Shannon A Cantrell Assessor of Property
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Josh Miller

Local News Articles

Corps Updates Media on Progress of Rehab Work at Center Hill Dam

November 14, 2008

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a progress report on the rehabilitation of Center Hill Dam.

The plan includes grouting as well as modern concrete barrier walls to stop the seepage. Grout is generally a mixture of sand, cement, water and additives. The mixture is placed under pressure into the rock foundation. The grout will fill voids and slow the seepage beneath and around the dam. A barrier wall is a concrete wall built in sections deep into the foundation as a permanent barrier to seepage.

Work has been underway since the first of three major construction contracts was awarded in February. The Left Rim and Main Dam Grouting contract was awarded to Kiewit-A.C.T., Joint Venture in the amount of $87.4 million dollars.The scope of the contract includes;

Construction of concrete grouting platforms and staging area at Eisenhower Park (also known as Center Hill Recreation Area)

Install grout curtains along 4,100 linear feet; up to depths of 270 feet.

Fill a cave feature in the left rim

Monitor and correct water quality degradation from grouting operations to protect the Caney Fork River.

When actual grouting begins, about 1,000 holes three inches in diameter will be drilled into the foundation. It's possible more holes could be drilled.

After the first round of grouting is finished, more grouting will take place and a cut-off concrete wall will be placed through the earthen portions of the dam and adjoining rim walls.

The priority contract is planned to be completed in the spring of 2010. The first step has been to prepare the work surfaces from which the grouting is accomplished, referred to as "platforms". Grouting is planned to begin at the main dam foundation in December. Contract documents are also being prepared for the next large grouting contract at the Right Rim and Saddle Dam. This contract is scheduled to be awarded in September 2009.

Meanwhile, lake levels continue to remain low -- operating at a current elevation of 622 feet. It's anticipated Center Hill Lake could reach its lowest level since 1956 by the end of the year, from a combination of Corps efforts to keep the lake down in order to reduce stress on the dam and also from the recent shortage of rainfall in the area.

(Top Photo shows October 2008 view of the nearly completed grouting platform at the Main Dam Embankment. The view is looking northeast from the contractor’s staging area at Eisenhower Park (also known as Center Hill Recreation Area).

(Middle Photo shows an aerial view in August 2008 of the current left rim and main dam work. It shows excavation for the left rim work platform and fill at the main dam, Eisenhower Park and the area downstream of the dam.)

(Bottom Photo shows the work that is currently underway to prepare the left rim for drilling and grouting. Approximately 340,000 cubic yards of soil and rock are being excavated from the left rim, cutting through the hillside to create a work platform.)

Tigers Run in State Play-Offs Ends at Whitehouse

November 14, 2008
Dwayne Page

The season for the DeKalb County Tigers came to a close Friday night as they lost their second round state play-off game 42-20 at Whitehouse.

DeKalb County completes the year with an over-all record of 9-3. Their only losses were to Station Camp and Whitehouse at home during the regular season and Friday night's loss at Whitehouse in the state play-offs.

The Tigers got the ball to start the game but went three and out and had to punt.

Whitehouse began their first drive at the DeKalb County 43 yard line and scored five plays later on a seven yard touchdown pass play from Quarterback Trox Greenwade to Chad Neal. Matthew Gossett converted on the P.A.T. and the Blue Devils led 7-0 with 8:02 left in the first period.

DeKalb County answered, scoring on an eleven play, 80 yard drive. Quarterback Hunter Poteete found Travon Johnson on a 24 yard touchdown pass play. Zach Taylor's P.A.T. attempt was no good but the Tigers were on the board, trailing 7-6 with 2:42 left in the first quarter.

The Blue Devils extended the lead on their next drive, moving 61 yards in eight plays. Demarqus Payne scored on a seven yard touchdown run. Matthew Gossett converted on the P.A.T. and Whitehouse led 14-6 with 11:20 to go in the second period.

Whitehouse got the ball back at the Tigers 24 yard line as Demarqus Payne picked off a Hunter Poteete pass. Four plays later, the Blue Devils scored on a three yard touchdown run by Quarterback Trox Greenwade. Gossett's P.A.T was good and Whitehouse led 21-6 with 8:33 left in the second period.

The Tigers turned the ball over again as Travon Johnson fumbled after catching a pass from Quarterback Poteete. Whitehouse took over at the DeKalb County 31 yard line and six plays later, the Blue Devils were in the endzone, this time on a five yard touchdown run by Bryan Dixon. Gossett converted on the P.A.T. and Whitehouse led 28-6 with 5:22 left in the second period.

