Local News Articles

DCHS Graduation Friday Night

May 15, 2012
Dwayne Page
DCHS Senior Awards Day Thursday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. at DCHS Gym
Adam James
Victoria Tatrow
Micheal Burt

A total of 177 students make up the Class of 2012 at DeKalb County High School and the seniors will receive their diplomas during graduation exercises Friday, May 18th at 7:00 p.m. on the high school football field.


The program will feature remarks by the Valedictorian, Adam James and Class President Victoria Tatrow. Motivational speaker Micheal Burt will deliver the commencement address.

The prestigious White Rose and Citizenship Awards will also be presented by DCHS Principal Kathy Hendrix to three outstanding members of the class. Honors students will be recognized. Diplomas will be presented to each graduate by Director of Schools Mark Willoughby. The DCHS Chorus will perform.

Meanwhile the DCHS Senior Awards Day program will be Thursday, May 17 at 8:30 a.m. at the gym. Scholarship awards will be presented. WJLE will have LIVE coverage of awards day on AM 1480/FM 101.7 and LIVE streaming at www.wjle.com.

During the graduation exercises, the honor students will be recognized including the 2012 Valedictorian Adam James and the Salutatorian Heather Vidal.

Students among the top twenty five senior academic ranking from numbers one to twenty five are as follows:
Adam James, Heather Vidal, Whitney England, Laura Martinez, Briana Vidal, Hailey Perry, Heather Hughes, Jessica Garrison, Jonathan Edwards, Erin Colwell, Jessica Ball, Alex Meadows, Victoria Tatrow, Riley Young, Lela Ambrose, Katie Merriman, Laura Pafford, Abigail Hendrix, Allison Little, Mason Merriman, Talisa Cantrell, Elizabeth Sanders, Brooke Hutchings, Sydney Robinson, and Joseph Angaran

Students earning "Highest Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.8 to 4.0 are:
Adam James, Valedictorian 4.0; Heather Vidal, Salutatorian 4.0, Jessica D. Ball 4.0, Erin L. Colwell 4.0, Jonathan D. Edwards 4.0, Whitney N. England 4.0, Jessica B. Garrison 4.0, Heather M. Hughes 4.0, Laura E. Martinez 4.0, Hailey D. Perry 4.0, Victoria D. Tatrow 4.0, Briana Vidal 4.0, Christopher R. Young 4.0, Lela E. Ambrose, Joseph L. Angaran, Talisa M. Cantrell, Taylor M. Cantrell, Morgan S. Garrett, Abigail Hendrix, Nicholaus T. Henry, Morgan B. Hutchings, Allison Little, Alexandria Meadows, Katie L. Merriman, Mason B. Merriman, Jacob A. Odom, Laura S. Pafford, Sydney Robinson, Elizabeth Sanders, Krystal T. White, and Austin T. Willmore

Students earning "High Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.6 to 3.79 include Chelsea L. Cantrell, Megan L. Cantrell, Yesenia L Cintron, Alicia D. Crook, Jamie Florence, James D. Freeney, Tiffini Hendrixson, Johnna G. Hensley, Sarah L. Jones, David S. Phillips, Kidman D. Puckett, Lindsay B. Snyder, Erik Z. Thompson, and Alyssa A. Young.

Those earning "Distinction" with a grade point average of 3.2 to 3.59 include Christian J. Atnip, Michael W. Caldwell, Tiffany D. Cantrell, Tiffany A. Celestino, Emily B Dawson, Jasmine M. Dimas, Katy J. England, John B. Foster, Quinton R. Harbaugh, Allyson R. Judkins, Danielle L. Knowles, Mary F. Knowles, Monserrat Leon, Xing (Tammy) Q. Li, Renny A. Mason, Preston S. Melton, Lorrie M. Merriman, Kalli A. Mitchell, Samanvi R. Munagala, Tevin M. Owens, Bradley C. Pack, Stephanie C. Rackley, Johnna R. Roller, Kayla D. Self, Laura A. Sullivan, and Ashlee M. Whitehead

Members of the DCHS Class of 2012 are as follows:

Alexander J. Ader, William A. Ader, Lela Ambrose, Joseph Angaran, Jordan Arnold, Christian Atnip, Andrew Atnip, Justin Avera

Terry Bain, Jessica Ball, Thomas Beltz, Macie Bouldin, Micheal Braswell, Dustin Brown, Jennifer Butler,

Michael Caldwell, Chelsea Cantrell, Megan Cantrell, Talisa Cantrell, Taylor Cantrell, Tiffany Cantrell, Austin Carlson, Juan Carrillo, Tiffany Celestino, Yesenia Cintron, Erin Colwell, Jakob Craven, Alex Cripps, Jackson Cripps, Alicia Crook, Chelsea Crutcher, Adam Cubbins,

Tanner Davis, Emily Dawson, Jasmine Dimas, Rebecca Duffield,

Jonathan Edwards, Matthew Elliott, Katy England, Whitney England, Gage Estes,

Jeremie Ferdelman, Zacharias Ferrell, Jamie Florence, Brady Foster, Dylan Freeney, Caleb Furnival,

Benjamin Gard, Sloane Garrett, Jessica Garrison, Jordan Gash, Zachary Goldstein, Katelyn Goodwin, Clayton Gott, Joseph Gray, Hannah Green, Lucas Griffin, Jonathan Griffin,

Steven Haas, Kara Hackett, Quintin Harbaugh, Todd Hasty, John Hayes, Abigail Hendrix, Tiffini Hendrixson, Nicholaus Henry, Johnna Hensley, Taylor Hensley, Jessie Herman, Savannah Hershman, Heather Hughes, Hunter Humphrey, Brooke Hutchings,

Adam James, Jessie James, Kaitlin Jennings, Matthew Johnson, Garrett Johnson, Ian Johnson, Kenneth Johnson, Sarah Jones, Heather Jones, Stephanie Jones, Allyson Judkins

Alexander Keith, Clay Kilgore, Danielle Knowles, Mary Knowles, Tabitha Knowles,

Jeremy Landsem, Steven Lawrence, Amanda Laxton, Monserrat Leon, Tammy Li, Allison Little, Aurora Little, Sarah Lomas, Erika Lucio,

Zachery Malone, Laura Martinez, Renny Mason, Wesley Mason, Andrew McCoy, Cheyenne McDaniel, Alexandria Meadows, Preston Melton, Corey Merriman, Katie Merriman, Lorrie Merriman, Mason Merriman, Kalli Mitchell, Terry Mollinet, Justin Moore, Samanvi Munagala, Alex Murphy,

Raul Narvaez, Teddy Nelson, Dustin Netherton,

Jacob Odom, Tevin Owens,

Bradley Pack, Christopher Pack, Laura Pafford, Tiffany Pease, Ashley Pedigo, Hailey Perry, David Perry, Trey Petty, Sebastian Phillips, Westly Poss, Christopher Powell, Kayla Presley, Kidman Puckett,

Stephanie Rackley, Brenda Ramirez, Dylan Reagan, Deshon Reeder, Blake Reffue, Cora Beth Rhody, Louis Richards, Collene Riley, Martin Riley, Gabrielle Ritchie, Yazmin Rivera, Sydney Robinson, Johnna Roller, Makenzie Roller,

Elizabeth Sanders, Kayla Self, Justin Skinner, Brooke Snyder, William Sowell, Corey Spare, Daniel Stanley, Mark Stanley, Russell Storey, Laura Sullivan,

Billy Tate, Victoria Tatrow, Ashley Taylor, Zachary Taylor, Destiny Thomas, Zachary Thompson, Billy Tiner,

Nicholas Underhill, Jonathan Upton,

Gabriella Vanatta, Briana Vidal, Heather Vidal,

Brian Waggoner, Tia Ward, Krystal White, Ashlee Whitehead, Jacob Williams, Breanna Williams, Austin Willmore,

Alyssa Young and Riley Young.

