Month: April 2017

The Saturday Six “News and Notes” Edition – April 22, 2017

With less than a month until the end of the school year (19 school days to be exact… Seriously, where has this year gone?!?), this week the Saturday Six takes a look at some information you need to be aware of as the year draws to a close.  It will be a very busy four weeks, as the finish line approaches!

  1. The culminating event of the 2016-17 school year, Dobyns-Bennett Graduation, will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 20.  Barring any unforeseen weather issues, graduation will take place in J. Fred Johnson Stadium.  Make your plans now to come congratulate and send approximately 450 D-B seniors on to their next phase of life!
  2. The school year may be coming to a close, but it certainly doesn’t mean KCS activities stop for the summer.  In fact, a wide range of academic, arts, and athletics camps will be taking place all summer!  Everything from STREAM camps (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math), to music camps, to sports opportunities… There is something for everyone!  Click here to explore the full range of summer learning opportunities, including camp information and registration.
  3. Do you or someone you know need assistance with food over the summer?  KCS, in partnership with the U.S. Department of School Nutrition Services, provide a free breakfast and lunch program for children during most of June and July.  Meals are served at John Sevier Middle School for children 18 years and younger.  Click here to find out more about this free program.
  4. It would be a near impossibility to fully list all the events, concerts, awards days, field days, and athletic contests that are on the schedule in the coming month.  To help keep everything straight, the KCS website has an extensive schedule to keep you informed.  Click here to view the KCS Events Calendar.
  5. Did you know that we are less than one month away from the official 100 year anniversary of Kingsport City Schools?  On May 18, 1917, the KCS Board of Education met for the very first time.  On May 18, 2017 at 6 p.m., all living KCS BOE members, superintendents, and administrators are invited to a reunion reception at the Administrative Support  Center (400 Clinchfield Street, 3rd Floor).  You are invited to join us as well!  Come share in what will be the largest ever gathering of KCS Board members and superintendents.  It will truly be a special event, and we hope you will join us.
  6. One last plug for the KCS Hall of Fame!  May 1 marks the deadline for nominations for the 2017 class of the Kingsport City Schools Hall of Fame.  This is the top honor that can be received by KCS employees, and we’re on the hunt to identify the best of the best!  Remember, all employee categories are eligible as long as the employee worked for KCS for a minimum of five years and has been retired for five years.  Please consider who you might nominate, and click here to submit that individual for consideration!

Such a busy month ahead of us!  Thank you for all you do to support Kingsport City Schools in our vision to be student focused and world class!

The Saturday Six “Destination Imagination” Edition – April 15, 2017

4-15 1This past weekend, students from five KCS elementary schools participated in the Tennessee Destination Imagination (DI) state tournament at Nolensville High School, near Nashville.  The state-level competition caps a year of creative problem solving by teams of innovative thinkers from Kennedy, Adams, Johnson, Jackson, and Jefferson Elementary Schools.  All teams did extremely well at the state tournament, with a group from Jefferson Elementary finishing second in their division, qualifying them for the Global DI Finals in May!

In this week’s Saturday Six, let’s learn more about DI and the talented Jefferson students that will represent their school and KCS in the upcoming global championships.

  1. What is Destination Imagination?  The mission and vision of Destination Imagination is “To teach students the creative process and empower them with the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world.”  Students participating in DI receive a complex challenge each year and spend countless hours working out solutions to these problems. The challenges require numerous skill sets and encourage students to solve problems in innovative and novel ways. With the driving force being creativity, DI allows opportunities for all students to shine.
  2. How has Jefferson been a part of DI in the past?  Jefferson has competed in Destination Imagination for three years.  This year, two teams are competing in the category of “Improv,” where students are given various scenarios and characters and have to perform a skit with very little time to plan.  The Jefferson Improv Maniacs (Hunter Wells, Will Mayhew, Jakob Price, Dallin Smith, Nikki Louthan, Ruthie Cinnamon, and Tori Wright) and Purritos (Aidan Ponasik, Ben Painter, Ava Burris, Audrey Hammonds, Megan Hall, Abigal Presnell, and Mark Sago) are both teams composed of first-year DI participants. The Purritos qualified for the Global Finals by placing second in their division at the state tournament!
  3. Practice Makes Perfect.  DI teams practice every week.  Students have different strengths and skills which combine to make strong, diverse teams.  All students can find a place to excel in the program, which is what DI is all about.  A special aspect of DI involves the teamwork and friendships developed by students.  This allows them to plan and perform skits that are unique and creative.  In improv, students must listen, think, and respond in the blink of an eye, as there is no script.  This is an extremely difficult skill to master, but students have really made an effort to build team chemistry, which allows them to work well together.  Everything in DI is student led.  This includes learning all the requirements about the challenge, researching key information, making necessary changes or improvements, and ultimately learning how to work together to accomplish a common goal.  An amazing aspect about Jefferson students going to the Global Tournament is that they did all the work themselves!
  4. The DI Global Finals.  Global Finals will be held at the University of Tennessee from May 23-May 28, 2017.  This event will include students from 45 states and about 15 different countries.  About 9,000 elementary, middle and high school students from around the world are expected to participate.  Jefferson students will not only have the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents to their peers all over the United States, but will also be able to collaborate with students from all over the globe.  This is a huge accomplishment for our students and a once in a lifetime opportunity.
  5. The DI Challenge:  DI practices began with students understanding the challenge and all of its components.  This year’s challenge required teams to plan and perform a skit in three minutes.  Each skit had a situation that required students to incorporate various characters and perform in a certain genre.  All the elements were unknown to the students until immediately before they presented.  Three skits were performed, and in each, the stock character and genre would change.  This means students had to spend considerable time researching different literary and theatrical genres as well as characters that had to be implemented in the performance.  In addition, students were required to use props to enhance the scene.  Every week, students would practice their skits, reflect on their performance, and figure out what they could improve to better to meet the requirements.  No skit is pre-planned, but through practice, students learned how to better implement certain aspects of their challenge in more creative and exciting ways.  One of the best parts of this challenge is the communication skills students learn.  While they have the opportunity to be silly and creative, they are also leading and guiding one another and really learning the importance of teamwork.
  6. DI builds community.  If you attend a DI tournament, you will see students, parents, teachers, and many others supporting and learning from one another.  Destination Imagination is operated completely on a volunteer basis and would not be possible without the support of parents and other volunteers.  It is extremely encouraging to see so many people that care about our students, helping them grow into incredible individuals that can truly change the world.

