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VOL. 42 | NO. 10 | Friday, March 9, 2018

Knox County picks top teachers of year

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Three Knox County Schools teachers have been named “Teacher of the Year’’ recipients, selected by guidelines from the Tennessee Department of Education.

School-level recipients are nominated by their colleagues for this annual award and from that group of school-level winners, the three top teachers are chosen.

This year’s top three are:

• Madison Snyder from Bonny Kate Elementary has been teaching with the school system since 2014. She has served as a Canvas Summer camp counselor, a technology trainer, a mentor teacher and as a team leader. She has also served such groups as Girls on the Run of Greater Knoxville and Camp Ba Yo Ca and served in many volunteer roles for her school’s PTA.

• J.T. Hicks from Cedar Bluff Middle School has been teaching for 12 years and has been in the Knox County system since 2012. He has served as a mentor teacher, a team leader and as a member of the Principal Advisory committee. He has also been recognized as a Lexus Leader of Knoxville, as a two-time Tennessee Lottery State Educator of the Month and a two-time WBIR Educator of the Week. He serves as a science bowl coach, youth basketball coach and as a show design and percussion consultant.

• Bryan Schultz from L&N STEM Academy has been teaching for 10 years and has served as the science department chair, as a member of the UTK Earth and Planetary Sciences Advisory Board, on the National Honor Society committee and the Staff Development committee. He has been recognized as a teacher of the year honoree in previous years and is responsible for creating the L&N STEM Advisory Board.

Oak Ridge Schools laud teacher assistants

The Oak Ridge Schools system has honored its teacher assistants of the year.

The assistants work to help teachers with on-going activities related to curriculum and organizing and preparing materials for instruction. They also reinforce skills in small groups or with individual students, complete records and moderate discussions and prepare materials for students who are out. The assistants plan and supervise field trips and oversee public activities.

This year’s honorees:

• Oak Ridge Schools Preschool’s Sandra Nichols

She has been a teacher assistant with Oak Ridge Preschool for 13 years and has worked with children for 30 years. Nichols has worked in elementary grades K-4. She sees the importance of these role models to be second only to family members, and as important to the lives of these students who are our future generation.

• Glenwood Elementary’s Vicki Blank

She has been a teacher assistant with Glenwood for 17 years, where she teaches, assesses and plans for tiered instruction and small group reading. She continually looks for and applies new methods to keep students’ attention, giving them intentional individual attention and building on their strengths so they can be themselves. Additionally, she fosters awareness of students’ accomplishments.

• Linden Elementary’s Deborah Dukes

She has been a teacher assistant at Linden for 10 years. She has led the Fresh Start Elementary Behavior program for the past two years. Throughout her years of teaching, she has learned that each student is unique and must be treated and respected as an individual. She cultivates an environment of personalized academic, social and emotional instruction to support the needs of each child.

• Willow Brook Elementary’s Lori Murphree

Lori has been a teacher assistant at Willow Brook Elementary for 7 years. She works in many classrooms, hallways and borrowed spaces. She teaches alongside veteran classroom teachers, leading small groups for reading and math intervention across three grade levels. Her favorite experience this year was reading the book, “Make a Marionette,’’ exposing second graders to different genres and utilizing a “how-to” as a fresh idea. The students then begged to get to make a marionette.

• Woodland Elementary’s Lisa LaBuy

She has been in her current teacher assistant position at Woodland Elementary School for six years. LaBuy provides focused guidance to students according to student goals. She works hard to know every student to understand unique ability levels, building relationships with trust, rapport and humor. She incorporates hands-on learning to enhance student interest, response and enjoyment. LaBuy provides support for individual students inside and outside of the classroom so they can participate in activities with their fullest potential.

• Jefferson Middle School’s Dorothy Fairs

She has been a teacher assistant at Jefferson Middle School for 28 years. Her primary duties involve helping students complete school assignments either for disciplinary reasons or simply to catch up on homework in a quiet environment. In addition to her daily role in student academic support, she has also been a cheerleading coach and philanthropic leader in several initiatives, including the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering.

• Robertsville Middle School’s Julie Lee

She has worked for Oak Ridge Schools for 17 years, and for the past five has served as the teacher assistant in the Robertsville Middle School library/media center. Among many duties, Lee assists students with checking out and repair of books and computers and assists with academic intervention. With the implementation of the one-to-one initiative, Access Oak Ridge, Lee has been involved with many aspects of the rollout and day-to-day operations.

• Secret City Academy’s Belinda Donald

She has been a teacher assistant in the Secret City Academy for six years. She serves as a behavioral interventionist, conducting Life Space interviews with students. Each interview connects feelings to actions, summarizes the chronology of incidents and identifies alternative approaches that would have produced better results. Donald continually supports and communicates with teachers and parents about how to make progress with students.