Winners Announced In Fuel Up to Play 60 Breakfast Contest

May 15, 2012

DeKalb County Schools participated in the Fuel Up to Play 60 Breakfast contest during the month of March through the School Nutrition Department. The contest was a huge success with 4,000 more breakfast served during March than during the month of February. Although DeKalb County did not win the contest, the School Nutrition Department feels that it was a huge success by having more students participate in breakfast and win some really great prizes from local businesses/sponsors. The School Nutrition Department would like to give a huge THANK YOU to the local businesses/sponsors for all the wonderful prizes. The businesses/sponsors included:

Kwik-N-Ezy, Inc., DeKalb County Tigers Football Team, Wilson Bank and Trust (DeKalb), DeKalb County Tigerettes Softball Team, DeKalb County Soccer Teams, Kilgore’s , Verizon, Foutch Eye Care, Mapco, DCHS Annual Club, DCHS FFA, Los Lobos Mexican Restaurant, Federal Programs, Wal-Mart, DCHS, NES, DWS, DMS PTO’s, DMS, Mr. Randy Jennings-Principal at DMS, Mrs. Kathy Hendrix-Principal at DCHS, Bumpers, Subway, Pizza Hut, Coordinated School Health, Ramsey’s Signs and Shirts

The prizes were presented each week to the students who ate breakfast that week. Their name was put in a drawing every Friday for a prize. The winners included:

Smithville Elementary School
Week One: Claytin Fish-Pre-K and Tori Hensley-2nd grade

Week Two: Brayden Murphy-Kindergarten and Elizabeth Gaines-1st grade

Week Three: John Cook-1st grade and Alexa Hernandez-Dragustinovis-Kindergarten

Week Four: Adriana Shirley-Pre-K and Alexis Soto-2nd grade

Northside Elementary School
Week One: Hunter Murphy-5th grade and Kayla Van Dyne-3rd grade

Week Two: Jenna Cantrell-2nd grade and Rodriqo Sosa-Santillan-4th grade

Week Three: Takota Prinsloo-4th grade and Chelsea Bennett-4th grade

Week Four: Maddison Parsley-5th grade and Isaac Martin-3rd grade

DeKalb West School
(Four Students were chosen: two (boy &girl) from Pre-K-4th grade and two (boy & girl) from 5th-8th grade)

Week One: Sydnee Hendrixson-3rd grade, Jackson Hale-2nd grade, Cody Goff-5th grade, Jayrah Plattenburg-7th grade

Week Two: Brooklyn Sutherland-Kindergarten, Bralin Moss-1st grade, Savannah Anderson-Howell-7th grade, and Samuel Claiborne-6th grade

Week Three: Jayra Plattenburg-7th grade, Preston Clark-4th grade, Jasmen Chapman-Kindergarten, and-Will Mathis-1st grade

Week Four: Savannah Anderson-Howell-7th grade, JD Ashford-Kindergarten, Christian Cryer-6th grade, and Allie Overstreet-Kindergarten

DeKalb Middle School
Week One: Victoria Greer-7th grade and Ethan R. Cantrell-6th grade

Week Two: Elizabeth Cripps-7th grade and Hunter Speaks-6th grade

Week Three: Kelly Armour-8th grade and Jesse Ferrell-6th grade

Week Four: Angeles Soto-8th grade and Shaun Bain-7th grade

DeKalb County High School
(Each week a student from each grade was chosen excluding Week Four due to the amount of prizes)
Week One: Nicole Hunt, Hunter Parkhurst, Laddie Jerrells, and Zach Goldstein

Week Two: Erasmo Godinez, Chris Cameron, Brandon Sells, and Zach Goldstein

Week Three: Bobby Calahan, Annatasia Alexander, Matthew Adcox, and Destiny Thomas

Week Four: Samantha Hayes, Jonathan Munoz, Shannon Freeman, Kaylee Hale, Shaun
McGinnis, Karah Allen, Samuel Giles, Jose Alvarez-Tinajero, and Terry Mollinet,

DCHS had a grand prize winner for the student who ate everyday for the month of March. The winner was Andrew McCoy! He won a $65 Yearbook!

Thanks for all the support from the community, schools, teachers, parents, and students during this event!