Matthew Parker intercepted a Hunter Poteete pass and returned it for a touchdown, but the play was nullified by a penalty. Whitehouse, however got the ball on the turnover, and marched down field to score another touchdown. Matthew Parker capped the seven play, 39 yard drive with a ten yard touchdown catch from Quarterback Greenwade. Gossett converted on the P.A.T. and the Blue Devils took a commanding 35 to 6 lead with 1:05 left in the second quarter.

Whitehouse got the ball to start the third quarter and scored again, moving 65 yards in just two plays. Bryan Dixon capped the drive on a 13 yard touchdown run. Gossett converted on the P.A.T.and the Blue Devils led 42-6 .

Moving to the fourth quarter, DeKalb County recovered a muffed punt and took over at the Whitehouse 13 yard line. J.J. Herriott caught a one yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Poteete to cap the drive and the Tigers cut the lead to 42-13 after Zach Taylor converted on the P.A.T.

DeKalb County got another touchdown late in the game on a 24 yard pass play from Quarterback Poteete to Abram Edwards and with Taylor's P.A.T. DeKalb trailed 42-20.

The final score, Whitehouse 42, DeKalb County 20.

DCHS Golf MVP Shay Sullivan Signs with Belmont

November 14, 2008
Dwayne Page
Shay Sullivan Signs with Belmont University

Shay Sullivan, the 2008 DeKalb County High School Most Valuable Female Golf Player signed with Belmont University Thursday.

Sullivan, a Senior, finished fourth this year in state tournament competition. This was her third year to make it to the state. She is a three time district winner and a two time region champion.

During a local award's banquet last month, Sullivan was named the 2008 Most Valuable Player In Golf and she received a plaque for her career achievements.

Joining her at the signing Thursday were her parents, James and Tonya Sullivan; her sister, Mallory Sullivan; DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix; DCHS Golf Coach Chris Vance; and Sullivan's personal golf coach Eddie Hobson.

School Board Adopts 2009-2010 Calendar

November 13, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Board of Education formally adopted the school calendar for the 2009-2010 year Thursday night, upon the recommendation of Director of Schools and the School Calendar Committee.

Registration for all students will be Thursday, July 30th. That will be an abbreviated school day.

Friday, July 31st will be an administrative day at all schools and all teachers must attend from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

The first full day of school for all students will be Monday, August 3

A system wide professional development day will be Monday, July 27th at DCHS and all teachers from all schools must attend from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

All teachers will report to their individual schools Tuesday and Wednesday, July 28th & 29th from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. each day.

This year the school system operates on a 9-1, 9-2, 9-1 calendar, meaning students are in school for nine weeks, then are off one week for fall break, back in school for nine weeks, off two weeks for winter break, in school for another nine weeks, and then off one week for spring break.

Dr. Carol Hendrix, Supervisor of Instruction for grades 7-12, explained during the school board meeting that next year, the school system will operate on a 9-2, 9-2, 9-1 calendar "The main difference in this calendar and last year's is that it's a 9-2, 9-2, 9-1 calendar. We go to school nine weeks, we're off two weeks, we go nine more weeks and then we're off for two weeks, then we go nine weeks and we're off for one week. The reason we did that is because with the curriculum standards going up we realized that we need some time after nine weeks to work with our children who are at risk and behind. So one of those (two) weeks of the first 9-2, (when school is out) we'll be working with children in different areas and not only just the students behind. We'll also have some enrichment activities during one of those weeks as well that we're off. So school won't be completely out."

Dr. Hendrix says there's another change in the new calendar regarding TCAP's. " The federal government requires that we get our average yearly progress reports two weeks sooner next year than this year, so we had to back up TCAP testing. So TCAP testing will be March 24th-26th and March 29th-31st. The state will allow us next year, as well as this year, to use six days which is going to be a tremendous advantage in testing"

Students will not attend on Monday, Labor Day, September 7th.

Schools will be closed for the fall break October 12-23

Students will be off for the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, November 25, 26, & 27 and for the winter break December 21 through January 1, 2010. Friday, December 18 will be the last day students attend before winter break and that will be an abbreviated school day. Students will return after the holidays on Monday, January 4th to begin the third nine week session.

Schools will be closed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 18th and for President's Day, Monday, February 15th.

