Local News Articles

Outstanding 4-H Members Honored during Banquet

May 14, 2011
High school members pictured with Steve Officer
Eli Oliver, Willliam Cain, Kirkland Smallwood, Morgan Vickers, and Lydia Trail
Junior 4-H members

The DeKalb County 4-H Club Banquet was held recently to honor outstanding 4-H members.

TOP PHOTO: High school members pictured with retiring 4-H Agent Steve Officer (front row): Erin Cantrell-Pryor, Alyssa Young, Katie Haggard, Mary Knowles, and Amanda Laxton. Second row: Kayley Green, Steve Officer, Elizabeth Sanders, Olivia Norton, Cassie Cain, Danielle Knowles, Katie Frazier, and Tyler VanHoose. Third row: Matthew Cain and Hayley Perry (photo by April Martin).

High school members pictured with retiring 4-H Agent Ron Rogers (front row): Erin Cantrell-Pryor, Alyssa Young, Katie Haggard, Mary Knowles, and Amanda Laxton. Second row: Kayley Green, Steve Officer, Elizabeth Sanders, Olivia Norton, Cassie Cain, Danielle Knowles, Katie Frazier, and Tyler VanHoose. Third row: Matthew Cain, Hayley Perry and Shelby Mulloy (photo by April Martin).

SECOND PHOTO FROM TOP:Junior High 4-H members receiving awards were: Eli Oliver, Willliam Cain, Kirkland Smallwood, Morgan Vickers, and Lydia Trail (photo by April Martin).

BOTTOM PHOTO: Other Junior 4-H members receiving awards were (front row, left to right): Derek Young, Tyree Cripps, Olivia Fuson, and Casey Vickers. Second row: Luke Green, Wyatt Martin, and Caitlyn Lawrence (photo by April Martin).

DeKalb Community Bank Hosts Luncheon for DCHS Top Ten Students

May 14, 2011
Dwayne Page
DCB Hosts Luncheon for DCHS Top Ten Students

DeKalb Community Bank recently hosted a luncheon in honor of the DeKalb County High School Top Ten Students.

Those in attendance were Brittany Campbell, Martha Webb, Tia Menix, Heather Owens, Ethan Duke, Clark Adcock, Tyler Seymour, Olivia Norton, Weston Rhody, speakers Joey Agee, DeKalb Middle School and Justin Nokes, recent TTU graduate, and Gentry Barnes, President DeKalb Community Bank.

Noted Ventriloquist David Turner Entertains at Justin Potter Library

May 13, 2011
Dwayne Page

Noted ventriloquist David Turner and Friends entertained participants in Friday's Older American's Day celebration at Justin Potter Library

Turner, a resident and native of DeKalb County, performed with his pals "Tad Short", "Johnny Cash", "Willie Nelson", "Elvis", and "Maynelle"

David Turner from dwayne page on Vimeo.
The month of May is recognized nationally as Older Americans Month, a time when the vast contributions of older adults are recognized . Justin Potter Library joins in the national celebration each year by hosting Older Americans Day. This year's theme was "Connecting the Community". Participants enjoyed the fellowship and received door prizes, goody bags, and sack lunches.

DeKalb Schools to Close for Summer on Thursday, May 26

May 13, 2011
Dwayne Page

DeKalb County Schools will close on time on Thursday, May 26

During Thursday night's Board of Education meeting, the school board had planned to approve executive action taken by Director Mark Willoughby to amend the calendar to make up a school day lost due to severe weather on Wednesday, April 27th.

Plans were to extend the school year by one day, moving the last day of school from Thursday, May 26 to Friday, May 27.

However, Willoughby informed the board Thursday night that the state has granted the school system's request for a waiver so that the lost day will not have to be made up. Therefore, the school calendar will not have to be changed. (Click here to listen to the entire school board meeting)

Students will not attend on Wednesday, May 25th. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend. The last day of school will be Thursday, May 26. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home.

DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix Addresses School Board from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Meanwhile, DCHS principal Kathy Hendrix reminded the board Thursday night that high school graduation is set for Friday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. on the football field and that Senior Awards Day will be Thursday, May 19 at 8:30 a.m. in the gym.

School Board Seeks 17 cent Property Tax Increase to help Fund New Budget

May 13, 2011
Dwayne Page
Mark Willoughby

The DeKalb County Board of Education is seeking a seventeen cent increase in the local property tax rate to help fund the new school budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year which begins July 1st.

The school board adopted the proposed tentative general purpose and food service budgets during the monthly meeting Thursday night which was held at the DCHS cafeteria. All six board members present voted in favor. Sixth district member Bruce Parsley was absent.

The general purpose budget totals $20-million 146-thousand 303 consisting of local monies but mostly state funding. In order the make the proposed budget balance a total of $666,893 is needed from the Education Jobs Fund, which is federal one time monies; an appropriation of $658,016 from the school system's allocation of Basic Education Program (BEP) reserves for equipment and capital outlay expenditures; and a seventeen cent increase in the local property tax rate. If approved, the local tax rate for schools would increase from the current level of 48 cents to 65 cents per $100 of assessed value. One cent of the tax rate is estimated to generate $44,323.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby outlined during the meeting and then further discussed with WJLE afterwards the need for some of the extras in the proposed new budget including the following: (Click the following link to hear Willoughby's comments made to WJLE)

A 3.2% pay raise for certified and support staff

Five new teacher positions (total funds needed $225,000):
One Northside Elementary School 5th grade teacher
One Northside Elementary School physical education teacher
One DCHS math teacher
One county wide instruction coach teacher
One band assistant teacher

Two new assistant soccer coach positions (total funds needed $5,570)

One new support staff position-DCHS site coordinator (total funds needed $33,580)

One new teacher position-DCHS special education teacher (total funds needed $45,000)

Three teacher positions which have been funded from federal stimulus (ARRA) money to be returned to the local general purpose fund now that the ARRA funds have been exhausted. (Total funds needed $135,000

One educational assistant position which has been funded from ARRA money to be returned to the local general purpose budget (Total funds needed $15,000)

Three new assistant principal positions with benefits (Total funds needed $229,100)
One at DeKalb West
One at Northside Elementary
One at Smithville Elementary

The proposed new budget also includes the following increases:

Textbook adoption (Math)- $40,000
Updated hardware/software Accounting Department- $40,000
Minimal increase in utility costs- $6,000
Increase in maintenance of plant supplies- $23,000
Increase in fuel costs: $124,000
Increase in capital outlay- $200,000 (mostly for DCHS science lab upgrades)

The spending plan will be presented to the budget committee of the county commission and if it meets with approval there, then it will go before the entire county commission in August for final approval. If the committee does not approve, then the proposed new school budget could be subject to some revisions by the board of education.

Robinson Child Struck by Car Released from Hospital

May 13, 2011
Dwayne Page

A young child, who was rushed to Vanderbilt Medical Center by DeKalb EMS Thursday evening after being hit by a vehicle, has been released from the hospital and is going to be okay.

Buddie Robinson, father of three year old Zeva Robinson, told WJLE Friday evening that his daughter suffered only superficial wounds and no internal injuries as a result of the accident. Robinson said he and his wife Donna want to thank everyone for their concern and prayers.

911 received a call at 6:15 p.m. Thursday that a three year old child had been hit by a car in the parking lot of the Bill Page Ballpark in Smithville.

Smithville Police said the child was playing near a gravel pile outside the fence in the parking lot when a 17 year old Rock Island girl, who was backing out of her parking spot in a 1987 Ford Probe, didn't see the youngster and accidentally struck her.

Robinson said Zeva was first taken by EMS to DeKalb Community Hospital and then transported to Vanderbilt.

Smithville Fire Department called to Car Fire

May 13, 2011
Dwayne Page

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and Smithville Police responded to a car fire Thursday night on West Broad Street.

