Month: December 2015

The KCS Saturday Six Year in Review – December 26, 2015

As we take a break for the holiday season, the Saturday Six looks back on some of the major accomplishments that have taken place throughout KCS this past year.  Do you think that we missed something that needs to be include in the Top 6 of 2015?  Add it to the comments below!

  1.  KCS students set records for academic performance in 2015!  In searching the record books, we could find no higher academic performance in the history of D-B in terms of Composite ACT scores and Advanced Placement coursework.  D-B students scored an average of 22.5 on the ACT Composite in 2015, with 442 students taking a total of 755 AP exams, earning D-B a spot on the AP District Honor Roll for a second consecutive year.  What a combined effort by students and all KCS staff, from pre-K through high school, to prepare for academic success!
  2. The first class of the Kingsport City Schools Hall of Fame was enshrined in 2015.  This initiative to honor the storied legacy of KCS educators culminated in July, as Mrs. Virgealia Ellis, Mr. Charles Herron, and Mrs. Wanda McJunkin were enshrined as the Hall’s inaugural class.  Don’t forget that nominations for the 2016 class will open on January 1.  Who will you nominate?  Click here for more information on the KCS Hall of Fame and instructions on how you can submit an application.
  3. The transformation of teaching and learning continued throughout the district in 2015.  In many ways large and small, teachers and students continued to explore innovative and engaging ways to learn.  This process was accelerated in 2015 through the KCS Technology Vision that now provides a laptop device to all 6th-12th grade students.  Work continues to ensure that it’s all about how students can access learning and information, not about just having a cool piece of technology.
  4. KCS students traveled near and far to demonstrate excellence in a variety of ways in 2015.  The list of 2015 accomplishments is incredibly long!  The list includes:  The Sevier Sequoyah Scribe received honors from the TN High School Press and the National Scholastic Press Associations; the D-B Band performed at Carnegie Hall, won numerous regional and national competitions, and was a semi-finalist in the BOA Grand National championships; state championships were won by the D-B Boys’ 4X100 Relay and the Sevier Girls’ Cross Country teams.  The danger here is trying to list so many great things, knowing that MANY accomplishments will get left out.  What did we miss?  Add it to the comments below!
  5. Adults throughout KCS also excelled this past year!  KCS Superintendent Dr. Ailshie was a member of the AASA (National School Superintendents Association) Executive Committee and chaired the Governor’s Academic Standards review committee. Board of Education President Mrs. Carrie Upshaw was appointed to the Tennessee School Boards Association All-Tennessee School Board.  Board Vice President Mrs. Susan Lodal served as TSBA President for 2015 and led all but one of the official sessions at the annual TSBA convention, inviting the D-B AFJROTC, Chorus, and String Quartet to perform. Mrs. Lodal will also serve as TSBA Past President in 2016. Robinson principal Brian Partin served as Vice President of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, while Sevier Principal Dr. Holly Flora was President of the Tennessee Principals Association.  And Vivian Altizer, Executive Assistant for the Superintendent and BOE, was selected as President-Elect of TSBA Board Secretaries.  Who did we leave out?  Again, please add that in the comments below.
  6. KCS was once again recognized as one of the elite school systems in America.  Organizations and publications such as U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, and The College Board all listed Kingsport City Schools as one of the best of the best in 2015.  We are truly blessed to be a part of a district that has embraced a vision of being world class, and our students, families, community and staff continually strive to reach that exceptional goal.

Coming in next week’s Saturday Six… A look ahead at what’s coming in 2016!

The KCS Saturday Six – December 19, 2015

  1. Make it the soundtrack of your holiday season!  The beginning of the KCS winter break also marks the end of the holiday concert season.  Over the past few weeks, students all across KCS have put on many performances to celebrate the holidays.  Once again this year, you can listen to concert replays all season long on WCSK 90.3 FM, the voice of Kingsport City Schools.  And new this year, catch performance replays on Charter Channel 192!
  2. Congratulations to John Adams Elementary School!  Adams was recently named the winner of the inaugural School Bell Award for fitness program excellence by the Tennessee Principals Association.  The award recognized Adams for their Morning Mile program, coordinated by PE teacher Jason Hincke.  This program utilizes up to 30 parent volunteers each week to support a before-school student running and walking program.  Awesome!
  3. Once again, our students make us proud.  A job well done by the Dobyns-Bennett Student Council, who took time this week to volunteer at the Second Harvest Food Bank.   Kudos to the students who seek out and find ways to give back to the Kingsport community, while developing a heart of service.
  4. The break doesn’t necessarily mean everything comes to a halt across the district.  Many D-B athletes will take part in special holiday tournaments over the next couple of weeks, including the wrestling squad and the boys and girls basketball teams.  To stay up to date on all the action, check out the D-B activities schedule by clicking here.
  5. Please remember the altered KCS schedule over the next couple of weeks.  All KCS schools and offices will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.  Teachers return for a professional learning day on Monday, January 4, with the first student day of 2016 taking place on Tuesday, January 5.
  6. On behalf of the entire staff of Kingsport City Schools, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season! 

The We Are KCS Video Blog Episode 2 – The Red Boot Coalition at Sevier Middle School

John Sevier Middle School counselor Ms. Kelli Ferguson tells us all about The Red Boot Coalition, a program to encourage positive culture development, in Episode 2 of the We Are KCS Video Blog!