Schools will be closed for spring break April 2-9

Students will not attend on Friday, May 21. That will be an administrative day and all teachers must attend.. The last day of school will be Tuesday, May 25. That will be an abbreviated school day and report cards will be sent home.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held on Tuesday, October 6 and Thursday, March 11 at DeKalb County High School from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will also be held from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Thursday, October 8 and Thursday, January 28th at DeKalb Middle School, Northside Elementary, Smithville Elementary, and DeKalb West School.

Report cards will be sent home on Monday, October 5th, Thursday, January 7th, and Tuesday, March 9th.

Competency testing at DCHS will be October 6-8 and February 9-11.

Gateway testing at DCHS will be December 1-3 and May 4-6. Gateway test makeup will be December 4th and May 7th.

Writing Assessment for the 5th, 8th, and 11th grades will be February 2nd. Writing Assessment make-up will be February 3rd.

TCAP testing of elementary students will be March 24-26 and March 29-31

(Stockpile Days) Professional Development/Instructional Days will be held from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 2nd and Friday, March 5th

Meanwhile, in other business Thursday night, the school board set the date for graduation at DeKalb County High School for Friday, May 22nd, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

Director of Schools Mark Willoughby also presented his monthly written report on personnel to the board. Those employed since last month include Mario Murphy, substitute Sign Language Interpreter; Brent Arnold, Special Education Assistant at Smithville Elementary School; Ricky Holcomb, mechanic at the bus garage; Heather Blankenship, Educational Assistant at DeKalb Middle School; Cathy Driver, substitute bus driver; Brandon Cox, Assistant Baseball Coach at DCHS.

Substitutes include Jamie Nokes, Amber Bain, Jennifer Butts, Annajane Cherry, Nikki Clark, Ann Frazier, Kristie Gardner, Amy Lockhart, Lisa Patterson, Daniel Perry, Amy Williams, and Carol Northcutt.

Meanwhile, Alisha Cheatham has been transferred from a full time to a part time Speech Language Pathologist and Sharon Washer has been transferred from a substitute to a full time cafeteria worker at DCHS.

Tad Webb has resigned as an Assistant Baseball Coach and Viva Vickers has resigned as a substitute bus assistant.

Transportation Manager Peggy Pursell updated the school board on the latest school bus inspection by the state as well as the latest price of fuel. "Our buses were inspected last week. It was a state inspection. We had a very, very good report. The only repair we had, and I can't remember ever seeing this before, is we had one bulb to put in one of our backup lights. We owe this to Mr. Orlando Guzman and Mr. Rick Holcomb. They work so hard and they are so dedicated to their job. I didn't do anything. They did it every bit and I'm so proud of them because of their hard work".

"I thought you would want to know about the price of fuel. I called and got an estimate today. It's $1.99 a gallon right now. We don't need any (fuel) but it's going down and I'm watching it. We bought fuel after the fall break for $2.44 per gallon. What we charge for our field trips now is 45 cents and that's what we charged four years ago. So when I order fuel again, which will probably be in a week and a half, I'm hoping it'll be way on down there, but I'm watching it and if it starts to go back up I'll order."

DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix addressed the board with a monthly report on activities at her school. "I would like to congratulate all the teachers and students of the county. They have done an excellent job this past year meeting their AYP."

"I would also like to congratulate the band on their success this past school year. I'll just highlight some of the things they've achieved. At the Hendersonville Golden Invitational, they placed first overall in Class E and they had the best overall Drum Major and best overall Horn Line. At the Columbia Golden Invitational, they received a second place for Field Commander in the White Class. Then they went to the Blue Devil Invitational and received first place overall in Class E, best overall Drum Major, best overall Percussion, best overall Color Guard, Superior Drum Major, Superior Percussion, Superior Color Guard, and Excellent Band. Then they went to Vanderbilt where they got Superior Percussion, and in the Division II State Finals, they were awarded for Superior Field Commander, Excellent Band, Excellent Percussion, and Excellent Color Guard. They have done an excellent job and I am very proud of them. I think Mr. Wright and Ms. Birmingham have done a really good job with them this past year."

"Our Lady Tiger Soccer team was the District Runner-up. All District First Team was Nicole Burger, Jodie Curtis, and Jessica Richards. Second Team was Megan Merriman, Daryl Hobby and Cynthia Woodward and I think they've done a really good job this past season. So congratulations go to them."