Congratulations to all the KCS Destination Imagination teams, and good luck to the students from Jefferson Elementary as they compete at the global championships in May!

The Saturday Six “KCS Teachers of the Year” Edition – April 9, 2017

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The 2017 KCS District-Level Teachers of the Year – Todd Wagner (Elementary), Joanna Nash (High), and Marsha Buck (Middle), w/ BOE President Eric Hyche

Kingsport City Schools is blessed to have a team of outstanding educators providing a world-class educational experience for the children of Kingsport.  Each Spring, a select group is honored as the KCS Teachers of the Year.  School-level winners are chosen by their peers, with an elementary, middle, and high school district-teacher of the year selected by committee.

This week, the Saturday Six recognizes these award-winning educators.  Congratulations to the 2017 KCS Teachers of the Year!

  1. Todd Wagner, a kindergarten teacher at John Adams Elementary School, is the district winner for grades Pre-K–4. Wagner is in his seventeenth year with Kingsport City Schools. During his career, he has served as literacy teacher leader, core coach for social studies, regional content coach for Pre-K–Kindergarten numeracy, a member of leadership teams at John Adams and Thomas Jefferson elementary schools, and a mentor for student teachers and new teachers. He has also been named a teacher of the month by Milligan College and radio station WTFM.
  2. Marsha Buck, an eighth grade science teacher at Ross N. Robinson Middle School, is the district winner for grades 5–8. Buck has a total of sixteen years of teaching experience, and eight in her present position. She has served on the Robinson teacher leadership team, as a district teacher leader in science and as department chair in science for multiple years. She has been a member of the statewide science textbook adoption committee, a member of the KCS Teacher Leader Academy, and served as a State TN CORE Coach for Literacy in Science. Buck has been named Teacher of the Year at John Sevier Middle School (2007) and Robinson Middle School (2014), also being named a district-level Teacher of the Year in 2014. She is the current coach for the Science Olympiad team at Robinson, was selected to serve on Governor Bill Haslam’s Teacher Cabinet, and was appointed by Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey to serve on the State Science Standards Review Committee

    Buck has also been named a First CORE Region Teacher of the Year finalist and will advance to competition in the State’s grand division. Winners in the grand division will then advance to State-level competition for Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

  3. Joanna Nash currently teaches 9th grade world history at Dobyns-Bennett High School and is in her sixteenth year as a teacher with Kingsport City Schools.  She is the district winner for grades 9–12. Nash has a total of 20 years of experience in education with both KCS and Bristol City Schools, having previously served as an instructional assistant, coordinator for the homeless education program, and coordinator for the coordinated school health program. While teaching middle school students, Nash was cheerleading coach and sponsor of the student council.  She has served as leader for the World History Team and coach for the Scholars’ Bowl Team.  In addition, she has participated in the school climate committee, served as team leader for 5th grade at John Adams Elementary, taught a summer session on social studies content methods at Milligan College, and served as a KCS math teacher leader. She has also presented at numerous department in-service meetings and workshops. Nash is now organizing a trip to Europe which will provide a global learning experience for students and allow them to connect what they have learned in their world history classroom to the places and cultures studied. 

    In addition to the three district winners, 2017 individual school winners are:

  4. Grades Pre-K–4
    • Michelle Carpenter, Pre-K Special Education, Palmer Center
    • Carla Casey, 2nd Grade, Jackson Elem.
    • Renee Polson, 1st Grade, Washington Elem.
    • Ryan Robbins, Physical Education, Kennedy Elem.
    • Amy White, Kindergarten, Roosevelt Elem.
  5. Grades 5–8
    • Jessica Chase, 5th Grade, Jefferson Elem.
    • Kathleen Donnellan, 7th Grade Language Arts, Sevier MS
    • Kristen Duncan, 6th Grade Language Arts, Sevier MS
    • Rachel Heaton, 6th Grade Language Arts, Robinson MS
    • Heather Hobbs, 5th Grade, Johnson Elem.
    • William Miller, 5th Grade, Lincoln Elem.
  6. Grades 9–12
    • Amanda Blackburn, Science, Dobyns-Bennett HS
    • Jimmy Burleson, Special Education, Dobyns-Bennett HS
    • Joshua French, Social Studies, Dobyns-Bennett HS
    • Jennifer Gilbertson, CTE, Dobyns-Bennett HS
    • Sam McCord, English, D-B EXCEL
    • Jenny Rogers, Music, Dobyns-Bennett HS