June 4, 2021
By: Dwayne Page
With over 20 years of experience in Tennessee and beyond, the mission of Mr. Bond’s Science Guys is still to get kids excited about science! Mission accomplished.
The five week summer reading program of Justin Potter and the Alexandria Libraries called “Tails and Tales” began Thursday at the county complex with an opening party for kids featuring an entertaining educational program with demonstrations about science hosted by Matt Simms, aka Hazmatt Bond, one of Mr. Bond’s Science Guys.
Hazmatt Bond brought kids up on stage or sought them out in the audience to have them participate in the demonstrations.
“We talked about the states of matter and things that go from solids to liquids to gases. We talked about sublimation which is the transition of a substance directly from the solid to the gas state, and high pressure explosions as well as bubbling potions and low pressure experiments like sending a marsh mellow astronaut into outer space. We did the film canister dry ice rocket experiment which is putting dry ice into a film canister and watching how the water cools down the dry ice to make it less explosive over time with less energy from the heat of the water. It teaches children about pressure, states of matter, and chemical reactions.,” Hazmatt Bond told WJLE.
Mr. Bond’s Science Guys are a team of science “edutainers” based in Nashville who have a mission to make science fun, cool and easy for kids of all ages. Most programs are geared to elementary school age children (5-12 years). Mr. Bond’s science programs inspire a lifelong enthusiasm for science and learning and teaching creative problem-solving skills, teamwork, and perseverance in a fun, kid friendly setting. Science Guys perform science shows across the states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama from May to July, and get kids excited about science at the over 100 events they host.
Other Justin Potter Library’s Summer Reading Events at the County Complex Auditorium:
Thursday, June 10th at 2:00 pm – Barry Mitchell’s “Animal Tales, Turtle Shells & a Chicken.
Thursday, June 17th at 2:00 pm – Bob Tartar and his Animalogy Critters.
Thursday, June 24th at 2:00 pm – Final Party with Edgar Evins State Park Rangers and Animal Critters.
“We hope you will join us for a fun filled in-person Summer Reading Program. We are looking forward to seeing everyone,” said Library Director Kathy Hendrixson.
For more information, call Justin Potter Library at 615-597-4359 or Alexandria Library at 615-529-4124 visit on Facebook or the website at www.dekalblibraries.net.
Bruce Curtis Named Principal at DCHS
June 3, 2021
By: Dwayne Page
After 27 years as an educator in four different counties, Bruce Curtis is coming home to work for the school district where it all began for him.
Starting July 1, Curtis will officially become the next principal at DeKalb County High School.
Although it is a coming home for him career wise, Curtis has actually never left DeKalb County as a resident. He was born and raised here and educated in the local school system. But for 21 years Curtis has worked for the Metro Nashville Public Schools, including the last 11 years as Director of Discipline, making the weekday 130 mile round trip from Smithville to Davidson County. While he has enjoyed his job, Curtis longed for a chance to work closer to home and for him that opportunity came after Randy Jennings stepped down as Principal at DeKalb County High School. Curtis applied and was interviewed for the job and later got the call from Director of Schools Patrick Cripps naming him principal.
“Excited” pretty much sums up how Curtis feels.
“I am very excited and looking forward to being back at home working with the students here who live in the same county I am in and for me not having to drive a 130 mile round trip to Nashville every day. Now I get to drive two and a half miles to work,” Curtis told WJLE.
Curtis graduated from DCHS in 1984. From there he went to MTSU where he earned his BS degree in Health and Physical Education and then furthered his education at Tennessee Tech obtaining a Masters and Ed.S degree.
Curtis’ first teaching job came at DeKalb West School in 1992 where he taught 5th to 8th grade History for one year before taking a job at Cannon County High School to teach Biology and Health. He was also the head baseball coach and an assistant football coach for the Lions.
In the mid 90’s Curtis returned to the DeKalb County School District working as a physical education teacher for two years at Smithville Elementary School. After taking a year off, Curtis returned to the classroom at Monterey High School in Putnam County teaching Biology. He also served as an assistant football coach for the Wildcats.