"Our progress reports went out today from the high school. I hope the parents look at those and if you see that there are some concerns, please get in touch with the high school. If they (students) need some help, we've got all kinds of before and after school things available for them. It's getting close to the end of this semester. Gateways are coming up the first week in December, then we have the End of Course the next week after that and then we've got Finals. So this first semester is just about over with. So if any student is behind they need to get with the after school or before school program and get caught up on whatever they are behind in."

Sixth District Board member Bruce Parsley also commended the DCHS football team on it's success. "I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the DeKalb County High School Football team. As many of you know, this is the fifth time in school history that the football team has been to the state playoffs, but this is the first time in school history that we've made it past the first round. So I'd just like to give a big hand to the football team. This is one of the hardest working group of athletes I've ever seen and I'd like to invite all of you out there to go to Whitehouse Friday night at seven o'clock.

The “Just Say No To Drugs” Party a Success

November 12, 2008
Participants at JUST SAY NO party
Participants at JUST SAY NO event

The DeKalb County Children’s Service Council, Sheriff Patrick Ray and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, Old El Paso Taco Company, and Smithville Wal-Mart had their “Just Say No To Drugs” party for the Students of the DeKalb County High School. The Students enjoyed tacos, chips, brownies, and cokes. Students had the opportunity to view videos about the different types of drugs and the effects that drugs have on their lives. Students also experience how alcohol can impair people’s vision by wearing “Fatal Vision Goggles” which mimics the effects that alcohol has on people’s vision.

This year’s sponsors were: Dr. Pepper Bottling Company, Frito-Lay, Bumpers, El Rancho Restaurant, DeKalb County Board of Education, Smithville Review, Middle Tennessee Times, W.J.L.E., DeKalb County Official’s: Trustee Sean Driver, Road Supervisor Kenny Edge, Judge Bratten Cook, County Court Clerk Mike Clayborn, Prichard’s Grocery, Amvet’s, Smithville Kiwanis Club, Old Fashioned Freewill Baptist Church at Blue Springs, and all of the many volunteers.

Donations are still being accepted for future projects for the children of DeKalb County. You may contact Clata Redmon at 597-7991 or Merril Harris at 536-5287.

State Representative-Elect Terri Lynn Weaver to Speak at Chamber Prayer Breakfast

November 12, 2008
Suzanne Williams

There’s no better way to begin the holiday season than attending the Chamber Prayer Breakfast. This special event will be held on Tuesday, November 25th at 7 AM at the Smithville Church of God Fellowship Center. State Representative-elect, Terri Lynn Weaver, will be our keynote speaker. Special music will be performed by Tomomi McDowell, Representative Weaver, and First Baptist Church’s signing group “Signs of Love.” Prayers for our community, our leaders, and our children will make this a meaningful and memorable experience. A delicious breakfast will be catered by Jason Evans, head chef at The Inn at Evins Mill. Tickets are $12 per person and can be purchased at the Chamber office or from the Chamber Board of Directors. The Leadership DeKalb Class of 2009 will serve the beverages. Doors open at 6:30 AM.

The Christmas season is nearly upon us which means it’s almost time to celebrate Christmas on the Square! This wonderful holiday event will be celebrated on Thursday, December 4th from 5 PM to 8 PM on the Smithville Public Square. Activities include the Courthouse Open House, Children’s Train & Inflatables (if weather permits), wonderful music, great downtown shopping, a special program at the Justin-Potter Library, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Clause, delicious food & hot chocolate. The night of special music includes Thea Tippin and will be held inside the newly renovated building on the north side of the square next door to the Chamber office. If you or your group would like to perform, call the Chamber office at 597-4163 ASAP. Beginning at 6 PM, the Justin-Potter Library will present “A Magical Christmas” with a performance by magician Bruce Amato & his “Holiday Magic” show and a special visit from Santa. Pictures with Santa and Mrs. Clause are by Double J Photography from 5 PM to 7 PM in the yellow building next door to the Chamber.

The Chamber is in great need of generous supporters to help fund this non-profit event. We invite businesses, organizations, churches, and individuals to be a part of the holiday extravaganza by participating or becoming a sponsor for this well-attended festival. If you would like to make a donation toward the expense of the flyers, postage, signs, advertisements, mail-outs, decorations, and other costs, our county and the visitors of this heart-warming celebration would definitely be the benefactors. This is a wonderful opportunity to get involved in our community in a positive way and to enjoy the true blessings of the Christmas season. We sincerely hope that you will be a part of this heartwarming experience –Christmas on the Square! For more information, call the Chamber office at 597-4163.

