Linares
Kitiana Poteat
Gunner Shull

A’s & B’s
Krystal Brooks
Edith Collette
Emma Costigan
Waylon Forrester
Leon Gentry
Blake Greene
Emma Hoffman
Jonah Izquierdo
Averie Perry
Lily Potter
Aiden Roush
Michael Sileo
Bethany Stout
Janecy Trochez
Stacy Trochez
Adalynn Winters

2nd Grade
All A’s
Vada Clifton
Darren Eggers
Viviana Robinson
Austin Shaw
Paisley Sturgill

A’s & B’s
Elijah Beam
Brady Blevins
Trina Brewer
Dominic Baldock
Elijah Costigan
Carson Icenhour

3rd Grade All A’s
Mason Brown
Marley Burgos
Bree Dunn
Katerlin Garcia
Lucas Gentry
Taylor Jennings
Madison Johnson
Nathaniel Lowe
Ella Rufty
Savannah Simcox
Kagen Townsend
Lindsey Yates

A’s & B’s
Joey Bendell
Jacob Bentley
Embry Bolin
Emma Cannon
Nick Cano
Gabbi Crowder
Eli Danner
Lexie Faircloth
Jenna Forrester
Rosaley Guy
Sophia Meade-Hernandez
Macie Morefield
Olivia Roark
Brook Robinson
Prailey Roop
Logan Trippi
Gracelynn Trochez
4th Grade
All A’s
Gibby Anderson
Elsie Clifton
Karter Cox
Braiden Folsom
Claira Porter
Audrey Shaw
Alyssa Stout
Christian Stout
Ariya Toth
Dylan Vanover

A’s & B’s
Luke Anderson
Jake Anderson
John Baldwin
Jennifer Berduo
C.J. Brown
Ethan Cannon
Nadia Castro
Billie Coffey
Izzy Davis
Abby Dickens
Bradley Henderson
Avonna Humphrey
Audrina Lynch
MacKenzie Maine
Hailey Meade
Infinity Minor
Summer Moses
Dominic Ruiz
Amelia Stout
Connor Stout

5th Grade All A’s
Kayleigh Crotts
Annika Davis
Daniel Gunter
Emily Ibarra
Eva Matthews
Catie McFadden
Josh Simmons
Ben Sturgill

A’s & B’s
Riley Brown
Matthew Davis
Kaleigh Dunn
Grayson Espinoza
Tyler Hicks
Aiden Holdaway
Cora Johnson
Chris Key
Roma Lipford
Maria Olmedo
Jaden Phillips
Anna Potter
Trevor Rawls
Chloe Rhymer
Emma Roark
Marley Snyder
Kaitlyn Trippi

6th Grade All A’s
Maddi Baldock
Madeline Bendon
Haiden Cobb
Josie Cox
Layla Crotts
Landon Greene
Elizabeth Jennings
Parker Miller
Emily Roark
Charlie Salmons
Shayla Sileo
Destiny Stout
Chloe Sutherland

A’s & B’s
Liddy Arnold
Ansley Clifton
Myleigh Crowder
Jonathan Csillag
Logan Davis
Tru Dunn
Zoe Epperly
Abel Johnson
Emma Lipham
Katelyn Osborne
Harris Perry
Kevin Williams
Trinity Winters

TDOE Awards Funding to Tennessee Charter Schools

Staff Report

NASHVILLE— Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn announced that 117 charter schools will receive approximately half of the $12 million that was allocated to the department’s Charter School Facilities fund in Governor Lee’s budget.
The money is designed to ensure that students in a Tennessee charter school are being educated in an environment that supports student achievement, safety, and well-being.
Funding can be spent for any of the following purposes:
· Property purchases to relocate or establish a school,

· Fund general improvements to existing facilities,

· Assist with costs associated with purchasing/leasing underutilized or vacant property, or

· Support existing capital outlay projects.
This $5.85 million will be distributed to schools in six districts based on the number of students they serve.
In the document that’s attached, you’ll see a full list of schools, along with the amount of money each school will receive.
In mid-November, a competitive grant will be made available to all charter schools throughout the state that will receive the remaining $6 million.
For more information on the Charter School Facilities Program, contact Robert Lundin, assistant commissioner of school models and programs, at [email protected]
For media inquiries, contact Jennifer Johnson, director of communications, at [email protected]