In 2000 Curtis joined the Metro Nashville Public School system and for the last 11 years has been the Director of Discipline there. “I worked with students who were expelled or remanded to the alternative school. That was my primary job,” said Curtis.
Although its been several years since he worked here, the DeKalb County School district is familiar territory for Curtis.
“I have always been around the school system here. I hear people fuss about it but then I see a lot of doctors, lawyers, nurses, and people in other fields coming out of our school system so we have to be doing something right. I am not a person who will jump in and change everything from the start. I want to see what works, build off that, and change things as needed. I am not big in bringing in everything new because if things work why change them,” said Curtis.
“I want to thank Director Cripps for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to working with him as well as the school board, teachers, and the other administrators. I have known Mr. Cripps all his life. He is a good guy. We also have great educators in DeKalb County. I am glad to be coming home to work with them again,” said Curtis.
Bruce is married to Amy Curtis and has two grown children Kealah, who works for the school district as a Physical Therapy Assistant, and Julia who is in nursing school at Tennessee Tech.
Curtis is the 13th principal at DCHS since 1963. His predecessors are Amon Snyder, Jim Butler, Tucker Hendrix, Ernest Ray, Dr. Charles Collier, Larry Johnson, Dr. Barry Roberts, Weldon Parkinson, Kathy Hendrix, Patrick Cripps, Dr. Kathy Bryant, and Randy Jennings.
Thomas Cagle Moving from Teacher and Assistant Football Coach to Assistant Principal at DCHS
June 3, 2021
By: Dwayne Page
Director of Schools Patrick Cripps didn’t have to look far to find a successor to Assistant DCHS Principal David Gash.
Thomas Cagle, DCHS History teacher and assistant football coach, will be officially stepping into the position July 1.
“I am very excited to get started and go to work in this new role. I feel really good about that and am looking forward to it,” Cagle told WJLE.
For the last five years, Cagle has been a member of the faculty at DCHS. “ I started in 2016. I have taught US History, contemporary issues, AP US History, and recently the dual credit US History that we have now. I have also been an assistant football coach serving the last three years as defensive coordinator,” said Cagle.
Born and raised in Pikeville, Cagle was educated in the Bledsoe County School System before heading off to college.
“I graduated high school in Bledsoe County and then went to Roane State Community College for two years and later to Tennessee Tech where I finished my degree. My first teaching position was at East Nashville Magnet Middle School. I was fifth grade History teacher there for two years. My wife and I then moved to Cookeville and I took a job at Jackson County in Gainesboro where I taught seventh grade History for a year and then a year of high school History before I came to DeKalb County,” Cagle continued.
“When I came across a football posting and job opening for the high school here I reached out to Coach Steve Trapp and he called me back and got me in for an interview. I interviewed with Dr. Kathy Bryant , who was principal at the time, and Coach Trapp and they gave me an opportunity to come to DeKalb County and I have been around ever since”.
Even before the Assistant Principal job came open this year, Cagle had been preparing for a future opportunity in administration.
“I had been working toward my degree this year through the state of Tennessee’s aspiring assistant principal network and was fortunate enough as part of that to intern here at the high school for the last year under Principal Randy Jennings and Assistant Principals David Gash and Jenny Norris so I have a little bit of a view of the position even though it was a COVID year and the school year was a little different.,” said Cagle.
Although it’s a new position for him, Cagle won’t have to get adjusted to new surroundings.
“DeKalb County has become another home for me. It reminds me a lot of my hometown being a small community. I have really enjoyed getting to know everyone and being welcomed into the community. I am looking forward to working with all the teachers I have already been working beside and don’t plan on changing anything as far as my relationship with anyone. I just want to do what I can to best serve the community and the kids here in DeKalb County,” Cagle said.
Cagle will have to step aside as assistant football coach but he will continue to root for the Tigers from a different place off the field.
“I really enjoyed coaching football and I want to thank Coach Trapp for giving me that opportunity to work with him and the Tigers as an assistant coach. I look forward to continuing that relationship in a different role now,” he said.
Cagle added that he is thankful to Director Cripps and the Board of Education for their support in his new position as Assistant Principal.
Cagle and his wife, residents of Cookeville, are the parents of four boys from ages eleven years to four months old.
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