The Chamber Milestone Award was recently presented to New Frontiers celebrating 20 years of service in DeKalb County. According to owners Larry and Lori Nellist, "New Frontiers ministers to people throughout the world teaching them to think metaphorically, to live intentionally and to seek the emergent truths that God speaks to them." New Frontiers is located at 3939 Old Snow Hill Road in Dowelltown. You can visit their website at
The Chamber presented a Community Improvement Award to Ronnie & Ruth Hobbs, 814 So. College Street, Smithville. Home improvements include a new fence, shutters, and storm doors as well as a beautifully manicured lawn and cleaned fence rows. If you would like to nominate a residence or business for a Community Improvement Award, call the Chamber for a nomination form.

Congratulations and many thanks to Bro. Glenn Burks and the First Assembly of God Church for allowing the Chamber to participate in their groundbreaking ceremony for their new building.

Chamber Administrative Assistant, Lou Ann Sanders, and I would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and to express how grateful we are to all our Chamber members – the volunteers, businesses, organizations, county and city officials, community leaders, and churches that help us in our collective goals to continue positive growth and improvement to our beautiful county.

Upcoming Events:
• WJLE Chamber Radio Program - 1st Wednesday of every month at 8:30 AM
• Tuesday, November 25th – Chamber Prayer Breakfast, 7 AM, Smithville Church of God annex, 801 West Broad Street, Smithville – Guest Speaker: State Representative-elect, Terri Lynn Weaver & Special Entertainment by First Baptist’s “Signs of Love”
• November 28th, 29th, 30th - Appalachian Center for Craft Annual Holiday Festival – Craft Demonstrations, Exhibitions, Live Music, Shopping in the Gallery, & great food at the Walkway Café – For more info, stop by the Chamber or visit their website at
• December 4th – Chamber “Christmas on the Square” & Courthouse Open House” Downtown Smithville
• December 6th – Smithville Christmas Parade – 1 PM -- To participate, contact John Poss at 597-1135.
• December 7th - Liberty Parade – 2 PM
• December 13th - Alexandria Parade – 2 PM

Please let us know about your local events. Please call or e-mail your event information at or bring flyers by the Chamber for us to help distribute.

Join our efforts in working together to promote our great county and its businesses. For a Chamber membership application, community improvement nomination form, to serve on a committee, or to give us your ideas and comments, call the Chamber at 597-4163 or visit us at 301 North Public Square, Smithville under the green / white striped awning.

Veterans Day Celebrated in DeKalb County

November 12, 2008
Dwayne Page
Major Jerry Parker
Scene from Veterans Day Parade
 Community Chorus Performs at Veterans Day Program

Patriotism was on display Tuesday in DeKalb County as the community recognized Veterans Day with a parade and a special remembrance program.

Following the singing of the National Anthem by State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver and a program of patriotic songs by the Community Chorus, guest speaker Major Jerry Parker paid tribute to veterans, past and present, who served our nation and particularly those from DeKalb County. "Military veterans have fought and defeated all of those who would do us harm. America's veterans taught our enemies that harming America brings with it a very high price."

"The freedoms we enjoy today and our way of life are the direct result of the service of our veterans. The blood of veterans runs very deep in DeKalb County. This great county has an Historic legacy of it's citizens answering the call to serve in the armed forces during times of peril. That legacy began in the Revolutionary War and continues today in the War on Terror."

"The Apostle Matthew quotes the Lord saying, ‘you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars for nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom'. If there will be more wars, there'll be more veterans and more DeKalb Countians will be added to the honor roll of veterans."

"Today, we honor those who served our nation at war. To the veterans still with us, we look you in the eye and say thank you, and we salute you for your service to our country. For those veterans who lived a full life and died in old age, we bury them with all the respect and full military honors they so richly deserve. Then there are other veterans that we honor today, who gave their lives in battle. Most of them were in their late teens or early twenties. Some of them were married but they never saw their children grow up and they never played with their grandchildren. They never lived to experience all the joys and troubles of life."

"Veterans Day is a day for all Americans. It's a day to remember our veterans and what they fought for. It's also a day when we renew our commitment to them to make sure that America's freedoms continue for future generations. Let us honor all of them by living the freedoms they protected. Thank you for honoring our veterans today."