Governor Lee Launches Governor’s Civics Seal and Mini-Grants

Staff report

NASHVILLE – earlier this month, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the launch of the Governor’s Civics Seal and mini-grant program to provide support and recognize schools and districts that prioritize “teaching our nation’s history and civic values.”
“I am proud to launch this initiative to inspire our Tennessee students to be civically engaged,” said Governor Lee. “By providing strong civics programming in our schools, we are ensuring that future generations will build upon the incredible progress our state and country has made.”
Having announced the Governor’s Civics Seal during his first State of the State address earlier this year, Governor Lee allocated $500,000 to support public schools and districts implementing high-quality civic education programs that result in readiness for college, career, and civic life.
A portion of these funds will be used for the Governor’s Civics Seal mini-grants, which will be awarded to schools and districts across the state.
“Instilling strong civic values in our students is important to ensuring they are life-long learners and active citizens. I look forward to working with Governor Lee to award mini-grants to schools and districts that champion this initiative and provide opportunities for students to learn about our government,” said Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn.
The Tennessee Department of Education will be using the allocated funds in part to award mini-grants to schools and districts that provide programs, resources, and professional learning opportunities that emphasize civic learning.
Schools and districts excelling at these initiatives will be able to earn the Governor’s Civics Seal in the 2020-21 school year.
At the school-level, the Governor’s Civics Seal mini-grants will be awarded to 20 rural and urban schools across Tennessee in the amount of $5,000 to $10,000. At the district-level, $15,000 will be awarded to 10 rural or urban schools across the state. The application window opens Friday, Oct. 25 and closes on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. The department will be offering an online training beginning Oct. 24 to provide more information to districts and schools on the Governor’s Civics Seal and associated mini-grants.
Visit the Governor’s Civics Seal web page for more information.
For questions about the Governor’s Civics Seal and mini-grants, please contact Kadie Patterson, social studies and world language coordinator, at [email protected]
For media inquiries, please contact Jennifer Johnson, director of communications, at [email protected]

JCHS honors school custodians

Johnson County High school students, teachers and administration were delighted to honor the school’s custodians earlier this month for the hard work done at the school for the benefit of all. Online photo

Roan Creek Elementary Students of the Month

Roan Creek Elementary School students Charlotte Canter, Lexie Faircloth, Madelyn Arnold,
Tyra Smith, Ben Sturgill, Vada Clifton enjoy the spotlight after being chosen as Students of the Month for September. Not pictured: Llonathan Espinosa. Congratulations students.
Photo submitted.

From culinary to coaching; high school teacher puts heart into his craft

Coach Craig Cox, right, cooking for Friday night ‘s football game against Cloudland. The JCHS culinary students help Cox prepare food for staff and referees. Photo by Beth Cox

By Beth Cox

Walking into Coach Craig Cox’s kitchen at JCHS on a Friday when the football team is playing at home could be nothing short of walking into Gordon Ramsey’s famous kitchen.
One can not ignore the clatter of pots and pans, the aroma of food, and chatter of students scurrying around to complete the directions of the culinary arts teacher.
But, on football-Fridays, Cox’s dual responsibilities cover both the culinary arts and coaching.
Cox is one of very few culinary arts teachers who also happens to be a football coach.
Cox has taught and coached at JCHS for over five years. In those five years, he has prepared some of the best food this side of the Watauga Lake for both football staff and referees. Cox is also the assistant football coach for the JCHS football team.
“I’m pretty busy on home game football nights, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Cox said. “The culinary arts students help prepare the food throughout the day under close supervision and direction from Cox. The trained chef praises his students’ desire to learn, “they work hard for me; it gets crazy in the kitchen, but they stay pretty focused.”
Cox continues,” I put a lot of heart in both cooking and coaching, it’s important to represent the community to the fullest and let people know we have something special here in Mountain City.”
The referees most assuredly know of the “something special” Cox is referring to, including referee Drew Chambers, who commented about the Longhorn cuisine, “We referees know when we go to Johnson County, we are going to get a good meal. I prefer Coach Cox’s cooking over most restaurants.”
After all the food is prepared, Cox heads down to the football field to begin his coaching duties. The assistant coach loves being able to work with the football team “I enjoy coaching, I played in high school, so when asked if I wanted to help with the team, I was all in.” He and Coach Don Kerley started the same year, “I enjoy working with Coach, he’s a great Christian man, and I have learned a lot from him.”
After the game is over,
the stadium is cleared, and everyone heads home,
Cox is back in the kitchen finishing up,” I get out of there late, but I have great help; my family has been right there helping every step of the way. I wouldn’t be able to do both without them.”