Harriet Cantrell's Rewarding Teaching Career Coming to an End

May 15, 2012
Dwayne Page
Harriet Cantrell

If you don't think a teacher can have an impact on your life, just ask Harriet Cantrell, Family and Consumer Science Teacher at DCHS.

As she looks toward retirement after thirty three years, Ms. Harriet said she has a former high school teacher to thank for influencing her decision to become an educator. "My high school Home Ec teacher is the one who really steered me in this direction," said Cantrell. " She was a wonderful person and just got me so interested in this area and this is what I chose."

Cantrell's teaching career began in 1979. After graduating from high school and earning her college degree, she spent the first few years working at the local hospital before becoming a Home Economics instructor at DCHS. "I graduated from high school in Nashville at Two Rivers and then I got my degree from Middle Tennessee State University. I worked at DeKalb General Hospital for seven years before I started my teaching career. I moved to DeKalb County High School in 1979 and have been here ever since," said Cantrell.

Over the years, the class she teaches has changed courses and has even undergone a name change. "It changed from Home Economics to Family and Consumer Science. We've moved a lot from the year long classes to semester classes and I've taught pretty much everything in the curriculum since I've been here. The courses have changed. We've dropped some and added some and we're still doing that. Its changing year by year," she said.

Ms. Harriet has enjoyed her job and being around the students, which she said, has always made her feel young at heart. "I have loved my job. Its never been a chore for me to come to work and do my job. My classroom has always been my salvation. The students have always kept me young and young at heart. My class is more like a family life skills class. Its teaching them skills that they can use everyday and I've had a lot of contact with students after they've graduated who have come back and talked to me to let me know that things they learned in my class have been very useful. It has been very rewarding for me,"said Cantrell.

Along with her teaching duties, Cantrell has been involved in other school activities over the years. "I've done a little bit of everything since I've been here. I was a cheerleading sponsor for fifteen years. I did the prom for about ten years. I've done graduation with Ms. Dixie (Crook) for a long time. Just a little bit of everything out here that had to be done, we've always filled in and done it," she said.

As she leaves DCHS after this school year, Ms Harriett said she will take with her many pleasant memories. She takes pride in having watched many of her former students become successful in their own careers "There are lots of students who have made really strong impressions on me, Danielle Collins is one that I can think of. Dr. David Foutch is one of my former students. There's just a lot of people in this area who have gone on to great things who I have had the opportunity to teach. There's so many, they're hard to name," said Cantrell.

Cantrell is very grateful to all her friends and family who have supported her. "I would love to thank my DCHS students that I have worked with all these years, the faculty and staff and all of their families, and my family and everyone who has touched my life in so many ways over these last three decades," she said.

As for what's next in her life, Ms. Harriet said we'll just have to wait and see. "I'm going to enjoy my retirement. I'm not sure that I'm going to do anything special for a while. I know that God has something else for me to do. I would love to work with young people in something but I don't know we're just going to see what opens up," she said.

Proposal to Reduce Office Hours at Three Local Post Offices

May 14, 2012
Dwayne Page
Dowelltown Post Office
Liberty Post Office
Alexandria Post Office

Office hours of three DeKalb County Post Offices would be reduced under a new nationwide cost cutting strategy announced by the U.S. Postal Service last week.

Under the proposal, the current daily retail hours of the Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown Post Offices would be reduced from eight hours to six hours. The Smithville Post Office was not among those listed for reduced hours. The new strategy would be implemented over a two-year, multi-phased approach and would not be completed until September 2014.

Hundreds of post offices across the country would be impacted by the strategy designed to keep the nation's smallest Post Offices open for business, while providing a framework to achieve significant cost savings as part of the plan to return the organization to financial stability.

Unlike the previous efforts to halt mail delivery on Saturday, which requires congressional approval, the Postal Service can reduce hours on its own.

The plan would keep the existing Post Office in place, but with modified retail window hours to match customer use. Access to the retail lobby and to PO Boxes would remain unchanged, and the town's ZIP Code and community identity would be retained.