Major Parker, who was born and raised in Chattanooga, graduated from UT Chattanooga and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, assigned to the 4th Infantry Division. He served a year in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious service in combat. He later entered the active Army Reserve for six years and served as a Company Commander and as a Brigade staff officer with the rank of Major. He is also a retired Vice President of American General Life and Accident Insurance Company.

Prior to his remarks, Major Parker presented certificates to Edward and Edsel Frazier for their service during World War II. The certificates, issued by the U.S. Naval Institute, recognize the Frazier's for their participation at the Battle of the Bulge in the European Theater and for their contributions to that victory.

Tiger Quarterback Hunter Poteete Among Nominees for Mr. Football Awards

November 12, 2008
Dwayne Page
Hunter Poteete

DeKalb County High School Quarterback Hunter Poteete is among three Class 3-A Back finalists named Tuesday for the 2008 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Award.

A lineman and a back will be presented with a Mr. Football trophy for five classes in Division I and two classes in Division II. There will also be one kicker of the year.

The winners will be announced Dec. 1 at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro.

The names of the finalists were published in the Wednesday, November 12th edition of the Tennessean.

Poteete has thrown for 2,572 yards and 34 touchdowns, this season, while adding 842 rushing yards and nine more touchdowns. Poteete was the passing leader in Region 4-3A, and the third leading rusher. His passing totals are the most for any quarterback in DCHS football history, and the junior also holds the career passing mark for the program.

>> 1A: Brent Ford, Trousdale Co.; Preston Gilbreath, Mt. Pleasant; Tyler Richardson, Grace Chr.

>> 2A: Michael Baker, Westmoreland; Tyler Robinson, Alcoa; Mason Sharp, Lewis Co.

>> 3A: Blaine Boone, White House; Daniel Hood, Knox Catholic; Evan Webb, David Lipscomb

>> 4A: Romario Cathey, Maplewood; Kevin Revis, Rhea Co.; Justin Smith, Maryville

>> 5A: Will Jackson, Farragut; Tim McAdoo, Oakland; Jacques Smith, Ooltewah

>> DII-A: Blair Arrington, Davidson Acad,; Don Gant, First Assembly; Will Rikard, Harding Acad.

>> DII-AA: Wesley Johnson, MBA; Austin Long, Briarcrest; Thad McHaney, Brentwood Acad.

>> 1A: David Jones, South Pittsburg; James King, Manassas; Colton Speed, Union City

>> 2A: Kane Crowell, Lewis Co.; Ben Cunningham, Goodpasture; Jake Overbey, USJ

>> 3A: Demario Carter, Sheffield; Hunter Poteete, DeKalb Co.; Zach Rogers, David Lipscomb

>> 4A: Will Gilchrist, Hardin Co.; Eric Gordon, Hillsboro; Marsalis Teague, Henry Co.

>> 5A: Tausean Holmes, Millington; Graham Nichols, Franklin; Chaz Scales, Centennial

>> DII-A: Marlon Brown, Harding Acad.; Ryan Dubois, SBEC; Justin Williams, Davidson Acad.

>> DII-AA: Barry Brunetti, MUS; Tavarres Jefferson, Ensworth; Spencer Wise, MBA

>> Josh Davis, Rhea Co.; Danny Kim, Camden; Jared White, Trousdale Co.

2008 Report Card Reveals School System Meeting Necessary NCLB Benchmarks

November 10, 2008
Dwayne Page

The 2008 Report Card on the DeKalb County School System from the Tennessee Department of Education reveals that it is in "Good Standing" for No Child Left Behind AYP (Average Yearly Progress) status as every school in the system met the necessary benchmarks in all demographic subject areas as well as the additional indicators.

Dr. Carol Hendrix, Supervisor of Instruction for Grades 7-12., in a prepared statement, says "The 2008 Report Card reflects strong overall gains in student academic achievement. The DeKalb County School System is moving in the right path giving students the tools they need to succeed."

"There are a number of reasons that the system is improving year after year: Strong emphasis placed on quality instruction. Through federal programs, teachers are provided professional development helping teachers polish their skills."

"There is a continuous use of student data as a tool to track student progress and determine when focus is needed in particular areas. Teachers are able to identify when help is needed and put interventions in place."

"Each school is providing time for teachers to collaborate and share best practices as well as discuss specific needs of students and deficits in teaching and the curriculum."

"Through differentiated instruction, teachers are tailoring instruction to meet a variety of learning styles and level of understanding."

"Each school has developed a school improvement plan identifying areas of need and developed strategic plans to meet these needs."