Laurel student of the week

Ryan Smith has been chosen as Student of the Week in Mrs.
Savery’s class at
Laurel Elementary.
Ryan’s favorite subject in school is Math. Ryan likes to play video games in his free time, especially Fort Nite. When he grows up he wants to be a rapper.
Congrats Ryan.
Photo Submitted

Area schools succeed in 26.2n30 challenge

The Johnson County Coordinated School Health hosted a 26.2n30 challenge. Amanda McGlamery with Coordinated School Health of Johnson County Schools explained that 26.2n30 stands for 26.2 miles in 30 days a challenge for Johnson County Classrooms.“We wanted to get the staff and the students to walk or run a marathon in 30 days,” McGlamery said. “The classrooms that completed the marathon received tote bags with classroom supplies that consisted of copying paper, pencils, glue sticks, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, erasers, notepads that were all donated by Johnson County Community Hospital Extended Hours and the Johnson County Health Department.” The overall classroom winners who had the most miles received a recess pack from Coordinated School Health that consisted of playground supplies. “Our hope is that the staff and students establish a habit of walking or running some each day that will benefit their health in the future. Winners included Mrs. Angie Long – top winner with 105 miles – MCE; Mrs. Annette; Greer – MCE; Mrs. Jennifer Icenhour – MCE; Mrs. Brittany Freeman – top winner Laurel with 31.5; Mrs. Kaitlyn Vincient – Laurel with 29.5 and Leann Shoun – top winner JCMS with 26.2.
Photos Submitted

Schools in District of East Tennessee Awarded $470,662 in Funding

Press Release

WASHINGTON –The Department of Justice announced it has awarded more than $85.3 million to bolster school security—including funding to educate and train students and faculty—and support first responders who arrive on the scene of a school shooting or other violent incident.
“These federal resources will help to prevent school violence and give our students the support they need to learn, grow, and thrive,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “By training faculty, students, and first responders, and by improving school security measures, we can make schools and their communities safer.”
“The US Attorney’s office continues to support all efforts to create safe environments for students, faculty, and staff,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey of the Eastern District of Tennessee. “Our office is pleased to announce these federal resources will be put to use within our district, and I am confident they will be used to improve school security and add to our community’s collective peace of mind.”
The grants award more than $470,000 in funding to prevent violence in schools in the Eastern District of Tennessee. President Trump signed the STOP School Violence Act into law in March 2018, authorizing grants that are designed to improve threat assessments, train students and faculty to provide tips and leads, and prepare law enforcement officers and emergency professionals to respond to school shootings and other violent incidents. The grant programs are managed by OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance, within the Department’s Office of Justice Programs, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services manage the programs and administer the grants, which include funds to:
•Develop school threat assessment teams and pursue technological solutions to improve reporting of suspicious activity in and around schools;
•Implement or improve school safety measures, including coordination with law enforcement, as well as the use of metal detectors, locks, lighting, and other deterrent measures;
•Train law enforcement to help deter student violence against others and themselves;
•Improve notification to first responders through implementation of technology that expedites emergency notifications;
•Develop and operate anonymous reporting systems to encourage safe reporting of potential school threats;
•Train school officials to intervene when mentally ill individuals threaten school safety; and
•Provide training and technical assistance to schools and other awardees in helping implement these programs.

For more details about these individual award programs, as well as listings of individual 2019 awardees, visit
About the Office of Justice Programs:
The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T.
Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance, and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to
prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal justice
system. More information about OJP and its
components can be found at
About the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services:
The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 130,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training, and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit

Homecoming: Success! Happiness hits the JCHS football field

Johnson County junior Sadie Stout enjoys the spotlight during the 2019 Johnson County High School Homecoming Parade that started the evening’s festivities ahead of the football game just minutes later against Claiborne County, Mountain City. Photo by Tamas Mondovics