"Meeting the needs of postal customers is, and will always be, a top priority. We continue to balance that by better aligning service options with customer demand and reducing the cost to serve," said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe. "With that said, we've listened to our customers in rural America and we've heard them loud and clear – they want to keep their Post Office open. We believe today's announcement will serve our customers' needs and allow us to achieve real savings to help the Postal Service return to long-term financial stability."

Once implementation is completed, the Postal Service estimates savings of a half billion dollars annually.

"The Postal Service is committed to serving America's communities and providing a responsible and fair approach for our employees and customers," said Megan Brennan, Postal Service Chief Operating Officer. "The Post Offices in rural America will remain open unless a community has a strong preference for one of the other options. We will not close any of these rural Post Offices without having provided a viable solution."

The Postal Service will provide an opportunity for the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to review this plan prior to making any changes. The Postal Service intends to file a request for an advisory opinion on the plan with the PRC later this month. Community meetings would then be conducted to review options in greater detail. Communities will be notified by mail of the date, time and location of these meetings.

This new option complements existing alternatives, which include:

Providing mail delivery service to residents and businesses in the affected community by either rural carrier or highway contract route;
Contracting with a local business to create a Village Post Office; and
Offering service from a nearby Post Office.
A voluntary early retirement incentive for the nation's more than 21,000 non-executive postmasters was also announced.

Survey research conducted by the respected Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) in February, showed 54 percent of rural customers would prefer the new solution to maintain a local Post Office. Forty-six percent prefer one of the previously announced solutions (20% prefer Village Post Office, 15% prefer providing services at a nearby Post Office, 11% prefer expanded rural delivery). This strategy would enable a town to possibly have a Post Office with modified hours, as well as a Village Post Office.

The Postal Service has implemented a voluntary moratorium on all postal facility closings through May 15, 2012. No closings or changes to Post Office operations will occur until after that time.

In addition to maintaining a retail network of more than 31,000 Post Offices, the Postal Service also provides online access to postal products and services through usps.com and more than 70,000 alternate access locations. Nearly 40-percent of postal retail revenue comes from purchases on usps.com and through approved postal providers such as Wal-Mart, Staples, Office Depot, Walgreens, Sam's Club, Costco, and many others.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

DCHS General Metals Class Works with County Fire Department on Special Project

May 14, 2012
Dwayne Page
DCHS General Metals Class Works with County Fire Department on Special Project

DCHS General Metals Instructor Todd Cantrell and members of his class recently completed a design and construction project for the DeKalb County Fire Department's rescue truck.

Firefighter Steve Repasy assisted the class by designing the storage shelving unit which will store all of the cribbing used for vehicle stabilization. This shelving unit will be mounted in the department's rescue truck. In all, approximately 30 hours (or a total of 600 man hours) were donated by the class and Firefighter Repasy to complete this project.

Members of the DeKalb County Fire Department wish to express their sincere appreciation to the class, Mr. Cantrell, and to Firefighter Steve Repasy for committing their time, effort, and skill. The department made a $150 donation to the General Metals class to help purchase equipment and materials for their shop.

(Photo provided by DeKalb County Fire Department)

4-H Livestock Teams Compete at Region Contest

May 14, 2012
Michael Barry
4-H Junior High Livestock Judging Team
4-H Senior High Livestock Judging Team

DeKalb County 4-H members recently traveled to Murfreesboro to participate in the Central Region 4-H Livestock Judging Contest. The event featured 34 teams from 23 different Middle Tennessee counties. The livestock judging contest is composed of eight different classes of beef cattle, hogs, sheep, and meat goats. Team members evaluate and place the livestock in each class based on performance and market criteria. They are also required to answer five performance related questions about each class. Even though the 4-H members receive a team score, they must work individually during the contest to complete their analysis of each class. By participating in 4-H judging activities, 4-H members gain life skills such as decision making, teamwork, and communication.

The junior high team is made up of 4-H members in 7th and 8th grades. Caitlin Lawrence, Casey Vickers, Morgan Vickers, and Wyatt Martin placed 12th in the Junior High Division. In addition, Caitlin Lawrence was the 12th highest scoring individual from more than 100 individuals in the Junior High Division.