"Development of strong parental involvement through various parent groups and programs."

"Quality after school and summer programs are in place to provide tutoring and enrichment activities to enhance student performance."

K-8 Non-Academic Indicators:
The school system average attendance for K-8 for 2008 was 94.1%, which is above the state goal of 93%

The promotion rate for 2008 was 98.8%, again above the state goal of 97%

9-12th grade Non-Academic Indicators:
The attendance rate for grades 9-12 was 93.3%, slightly higher compared to the state's attendance average of 93%

The graduation rate for DeKalb County High School is 83.4%, above the benchmark goal of 75% for the DeKalb County School System and above the state graduation rate which is 82.2%

The event dropout rate is 2.9%, significantly below the state goal of 5%.

K-8 Academic Indicators Math and Reading/Language:

Math 2008 Target 86%

DeKalb County exceeded the math target of 86% by 6% with a proficient and advanced average of 94%, which is 4% higher than 2007 and 3% higher than the state average.

Reading/Language 2008 Target 89%

DeKalb County exceeded the reading/language target of 89% by 4% with a proficient and advanced average of 93%, which is 3% higher than 2007 and 1% higher than the state average.

The most significant gains were realized in specific demographic groups with double digit gains in both math and reading/language

In math, students with disabilities gained 26% from 2007. Reading/Language revealed four demographic groups with double digit gains including Students with disabilities 15% gain, Hispanic 17% gain, African American 10%, and Limited English Proficient 12%.

9-12 Academic Indicator Math and Reading Language

No child Left Behind requires a separation of student achievement data by content area (Math and Reading/Language plus Writing) which identifies proficient and advanced percentages for grades 9-12. DeKalb County met AYP as well as increasing the advanced categories in both math and Reading Language.

Students with disabilities increased math proficient/advanced scores to 83% in 2008 from 68% in 2007.

Student Academic Achievement results for grades 3 to 8, show that the DeKalb County School System outperformed the state in all subject areas and made continuous gains from 2006 to 2008.

For 2008, DeKalb County earned an "A" in both Math and Reading/Language and Science and a "B" in Social Studies.

Actual 2008 scores were as follows: 61 in math, up from 59 in 2007; 58 in Reading/Language, up from 57 in 2007; 57 in Social Studies, up from 56 in 2007; and 61 in Science, up from 58 in 2007.

The DeKalb County School System outperformed the state in both 5th and 8th grade Writing Assessment for three years in a row while maintaining an A average each year.

For 2008, DeKalb County earned an "A" in 5th and 8th grade writing, the same as 2007 with scores of 4.3 in each category

DeKalb County High School improved on average ACT scores from 2007 to 2008 but fell slightly behind the state three year average.

The ACT results in grades 9-12 for 2008 (individual year) show that the composite score was 19.8, up from 19.3 last year; 20 in English, up from 19.3 in 2007, 18.2 in Math, up from 17.9 last year, 20.5 in Reading, up from 20.2; and 19.9 in Science/Reasoning, up from 19.5 last year. The 2008 state three year averages are 20.7 composite, 20.8 in English, 19.8 in Math, 21.1 in Reading, and 20.3 in Science/Reasoning.

DeKalb County High School received a 4.1 in writing assessment which was an A average in 2008, slightly below the state average.

The DeKalb County School System made great gains in value added on the grades (3-8) 2008 report card over the past three years. Value Added measures student progress within a grade and subject, and demonstrates the influence of in-school factors on student's achievement. Value added measures the impact the teacher and school have on student improvement/ability levels.

DeKalb County earned a B in math, up from a C last year, and an A in Reading/Language, Social Studies, and Science, the same grade as last year.

Math has an A average in grades 5th, 7th, and 8th
Reading/Language has an A average in grades 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th
Social Studies has an A average in grades 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th
Science has an A average in grades 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th.

The state set a predicted score of the high school Gateway and End of Course test which compare the school progress with the progress of students across the state. DeKalb County High School was at the state average or above average in all subject areas.

