Across Tennessee this week, schools and communities are celebrating “Board of Education Appreciation Week,” thanking the women and men that provide leadership to their local school systems. In Kingsport, we are fortunate to have a Board that is passionate about children, academic and social achievement, and ensuring that Kingsport City Schools continues to help make Kingsport a world-class location to live and work.
In this week’s Saturday Six, we highlight the Kingsport BOE so that you can be aware of the great trustees that give so much to support our children and community!
- Mr. Eric Hyche, Board President – Mr. Hyche was appointed to the BOE in 2014 to complete a one-year term of service due to a Board member resignation. He was elected to the Board in 2015 for his first two-year term ending in 2017. Eric was elected President in July 2016.
Mr. Hyche is a native of Kingsport, graduating as the valedictorian of Sullivan Central High School in 1983. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Tech University, where he was the 1987 Derryberry Award winner.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Mr. Hyche married Angie Duncan, another Kingsport native, and relocated to Atlanta, GA, where he obtained a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and worked for NCR and Iterated Systems. In 1998, Mr. and Mrs. Hyche moved back to Kingsport and began working remotely for Seattle-based RealNetworks. In April 2013, he joined the technical staff at Groupon, where he currently develops software for their iPhone and iPad apps. Mr. Hyche is also a past president of the Preston Forest Community Association. He enjoys writing software for personal projects, reading, bicycling, and history.
Mr. Hyche and his wife have two daughters, both of whom attended Kingsport City Schools and who are now in college.
- Mrs. Susan Lodal, Board Vice President – Mrs. Lodal was first elected to the BOE in 2003 and is currently serving in her fourth four-year term on the Board.
Mrs. Lodal is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from Purdue University.
While serving on the Board, Mrs. Lodal has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2014 Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) Scholars Circle Award, 2013 Ambassadors for Education Certified, Master, Diamond and Platinum Level Awards, and is a past President of the TSBA (Treasurer 2012, Vice-President 2013, President-Elect 2014, President 2015). She received the National School Boards Association Distinguished Service Award (2007, 2010, 2012), the 2010 C. Hal Henard Distinguished Service Award, and was named to the All Tennessee School Board by the TSBA in 2010.
She has served as the chairperson of the Tennessee Legislative Network and member-at-large of the TSBA Board of Directors (2007-2008) as well as being a member of the Legislative Affairs Committee of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Lodal is a Master (Level V) School Board Member, the highest designation bestowed by the TSBA.
Mrs. Lodal continues to volunteer as a tutor in two elementary schools after being involved in PTA for 16 years while her children were attending school. Prior to running for the Bard, she was the Director of Children’s Ministry at Waverly Road Presbyterian Church for 13 years, where she now serves as an Elder and in a leadership position of their food pantry. Mrs. Lodal is a new member of the Health, Safety & Stability Vision Council of the United Way of Greater Kingsport and the French horn section of the First Broad Street United Methodist Church Orchestra.
Mrs. Lodal and her husband, Peter, have lived in Kingsport since 1977. They have three grown children, all graduates of Kingsport City Schools. Susan and Peter are also the proud grandparents of eight grandchildren.
- Mr. Todd Golden, Board Member – Mr.Golden was appointed to the BOE in 2014 to complete a one-year term of service due to a Board member resignation. He was elected to the Board in 2015 for his first four-year term ending in 2019.
Mr. Golden has called Kingsport home for 20 years. A native of Albany, Georgia, he attended Brigham Young University – Idaho, studying business and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Technical Sales from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
After completing college, Mr. Golden worked for Hewlett-Packard in the Bay Area of California as a territory sales manager and was promoted to be the corporate trainer for the southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico. It was during this time that he elected to move to Kingsport, TN. He has been an integral part in establishing and executing the annual Day of Service in Kingsport, taught classes at the Kingsport Renaissance Center on business development and Spanish, served as a volunteer in various community roles, is a member of Healthy Kingsport, a member of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, served as a full-time Christian missionary in Colombia for two years, and speaks fluent Spanish.
Mr. Golden and his wife Melissa have five children, two pre-schoolers and three of that attend Kingsport City Schools.
- Dr. Karen Reed-Wright, Board Member – Dr. Reed-Wright was elected to the BOE in 2015 and is serving in her first four-year term on the Board. She is a lifelong resident of Kingsport and a product of Kingsport City Schools. Karen attended ETSU, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education majoring in history. She returned to college to add an elementary certification and to earn a Master’s degree as a Reading Specialist. Later, she returned to ETSU again to earn her Doctorate degree in Leadership and Policy Analysis. These degrees built the foundation for her career with Kingsport City Schools and later as an associate professor at Virginia Intermont College.
During her years with Kingsport City Schools, Karen was an elementary and middle school teacher, a peer evaluator, a staff development coordinator, a reading coach, and served as an interim principal. For eight years she worked as the Literacy Coordinator and was a communications coordinator when the new Washington Elementary was first opened. During this time, Karen also traveled within and outside the state as a consultant providing workshops in both reading and mathematics. She also served as a member of the Tennessee Reading Panel, selecting guidelines for reading and language arts for school systems across the state.
While a classroom teacher, Karen achieved Career Ladder III distinction and in 2000, at the White House, President Clinton presented her with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science. Karen is a National Board Certified Teacher (1999) and was selected as a YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Field of Education (2007).
Karen and her husband, Jim Wright, have a daughter, Peyton. They are members of First Presbyterian Church, Bays Mountain Park Association, Friends of Allandale, and Netherland Inn/Exchange Place. Karen worked as a volunteer for Fun Fest for several years and was the Chairman of Fun Fest 1990 and is a current board member of the Sullivan County Children’s Advocacy Center.
Dr. Reed-Wright enjoys reading, walking, attending sporting events, and traveling to Massachusetts to visit her daughter and son-in-law.
- Mrs. Carrie Updshaw, Immediate Board Past President – Mrs. Upshaw was first elected to the BOE in 2009 and is currently serving in her second four-year term on the Board. She was elected to her first term as Board president in 2013. She was recently appointed to the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA) All Tennessee School Board. She is a Level IV board member and actively participates in conferences and advocacy at both the state and national level.
Mrs. Upshaw has lived in the Tri-Cities area most of her life, graduating from Sullivan East High School and earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
She worked as a contract engineer until 1990. Following the birth of her children, she became active as a community volunteer and held many PTSA offices, including President at Washington Elementary School and John Sevier Middle School.
Mrs. Upshaw is the Senior Adult Director at First Baptist Church in Kingsport where she is also the pianist.
Mrs. Upshaw and her husband Mike have two grown children, both of whom attended Kingsport City Schools from kindergarten through graduation. Mrs. Upshaw remains an active volunteer in several programs.
- Mrs. Vivian Altizer, Board Executive Assistant – We certainly can’t leave out the outstanding BOE executive assistant, Mrs. Vivian Altizer. A tireless worker who does so much to support our Board and KCS, Mrs. Altizer is a long-time KCS employee who coordinates and supports the activities of the Board. Mrs. Altizer has served as president to the Tennessee School Boards Association’s Tennessee Association of Board Secretaries (TABS). She has been a member of TABS since 2009, also serving as vice-president from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.