• Oak Ridge High School’s Janice Zimprich

She has been a teaching assistant at Oak Ridge High School for 13 years and has served in many capacities from athletics and National Honor Society to the classroom in every subject area and learning level. One of her most notable accomplishments includes starting a work-based learning program in special education programs to enable students to acquire skills in sports concessions. This has given several students the opportunity to work 4-5 days per week.

Davenport honored by her alma mater


Western Kentucky University’s Board of Regents has announced its approval of an honorary Doctorate of Letters for WKU graduate Beverly J. Davenport, Chancellor of the University of Tennessee.

“This is a wonderful way to celebrate her accomplishments,” says WKU President Timothy C. Caboni.

Davenport earned her bachelor’s degree from WKU’s Communication and Journalism departments and her master’s degree from the Communication department. She has a doctorate in organizational communication from the University of Michigan.

She has served in multiple roles at the University of Kentucky, University of Kansas, Virginia Tech University, Purdue University, University of Cincinnati and University of Tennessee. She became the eighth chancellor at UT in 2017.

ASME selects Burchell for engineers society


Timothy D. Burchell, a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been elected fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The organization cited Burchell for his international recognition in the field of material properties of graphite and carbon.

He is the nuclear graphite team leader in the Materials Science and Technology Division’s Nuclear Materials Science and Technology group at ORNL. He was previously Carbon Materials Technology group leader and managed the Modular High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Graphite Program.

Burchell, who is also a fellow of the American Carbon Society, received his doctorate in materials science from the University of Bath, United Kingdom.

Darter, Serbin partner in osteopathic practice


Covenant Health announces Danielle Darter, M.D., and Mary F. Serbin, FNP-BC, are opening a medical practice in partnership with DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine.


They will be practicing at Morristown Family Medicine and in the Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare system.

Under Darter’s medical oversight, Morristown Family Medicine will serve as a clinical rotation site for student physicians as part of the health system’s partnership with DeBusk College.

Darter, whose clinical interests are in pediatric and adult care, wellness education and women’s health, attended Medical College of Virginia, did her residency in family medicine at St. Luke’s and her fellowship in obstetrics at Meharry Medical College.

Serbin, a certified nurse practitioner, is interested in adolescent and adult health care, women’s health care and cardiac rehabilitation.

She received her Master of Science in Nursing at Carson-Newman University, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at UT.

The new practice is the first Covenant Health/ DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine outpatient medical clinic and is part of the Covenant Medical Group division of Covenant Health which employs and manages more than 190 practice locations throughout the region.

UT’s Carcello earns 2 accounting honors


Joe Carcello has won two awards from the American Accounting Association.

He was with the organization’s Outstanding Auditing Educator award and Distinguished Service award.

The award recognizes Carcello’s lifetime achievements teaching in the field. Six of Carcello’s colleagues from across the country co-authored the letter that nominated him for the awards, including Terry Neal, the current head of the accounting department at the Haslam College of Business at UT.

“Joe has had a truly remarkable career,” Neal says. “His efforts have impacted so many in such a meaningful way. These awards are a fitting tribute to him.”

Carcello taught across all levels of accounting courses at Haslam, retiring as the Ernst and Young and Business Alumni Professor in 2017.

“He is almost always the first person to ask a question at a conference, and the question, while always polite, usually is quite challenging,” says Dana R. Hermanson of Kennesaw State University, a co-author of the nomination letter. “He loves to press key issues, whether the speaker is from a Big 4 firm, a corporation or a regulatory body.”

Carcello retired from Haslam in 2017.

RBJ Campbelle award goes to Bailey


The University of Tennessee College of Law has recognized Ursula Bailey, a Knoxville attorney, for her contributions to the college, the law and the community.

Bailey was given the RBJ Campbelle award, in honor of the first African-American student to graduate from UT Law.

Bailey is a 2000 College of Law graduate who runs a Knoxville law firm. She has served on the boards of the Tennessee Alliance for Black Lawyers and the Beck Cultural Exchange and as a member of the Knoxville Bar Association’s Board of Governors. She has spoken to the Tennessee Trial Lawyers’ Association on Civil Rights issues and has served as a Governor’s appointee on the Tennessee Post-Conviction Public Defenders’ Commission.

The award was presented during the College of Law’s 18th annual Julian Blackshear Jr. Scholarship Gala.

Three students were also recognized at the event. Chris Conner received the Roy BJ Campbelle Leadership award; Jarred Reed received the Julian Blackshear Outstanding Student award; and Morgan Hanna Adams received the Frank Ennix Award for Excellence.