The KCS Saturday Six – December 12, 2015

  1.  It is going to be a VERY busy week around here!  In addition to wrapping up the first semester on Friday, if you are interested in holiday concerts and events, this week will be right up your alley.  Monday will feature concerts at Johnson (6 p.m.) and Adams (6:30 p.m.).  The largest concert of the week will take place on Tuesday, as the annual Dobyns-Bennett Band, Orchestra, and Choral Holiday Concert will fill the Eastman Chemical Company Toy Reid Auditorium, beginning at 7 p.m.  The 7th and 8th graders at Sevier Middle School will wrap up the festivities with their holiday concert on Thursday at 7 p.m., also at Toy Reid.  We invite you to come out and enjoy the sounds of the season!
  2. Speaking of schedules… Don’t forget that next Friday (12/18) marks the end of the KCS first semester and the beginning of the Winter Holiday Break.  Secondary schools will dismiss at 11:40 a.m., with elementary schools releasing at 12:15 p.m.  All school offices, as well as the KCS Administrative Support Center, will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.  The first day back for students in 2016 is Tuesday, January 5th.
  3. In case you missed it, these kids are FAST!  Congratulations are in order for several D-B swimmers who set personal or team school records this week.  The girls 200 medley relay team of Rachel Summers, Hayley Kirk, Kaylie Richard, and Hannah Love swam the fastest time in school history.  Kaylie (100 Fly) and Rachel (100 Breast Stroke) also set individual school records, as did Tyler Bourgeois in the 400 Free.  World Class!
  4. This guy is also pretty fast.  We send special thanks to Blake Leeper, who took time out of his busy Olympic training schedule to spend some quality time sharing with and motivating KCS students this week.  Blake is a constant positive presence in our community, and he is always so willing to come back to Kingsport and make personal connections with our students and staff.  It has been so exciting to see this tremendous person and athlete grow and achieve such great things.  We can’t thank Blake enough for giving back to KCS and for being such a great role model for our students!
  5. It’s exciting to see KCS graduates doing great things, and there are also future grads accomplishing big things, as well.  D-B senior Morgan Hudson was recently recognized by Berea College (KY) as a 2015 Pinnacle Scholar Award of Excellence winner.  The award program annually recognizes high school seniors for their work in science, music, or service.  Selected from a pool of hundreds representing ten states, Morgan was honored for outstanding accomplishments in the field of music.  Congratulations, Morgan!
  6. We close the Saturday Six this week with yet another shameless plug for the We Are KCS Video Blog.  This week, we launched the video portion of the blog, highlighting innovative literacy work occurring in Ami Frye’s classroom at Jefferson Elementary (click here to view).  In the coming months, we’ll be highlighting a wide variety of activities and programs throughout KCS.  Is there something you are curious about that you would like to see featured in the video blog?  Send your ideas or suggestions to blog host Andy True at  Your idea just might be featured on an upcoming video blog!

Do you like the Saturday Six or KCS Video Blog?  If so, please help us share this with others!  We love to spread the word regarding the people and programs of Kingsport City Schools.

The We Are KCS Video Blog Episode 1 – Literacy Interventions at Jefferson Elementary

Jefferson Elementary teacher Mrs. Ami Frye shows us some innovative and creative literacy practices in Episode 1 of the We Are KCS Video Blog!

The KCS Saturday Six – December 5, 2016

  1.  Did you hear the news this week about Dobyns-Bennett being named to the College Board’s Annual AP District Honor Roll?  Once again this year, D-B was recognized as being among the nation’s elite schools in providing increased access to advanced placement coursework while maintaining or increasing student performance on AP exams.  It’s a great indicator of the tremendous success our students are achieving as they stretch themselves with rigorous coursework.
  2. Jackson Elementary School students and staff are also receiving impressive accolades, as they have been named a “Good Sports Always Recycle” school challenge winner.  The award, sponsored by Eastman Chemical Company in conjunction with Food City, Waste Connections, and the University of Tennessee, is in recognition of Jackson’s extraordinary recycling club.  The program was inspired by the very successful “Rock and Wrap it Up” program.
  3. Roosevelt Elementary School are setting a high bar when it comes to service to our community.  The Roosevelt student food drive came to an end this week and when all boxes and cans were counted, over 1,800 pounds of food was donated and delivered to West View Baptist Church.  There are MANY families in our community that will be blessed this holiday season by the generosity of Roosevelt’s students, staff, and families!
  4. Speaking of the holiday season, have you noticed the KCS Activities Calendar lately?  Wow!  Our students will be very busy over the next few weeks as holiday concerts and performances take center stage.  Don’t miss out!  You can see the full activities calendar by clicking here.  Please join us and help celebrate the season!
  5. And while were talking about the holidays, don’t let the excitement of the season cause you to forget about what starts on January 1.  Beginning with the new year, KCS will begin accepting applications for the second class of the Kingsport City Schools Hall of Fame.  The hall recognizes those key KCS employees that have made a significant impact on the students of Kingsport.  To find out more information about the KCS Hall of Fame (including how to nominate), please click here.  Who will you nominate this year for this prestigious honor?
  6. Caution… Here comes a shameless plug for the “We Are KCS Video Blog.”  Starting next week, we will begin publishing a video blog that will take you inside the schools and programs of KCS.  We’ll talk to students, teachers, and administrators and see the exciting things that are happening in classrooms across the district.  The first edition will feature some really engaging literacy work that is happening at Jefferson Elementary.  To learn more about the video blog, click here to see a promo video.  Please help spread the word!