The Senior High team is made up high school 4-H members. In addition to judging and answering questions on the livestock classes, the senior 4-H members are also required to give oral reasons justifying their placings of the particular classes. Justin Bass, Brooke Reffue, Brandon Barnes, & Courtney Caldwell earned 10th place in the Senior high division.

Picture captions:
TOP PHOTO: Members of the 4-H Junior High Livestock Judging Team are (front row left to right): Morgan Vickers, Casey Vickers, (back row): Caitlin Lawrence and Wyatt Martin.

BOTTOM PHOTO: 4-H Senior High Livestock Judging Team members who recently place 10th at the Region 4-H Livestock Judging Contest are: (front row) Brooke Reffue and Courtney Caldwell. (back row): Brandon Barnes and Justin Bass.

Northside Elementary Fifth Graders Graduate From DARE Program

May 14, 2012
Dwayne Page
Northside 5th Grade DARE Essay Winner Hannah Anderson
Northside 5th Grade Classroom DARE Essay Winners

Fifth graders at Northside Elementary School received pins and certificates during the annual DARE graduation ceremony held today (Monday).

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at Northside are:

Brooklyn Wilson from Amy Raymond's class
Nicole Godinez from Amanda Griffith's class
Hannah Anderson from Carrie Gottlied's class
Jessica Davidson from Ginger Wenger's class
Dulce Maciel from Alisha Day's class
Caleb London from Cheryl Vance's class
Joni Robinson from Melissa Hale's class
Madison Parsley from January Agee's class

Hannah Anderson was the over-all winner and she read her essay during Monday's program. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Anderson gets to keep "Daren the Lion" the DARE Mascot. Judge Bratten Cook II also presented her a check for $50.

Sheriff Patrick Ray, who spoke during the DARE graduation, told the students that "D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community. "I ask you today students, to take this valuable information and apply it to your lives, now and forever."

Other officials present for the ceremony were Northside Principal Dr. Gayle Redmon, Assistant Principal Julie Vincent, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, Assistant District Attorney General Greg Strong, County Mayor Mike Foster, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, and Trustee Sean Driver.

Hannah Anderson's Winning Essay is as follows;

"What DARE Has Taught Me"

"This year DARE has taught me about the choices I make. It taught me to make good choices. DARE taught me how to stay healthy by not smoking. Smoking can cause very bad health problems and it can even cause cancer."

"Another thing DARE taught me is to not ever take drugs! Some types of drugs can cause breathing problems. Drugs can affect your brain, too. They cause short-term memory loss, not being able to see things far away, and more. Drugs are very addictive. Once you start taking them, they are very hard to get off of. So, never even try drugs because you will get addicted to them."

"DARE also taught me about the friend I choose. If your friends get into a lot of trouble, if they are bullies, or even take drugs then you don't need to be friends with them. They could cause you to make bad choices. So pick good friends."

"I have enjoyed DARE a lot this year, and it has taught me a lot of interesting facts."

(Top Photo: DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson, Judge Bratten Cook, II, DARE Essay Winner Hannah Anderson, and Sheriff Patrick Ray)

(Bottom Photo: FRONT ROW-Jessica Davidson, Caleb London, Brooklyn Wilson, Joni Robinson, Nicole Godinez, Hannah Anderson, Dulce Maciel, and Madison Parsley; BACK ROW, Chief Deputy Don Adamson, Judge Bratten Cook, II, and Sheriff Patrick Ray)

McMinnville Woman Wanted in Arkansas for Fraud

May 14, 2012
Dwayne Page
Elizabeth Ann Moyer
Tammy Lynn Davis

In his latest report on county crime news, Sheriff Patrick Ray reports that Elizabeth Ann Moyer of Twin Oaks Road, McMinnville is charged with being a fugitive from justice. Her bond is $50,000.

Sheriff Ray said that Moyer is wanted by the Garland County Sheriff's Department in Hot Springs, Arkansas for fraud. She is to be extradited to Arkansas by Garland County authorities. Moyer was arrested on Wednesday, May 9.