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

The 2019 Johnson County High School Homecoming is over and embedded in the sweet memories of all who participated.
This year’s homecoming was just about as wonderful as the weather at Friday night’s football game.
The week was filled with crazy outfits reconstructing some favorite characters and paying homage to good ole red, white and blue, and of course, maroon and white.
The annual powder puff football game brought in a big crowd with spectators enjoying Kona ice as they eagerly cheered on their favorite team Friday afternoon on the JCHS football field.
The powder-puff game gave the ladies a chance to show off some football plays of their own and allowed the football players to trade in their jerseys for a whistle for a brief moment.
Jared Kimble, Jy Webster, Lucas Walters, Jamal Scott, Chance Phillips, and Luke Osborne were some of the players who helped with coaching. The game was a contest between classes, the freshmen and sophomore against the juniors and seniors. The juniors and seniors could not let the freshmen and sophomores get the winning edge over the team, so they gained control early and kept the touchdowns going throughout the game and taking the win 33-0.
The annual homecoming parade began at 5:30, starting at the First Baptist Church and ending at the high school. The streets of downtown were lined with excited fans ready to see the lovely homecoming
court, wave to some football players, hear the band and see the cheerleaders. The rowdy young fans also had an agenda of their own; they did not want to leave empty-handed, so they eagerly waited with
hopeful anticipation of receiving the candy tossed their way.
The homecoming court walked on the field at halftime as many waited to see who the 2019 football homecoming queen and princess would be. The nine young ladies were escorted across the area to the Longhorn sideline by members of the football team.
Homecoming princess, Emily Miller, was crowned by senior cheerleader Danielle Robinson. The homecoming queen for 2019 is Natalie Winters. Jada Gentry made a special appearance to relinquish her role as homecoming queen to Winters.
The Longhorns completed the week perfectly by playing a great game against Claiborne County. It was nice to see the boys walk off the field, smiling for gaining a sweet victory over their opponents.

Jones named Good Neighbor for October

JCMS student Mattie Jones, center, enjoys the
spotlight, while recognized as this month’s Good Neighbor. Photo submitted

Johnson County Middle School student Mattie Jones has been named the Good Neighbor for October, 2019,

Sponsored by the local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma International, this award recognizes students who demonstrate neighborliness through exemplary kindness and respect, generosity of spirit, and the ability to put others’ needs before themselves.

Mattie’s teachers describe her as a young lady with a wonderful work ethic who is kind and respectful to staff and fellow students.
She is always willing to lend a helping hand to others.

Mrs. Teresa Stansberry, Principal of JCMS, joined Sheila Cruse, representing the Johnson County Chapter of DKG, in presenting Mattie with letters of congratulations.

Laurel student of the week

Nevaeh Heaton is a second grader in Mrs. Freeman’s class at Laurel Elementary School. She is a strong role model of how a student leader should act engaged in the lessons of the day. She is the granddaughter of David and Bobbie Jo Watson. When she grows up,
Nevaeh wants to be a veterinarian. She has a passion for
helping animals. Nevaeh’s favorite subjects are math and recess. In her spare time, she loves to play with her dog, Libby. She loved school. Congratulations Nevaeh.

County schools stand against bullying

Mountain City Elementary wear blue to celebrate the World Day of Bullying Prevention. Director of Schools Mischelle Simcox encouraged all county schools to participate. Photo by Gay Triplett.

By Meg Dickens

World Day of Bullying Prevention was Monday, October 7. Director of Schools Mischelle Simcox encouraged schools countywide to follow Stomp Out Bullying’s advice to “Blue Up” by wearing blue to show support to stop bullying.
Stomp Out Bullying’s motto is to stand against hate, racism, and discrimination to create harmony.
“The staff and students at Mountain City Elementary participated in the World Day of Bullying Prevention. This happens on the first Monday of every October,” explained Mountain City Elementary Principal Gay Triplett. “Students, schools, and communities all over the world go BLUE together on this day to show support against bullying. It kicks off National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.”
Bullying does more damage than some may think. It harms the victims, bullies, and bystanders in the process.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has linked bullying to negative consequences, which include mental health problems, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts.
Events like these promote awareness and discourage bullying. A push in the right direction may be all it takes to turn a bystander into an “upstander.”
The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) defines the bystander effect as a psychological phenomenon where bystanders feel discouraged to help if others are nearby. The more bystanders, the less likely someone will take action because he or she assumes someone else will. This is called diffusion of responsibility.
According to DHHS, there are many simple ways to curb bullying. Most of these tips depend on shifting the focus off of the victim. Redirecting conversation, diffusing the atmosphere with humor, and walking with targets to avoid leaving them alone are all simple and easy ways to help decrease potential bullying.
Anti-bullying tactics operate best when adults and children work together to cover the full spectrum.
The best way to prevent bullying is to teach children what it involves. Common bullying consists of teasing, threatening to harm someone, spreading rumors, intentionally not including someone, or attacking someone either physically or with words.

Find more information on bullying and how to prevent it at