Math Algebra I: NDD (Not detectably different)
Science Biology: Above Average
English II: NDD
Math Foundations: NDD
English I: Above Average
Physical Science: Above Average
US History: NDD

Highlights of the 2008 report card on DeKalb Middle School are as follows:

The school met the No Child Left Behind Average Yearly Progress for 2008
In Math, all students scored above 2007 levels
In Reading/Language, all students scored above 2007 levels
All Achievement Scores were above last year's average
Highest Writing Assessment Scores in the county and were above the state average
In Value Added, Math students had an A average in 7th and 8th grade
In Reading/Language, students scored an A average in 6th and 8th grade
In Social Studies, students earned an A average in 7th and 8th grade
In Algebra I, 8th grade students scored above the state average
100% of the teachers were deemed highly qualified and the school had a 94.8% attendance rate

The report card on DeKalb West School reveals the following;

The school met the No Child Left Behind Average Yearly Progress for 2008
In Math, all students scored above the 2007 level
In Reading/Language, all students scored above the 2007 level
Students overall earn A's in both Academic Growth and Value Added in Math, Reading/Language, Social Studies, and Science
All subject were above the state averages
Students earned an A in both 5th and 8th grade in Writing Scores
In Value Added, students had A's in 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th grade Math
Students earned an A in 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th grade Reading/Language
Students in 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th grade Social Studies scored A's
Science students scored A's in the 4th and 5th grade
100% of teachers were deemed highly qualified and the school met the attendance (94.8%) and promotion rates and were above the state averages.

Highlights of the report for Northside Elementary School are as follows:

The school met the No Child Left Behind Average Yearly Progress for 2008
In Math, all students scored above 2007 levels
All students in Reading/Language were above 2007 levels
Students in Math and Reading Language scored above state averages
All Achievement Scores were above last year's averages
Students earned an A average in the Writing Assessment Score exceeding the state average
In Value Added, students earned an A average in 5th grade Math.
In Reading/Language, students earned an A average in 4th and 5th grade
Social Studies students scored an A average in 5th grade
Science students earned an A average in 4th and 5th grade
100% of the teachers were deemed highly qualified and the school had the highest attendance rate in the county at 95.7%

The report card on DeKalb County High School reveals the following:

The school met the No Child Left Behind Average Yearly Progress for 2008
In Math, students scored the same as 2007, but exceeded the state average
Students earned an A in Writing Assessment for the year 2008
The ACT score was above the 2007 levels in composite, English, Math, Reading, Science/Reasoning.
Academic Growth was all average or above the state average
The graduation rate was 83.4% meeting the benchmark set for DeKalb County and exceeding the state graduation rate average 82.2%.

Based on the Average Daily Attendance in the DeKalb County Schools for 2008, the per pupil expenditure was $7,093, which is below the state average of $8,345.

Local funding is at 21% of the total system budget which is approximately one half of the 41.3% spent by the average school system in Tennessee.

Dr. Hendrix says "The DeKalb County School System is providing an education for all children while narrowing the gap that once existed between different demographic groups, providing students with the necessary tools to be successful. We are not exactly where we want to be, but we are certainly making progress in the right direction."

"The DeKalb County School System with the School Board, Director of Schools, Central Office Administration and staff, Principals, Teachers and all other personnel including cafeteria staff, custodial staff, educational assistants, secretaries/bookkeepers and bus drivers are meeting the challenge in providing quality service for the most valuable asset this county has, our children."

Smithville Man Charged with Making Harassing Telephone Calls to African-American Families

November 10, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has charged a Smithville man with making harassing telephone calls to two African-American families in Alexandria.

58 year old Clessie George Jones also known as Bobby Jones of Fall Creek Drive, Smithville was charged Wednesday with four counts of telephone harassment.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says through an investigation, detectives found that Jones had called two African American families in Alexandria and had made threatening racial slurs to the callers. Jones was brought in for questioning by Sheriff's Detectives and he admitted to the offenses. Jones' bond was set at $4,000 and he will appear in court on November 20th.

Meanwhile, in other cases, deputies responded to Eckels Heights in Liberty to a domestic violence call on Monday, November 3rd.

Sheriff Ray says through an investigation by officers on the scene, 22 year old Shauna Faye Stringer of Alexandria Highway, Brush Creek was found to be intoxicated. Officers also learned that she had made up the allegation of domestic violence. Stringer was charged with public intoxication and her bond was set at $1,000. She will appear in court on November 20th.

22 year old Andrew Tyler Hall of East Main Street, Smithville was charged Tuesday, November 4th with driving under the influence after he was stopped for a traffic offense on Highway 56 South. Hall submitted to field sobriety tasks which he failed. He also refused a blood alcohol test. Hall's bond was set at $1,500 on the DUI and he was issued a citation for violation of the implied consent law. Hall will appear in court on December 4th.


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