45 year old Tammy Lynn Davis of Quebeck is named in two sealed indictments returned August 1st, 2011 for sale and delivery of a schedule II controlled substance in a school zone; and on January 30, 2012 for sale and delivery of a schedule II drug. She was arrested on Saturday, May 12 and she will be in court on Friday, May 25. Her bond totals $80,000.

62 year old Ismael Solis Gaona of Campbell Road, Smithville is cited for no drivers license and a violation of the financial responsibility law (no insurance). He will be in court on June 7.

Sheriff Ray said that on Wednesday, May 9 Gaona was operating a vehicle on Blue Springs Road without a drivers license. He failed to negotiate a curve and flipped his truck into a corn field, according to the property owner. The amount of the property damage came to $1,250.

44 year old Kimberly Ann Patterson of Bethel Road, Smithville is cited for a second offense of driving on a revoked license. She will be in court on June 6. Sheriff Ray said that on Thursday, May 10, a sheriff's department drug detective passed Patterson on West Broad Street and then pulled her over on Hayes Street. He checked and confirmed that her license were revoked for failure to file security after an accident.

DARE Graduation Held at DeKalb West School

May 14, 2012
Dwayne Page
Addison Grace Oakley and Thomas Tippin Top DARE Essay Winners

Fifth graders at DeKalb West School received pins and certificates during the annual DARE graduation ceremony held today (Monday).

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program was conducted by DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson of the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.

Each student prepares an essay during the course and those with the best essays from each class are recognized and awarded. This year's essay winners at DeKalb West School are Addison Grace Oakley and Thomas Tippin . The fifth grade teachers are Jeana Caplinger and Jane Watson.

Oakley was the over-all winner and she read her essay during Monday's program. In addition to the award, prizes, and recognition, Oakley gets to keep "Daren the Lion" the DARE Mascot and she received a $50 check from Judge Bratten Cook II.

Sheriff Patrick Ray, who spoke during the DARE graduation, told the students that "D.A.R.E. is a cooperative effort by the DeKalb Sheriff's Department, DeKalb County School System, parents, and the community. I ask you today students, to take this valuable information and apply it to your lives, now and forever."

Others on hand for the ceremony were DeKalb West School Principal Danny Parkerson, Assistant Principal Sabrina Farler, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby, General Sessions/Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II, Assistant District Attorney General Greg Strong, Circuit Court Clerk Katherine Pack, County Mayor Mike Foster, Register of Deeds Jeff McMillen, Trustee Sean Driver, and employees of the Sheriff's Department.

The following is Oakley's essay:

"DARE. While I have been in DARE I've learned that drugs can really ruin your whole life and that even if it sounds good cause all your friends do it, it's not. Just think, "why smoke". Smoking causes breathing problems and no one wants that. It also causes heart problems and no one wants that. It also causes heart disease, lung cancer. Its really not worth it. Scientists have found over 200 poisons in cigarette smoke. You also can harm or kill the person that you love just by letting them breathe your smoke. That's called second hand smoke. So just remember, if someone offers you a cigarette, say "No". Its better for everyone."

"Marijuana is illegal, so if someone has it, tell an adult fast. Its very dangerous. It can also cause breathing problems. Marijuana affects your brain and your body. Some examples are: short-term memory loss, loss of the ability to concentrate, slow coordination, and reflexes."

"Drinking is not the smart thing to do. If you are with others who are drinking, there is an increased risk of injury, car crashes, and violence. Alcohol can also damage every organ in your body. So any bad drugs are never good to use so try to keep your body healthy because if you have big dreams, like playing NBA or NFL, you might want to have a backup plan. If drugs can kill people, they can easily kill dreams. Chief Don has taught us that just because your friends or your family does, it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Things I learned at DARE.