Central dispatch received the call at 11:00 p.m.

Car Fire from dwayne page on Vimeo.
The car was parked in front of a shop/garage building across from Gordon's Hardware.

The cause of the fire is apparently undetermined. No one was injured.

Board Gives Approval for Development of Softball Field at DeKalb Middle School

May 13, 2011
Dwayne Page

A DeKalb Middle School softball field will be developed on the campus starting this summer.

The Board of Education Thursday night gave approval for the project, which will be paid for through fundraisers by the booster club and school softball fund.

Principal Randy Jennings said the initial phase entails developing the field including dirt for the infield and grass for the outfield and installing a fence which is estimated to cost $17,000.

DeKalb Middle Principal Randy Jennings Address School Board from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Plans are to eventually build a press box with a concession stand, bathrooms and storage areas, purchasing the materials at cost and using donated labor to construct.

The Lady Saints softball team currently plays at another location in town off campus.

Thirty Three Students Served by Adult High School This School Year

May 12, 2011
Dwayne Page

Susan Hinton, Adult High School Instructor/Supervisor, gave her annual report to the board of education and the Director of Schools Thursday night.

Hinton explained that a total of thirty three students were served for the current year and that the current enrollment is ten. There are five graduates for the year including three summer school students. Seven transferred to the GED program upon turning eighteen. Twelve dropped (including attendance, transferred, or moved).

Susan Hinton Giving Annual Report on Adult High School from dwayne page on Vimeo.
Hinton said students must take a reading test upon enrolling in the Adult High School. Any student who does not read on an 8.5 grade level or higher is ineligible to take any high school credits. Remedial reading and remedial course work is required by the state. There have been fifteen remedial reading students taught this school year.

Hinton also read essays prepared by two of her students.

Director of Schools Employs Professional Personnel for 2011-12

May 12, 2011
Dwayne Page

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby has signed contracts with the 236 Professional Personnel for the 2011-2012 school year.

Willoughby presented a list of the employees to the Board of Education Thursday night.

Certified personnel at each school are as follows:

DeKalb County High School-

Charlotte Agee, Jeanette Allen, Angie Anderson, Danny Bond, Amanda Brown, Kevin Burchfield, Boyd Cantrell, Harriett Cantrell, Jeanine Cantrell, Todd Cantrell, Mary Anne Carpenter, Joe Pat Cope, Patrick Cripps, Dixie Crook, Jared Daniels, Kelly Daniels, Deborah DePriest, Andrew Dixon, Donna Emmons, Marshall Ferrell, Tina Fletcher, Michelle Fontanez, Amanda Fuller, David Gash, Marie Hill, Susan Hinton, Sonja House, John Isabell, William Jennings, Ben Johnson, Dylan Kleparek, Brad Leach, Lynus Martin, Shealyn Morgan, Lori Myrick, Rolando Navarro, Jenny Norris, Scott Odom, Shelly Painter, Walteen Parker, Linda Parris, Mary Anne Puckett, Joey Reeder, Leslie Rice, Melissa Ruch, Frederick Sanders, Daniel Seber, Amy Tobitt, Steve Trapp, Chris Vance, Michael Whitefield, Shea Wiegele, Carol Williams, Brittany Willoughby, Jonathon Wright, Melvin Young, and Kathy Hendrix.

Northside Elementary School-

Joyce Alexander, Rebecca Baugh, Marla Beshearse, Kelly Birmingham, Kathy Bryant, Linda Bush, Michael Crockett, Amanda Dakas, Alisha Day, Ashley Dean, Holly Espinosa, Jerry Foster, Carrie Gottlied, Amy Green, Amanda Griffith, Jennifer Griffith, Melissa Hale, Cynthia Hale, Jessica Hale, Patty Hale, Lisa Hull, Lorie Isabell, Karen Jacobs, Shelly Jennings, Sabrina Kirksey, Kristy Lasser, Lisa Mabe, Jama Martin, Amanda Mathis, Libby McCormick, Pamela Miller, Elizabeth Nolt, Louise Owen, Amy Raymond, Judy Redmon, Bethany Rigsby, Melissa Roysdon, Tammy Sims, Carol Tripp, Cheryl Vance, Julie Vincent, Betsye Walker, Ginger Wenger, Sandy Willingham, and Dr. Gayle Redmon.