D. Define
A. Assess
E. Evaluate."

(Pictured: left to right- FRONT, Addison Grace Oakley and Thomas Tippin; BEHIND, DARE Instructor and Chief Deputy Don Adamson, Judge Bratten Cook, II, and Sheriff Patrick Ray)

Retirement Reception Held for DeKalb West School Librarian Genrose Davis

May 13, 2012
Dwayne Page
Retirement Reception Held for DeKalb West School Librarian Genrose Davis

Since she began her career thirty seven years ago, Genrose Davis has been working to help foster a love of reading in students all the way up to the eighth grade at DeKalb West as the school librarian. But with the close of this school year, Davis will be turning in her own library card, deciding the time has come to retire.

Family, friends, students, and co-workers came to bid Davis a fond farewell during a reception in her honor at DeKalb West School on Thursday.

"I have had one job my whole life and this has been it," said Davis in an interview with WJLE. Davis began her career as an educator at DeKalb West in 1975, one year after the school opened , consolidating the old Alexandria, Liberty, and Dowelltown schools into one facility.

"When I was hired there were four other people in front of me and they got the classrooms," said Davis. "The chapter job was left open and they wanted a half time librarian. It was about three to four weeks into school. I was hired for that job. I taught reading and I did the library the other half. My official pay was divided between federal programs and the county," she said. A few years later, Davis became the school's full time librarian.

Growing up, Davis attended the old Liberty elementary school and then DCHS. She furthered her education at MTSU where she received a BS degree. Davis said while she did not originally intend to become a librarian, former DeKalb West School Principal Woodrow Frazier convinced her that she was right for the job. "I went to school to be a physical education teacher and had an elementary endorsement but Mr. Frazier said I would have one of the best jobs in the school (as librarian). His wife was a life long librarian. She loved the library and he did too so that was my start in the library," said Davis.

"The first year, they brought somebody in from the state department and showed me how to do the cards for the card catalog and by Christmas, he (Frazier) asked me if I would go back and get the endorsement for the library service. I went back to MTSU and got my endorsement and I've been here for 37 years now," she said

As the school librarian, Davis gets to see all the students at one time or another. " I have around 450 students. I've seen them all. I have them for nine years. Initially I did reading in grades 3, 7, & 8. I had library classes where the kids came once a week. Now we're on a three day rotation. I have the kids in the school everyday. Most of them come twice a week, but every three days there's a day 1, day 2, and a day 3 schedule and we just rotate all through the year so that they're in the library almost two times per week besides the open times," she said.

Davis points to the introduction of the accelerated reading program as perhaps the most revolutionary change she has seen come along as librarian. Under the AR program, students choose books at their appropriate reading levels and read them at their own pace. The students then take a quiz by which the librarian and teachers can monitor reading performance and vocabulary growth. As a motivator, students can earn points and win prizes for their efforts. " Mr. Eddie Hobson (former DWS principal) bought the accelerated reading program several years ago. Our county system of computers did not have the server to run that program back then because it was networked in the whole school. Once we got a server that would run that, we were able to do accelerated reader in the classrooms and the library. There is a quiz on almost every book. The kids can read the book and then they can go to the computer and take the quiz. When that came along that revolutionized this library. We have about 9,500 AR quizzes that go from primmer up to 8th, 9th, and 10th grade level books," said Davis

"I reward the points. When I do my AR prizes we reward two students in each classroom. We do yearly points and cumulative points. I've managed the points since they came into kindergarten then from first grade all the way to eighth grade, I keep up with all their points. We have a prize chart we developed. We have prizes for 50 points all the way up to 3,000. When the kids get to a particular level, they have that particular prize," she said.

Another successful program has been the after school read night program. "I have done extended contract for six years. We open up the library for parents and grandparents and older siblings to come in and read to or with the younger students. If you can get the kindergartners and first graders reading, they will be successful in most everything else in their class work." said Davis.

Davis said while she is looking forward to retirement, she will miss all the students, but especially the younger kids. "I'm going to miss seeing those kindergartners and first graders faces when they pass that first test. When they can begin to read and do it on their own and go to the computer by themselves and pass a quiz, its really exciting," she said.

(Pictured above: DeKalb West Principal Danny Parkerson, Director Mark Willoughby, and Assistant Principal Sabrina Farler Present Librarian Genrose Davis a plaque for 37 years of service. Davis is retiring)


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