DeKalb West School-

Shawn Baker, Doris Cantrell, Jenny Cantrell, Jeanna Caplinger, William Conger, Kim Crook, Martha Damron, Genrose Davis, Tonya Ellis, Janet England, Denise Graham, Lesa Hayes, Ricky Hendrix, Lindsay Holmes, Cathleen Humphrey, Regina Kent, Michael Littrell, Shelia McMillen, Melanie Molander, Amanda Mullinax, Tammy Payne, Debra Poteete, Cynthia Preston, Lori Pryor, Cynthia Pulley, Joyce Robertson, Susan Robinson, Audrey Russell, Pam Sanders, Lori Sexton, Jane Watson, Susan West, Vicki Wilson, Amy Young, and Danny Parkerson.

Smithville Elementary School-

Ana Bain, Renee Beaty, Kelly Birmingham, Kim Brown, Beth Cantrell, Laura Carter, Wendy Colvert, Layra Crook, Trena Curtis, Sue Driver, Vicky Duke, Kelli Foster, Misty Franklin, Tina Gash, Vicky Hawker, Bradley Hendrix, Holly Hendrix, Mary Henny, Tanya Howard, Amanda Johnson, Anna Johnson, Angela Johnson, Jennifer Judkins, Karen Knowles, Carrie Lee, Kristen Malone, Adrienne McCormick, LeVaughnda Midgett, Margaret Nichols, Christina Ontiveros, Beth Pafford, Susan Palmer, Kristy Parsley, Mary Pugh, Jane Ramsey, Amanda Rhoady, Allison Rigsby, Carol Sampley, Carol Tallent, Jan Thomas, Janet Trapp, Carol-Ann Tripp, Fay Turner, Sherian Waggoner, Tiffany Wheatley, Janet Woodward, Christie Young, Crystal Young and Dr. Billy Tanner.

DeKalb Middle School-

Joey Agee, Josh Agee, Lori Alexander, Suzette Barnes, Ashley Barnes, Lisa Craig, Lisa Cripps, Courtney Davis, Tena Davidson, Jenny Elrod, Sabrina Farler, Jason Farley, Amy Fletcher, Lori Hendrix, Tom Hill, Bryan Jones, Michelle Jones, Gail Kirksey, Taleen Lambert, Michael Lewis, Michael Littrell, Leah Magness, Martha Melching, Debra Moore, Joy Parker, Karen Pelham, Anita Puckett, Joyce Robertson, Candice Scrabo, Lori Sexton, Penny Smitty, Tonya Sullivan, Kitty Thomas, Nancy Tucker, Tad Webb, Jennifer West, Kathryn Wisinger, and Randy Jennings.

Central Office Staff-

Gina Arnold, Katherine Ballard, Michelle Burklow, Clay Farler, Dr. Danielle Collins, Jon Fontanez, Dee Anna Reynolds, and Stephanie Walker

County Wide-

Lisa Bell, Amy Fox, Judy Malone, and Lori Rogers.

In other business, the board granted tenure to the following teachers, as recommended by Director Willoughby. He says these teachers have completed the statutory apprentice period of three years as required for tenure: Ashley Barnes, Rebecca Baugh, Ashley Dean, Amy Fletcher, Cynthia Hale, Lindsay Holmes, Bryon Jones, Amanda Mullinax. Taleen Lambert, Leah Magness, Cynthia Pulley, and Jonathon Wright.

Meanwhile, Jane Parsley, a teacher at Smithville Elementary School is retiring.

Carol Tallent, a teacher at Smithville Elementary School, was granted a leave as requested.


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