The Hiwassee College Alumni Association has officially re-established and is mounting an effort to save the 170-year old college.
Hiwassee College Alumni Association President C.B. Howell said a meeting of college alumni and anyone else interested in helping save the school will be held on Saturday, June 1, at the First United Methodist Church in Madisonville, located at 143 Church St., in downtown. A meet-and-greet will begin at 12:45 p.m., followed by a presentation of the association’s plan to “save Hiwassee” at 1 p.m. Donna’s Old Town Cafe will be providing refreshments.
Hiwassee College announced in March that it was closing its doors due to financial constraints. The last class graduated on May 10, for now.
Following the announcement, several of the alumni came together to re-activate the state charter of the same name, the Hiwassee College Alumni Association, Inc., which dated back to 1966, making it an officially recognized entity by the State of Tennessee. As required to re-activate the charter, the group formed a Board of Directors and proceeded to organize the Alumni Association to benefit alumni and college faculty and staff. All members of the current Quasi Association are automatically included.
The Alumni Association says it has two goals: to support Hiwassee and keep its heritage alive with all alumni, and, at its present, to save the college from closing for good.
Howell and others feel Hiwassee can still be an asset to the community.
“When I went to school there, it was a great place,” Howell said. “We remember all the great values.”
Howell said current students were deeply saddened when they learned the school was closing.
“It happened so abruptly,” he said.
The Alumni Association is attempting to find out more about the college’s financial situation as they hope to move forward on their plans to keep the college alive.
The association is also aware that state investigators, including 10th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Crump came to the campus in early May as part of an investigation into the college’s finances but is withholding any judgement about the investigation.
Hiwassee College President Dr. Robin Tricoli recently commented on the investigation.
“Hiwassee’s understanding at this point is that it is likely that a disgruntled former employee or faculty member has made allegations and/or assumptions regarding Hiwassee’s financial operations which are false and misleading, but which must be thoroughly investigated,” her statement said. “We voluntarily met for several hours with Mr. Crump’s team and supplied all financial records and supporting materials which were requested, and we will supply any additional follow-up materials which they would like to review. We are confident that our operations are all conducted properly, but that does not change the fact that Hiwassee’s closure is a heartbreaking event for our whole community.”
For more information about the Hiwassee College Alumni Association, visit the group’s page on Facebook.
The 2019 spring/summer edition of the Tennessee Mountain Traveler is hitting the stands at various locations now.
The Tennessee Mountain Traveler is a regional tourism magazine The Advocate & Democrat produces twice a year. The next issue will be released this autumn.
This new issue highlights the great warm-weather activities and outdoor events that make this area so popular. This latest issue of the Tennessee Mountain Traveler also has a special look at the many museums in Monroe and McMinn counties that can give visitors an indoor outing when the weather gets too hot and the museums make great places to visit anytime of the year.
There are many other stories and a calendar of events as usual in this tourism publication.
“The Tennessee Mountain Traveler is widely recognized as a unique and effective publication that is used by travelers and local residents alike when they are looking for things to do in the area,” The Advocate & Democrat General Manager & Editor Tommy Millsaps said. “Our full-color magazine is in demand in visitor centers and highly regarded by tourism professionals.”
For more information about the Tennessee Mountain Traveler, please call 423-337-7101.
The end of a school year often brings changes in administrative and teaching positions in the two local school systems. As the 2018-19 school year ended on May 24, several administrative changes had already been announced.
In the Sweetwater City School System, Director of Schools Rodney Boruff announced that Angie Kyle, who had been serving as the principal at Madisonville Primary School in the Monroe County School System, will be the new principal at Brown Intermediate School (BIS) this fall.
Kyle will replaced Heather Henry, who had been principal at BIS since 2013. Boruff said Henry will now serve as a teacher at Sweetwater Primary School.
“I feel extremely blessed to get an administrator of Angie Kyle’s caliber,” said Boruff. “She brings lots of leadership experience, enthusiasm and tons of energy to the table. I have heard nothing but positive things about her and I look forward to working alongside her as she begins this new chapter of her life.”
Kyle said leaving the Monroe County School System was one of the “most difficult decisions” she has ever made.
“To say leaving Madisonville Primary School and Monroe County Schools is hard might be the understatement of the century!” she said. “A lot of prayer and counsel was involved. The family-like relationships built with the system’s employees, parents and students have been my identity for the past 21 years. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities and friendships that have been forged in that time. The past six years spent at Madisonville Primary have, by far, been the most cherished and rewarding of my career. It is also tough to leave a system with a Central Office staff that is second to none. The support, guidance and encouragement given by all these individuals have made my job at MPS a sincere pleasure.”
The long-time educator said a lot of people have asked her, “Why?”
“I’m not sure I can answer that since I have always loved my job and my people at Madisonville Primary,” she said. “Maybe a need for change? Maybe a need for a new challenge? Regardless of the reason, my MoCo Schools family will always be close to my heart.”
Kyle said she is starting the next chapter of her life—and her time in the Sweetwater City School System—with peace, excitement and a renewed hope.
“The City of Sweetwater, as a whole, has a deep sense of community, pride and tradition,” she said. “As the principal at Brown Intermediate School, I want to mirror those same characteristics in our employees and students. Cultivating high expectations, support and love for this school and its community is number one on my to-do list. I’m not foolish enough to think that it’s all going to be rainbows and unicorns; there will definitely be bumps along the way. But the more I get to know about Brown Intermediate and Sweetwater City Schools, the more charged I become with this amazing opportunity.”
Kyle thanked Boruff for his support and acceptance, along with the Sweetwater City School Board, Central Office staff and community members.
“They’ve gone out of their way to welcome me with open arms,” she said. “The calls and texts from the staff at BIS are icing on my cake! From MPS to BIS, my family continues to grow and I could not be more thankful.”
Outgoing Monroe County Director of Schools Tim Blankenship announced that Casey Davis will be the new principal at Madisonville Primary, succeeding Kyle, whom she worked alongside as vice principal this past school year.
Davis has been an employee of the Monroe County School System for the last 26 years, teaching kindergarten, first and second grades before moving into the role as assistant principal.
“Casey Davis will be a wonderful principal at Madisonville Primary School,” said Blankenship. “Casey was an outstanding classroom teacher and moved into the administrative role as assistant principal at MPS during the 2018-19 school year. Her history at MPS, combined with her enthusiasm, dedication, and love of students, will be a great fit! She will keep MPS a positive place to be and a great place to learn and grow.”
Kyle echoed Blankenship’s thoughts.
“I will miss my tribe more than they will ever know, but as the torch is passed to Casey Davis, I am confident MPS will be in good hands and will continue to see tremendous success under her leadership,” she said.
Davis is a lifelong resident of Monroe County. She earned her bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University, her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee, and her Educational Specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University. She and her husband, Greg Davis, have been married for 20 years and have two children, Tori Martin (and husband, Josh Martin) and Nick Davis.
The assistant principal role at Madisonville Primary School will be filled by Terry Harris, Blankenship also announced.
“Terry has been a valuable employee of the Monroe County School System since 2009,” said Blankenship.
Harris served as a teacher and coach at Sequoyah High School from 2009 to 2011. In 2011, he became an administrator, serving as assistant principal at Vonore Elementary School and at Sequoyah High School. He also served as principal at Madisonville Middle School in 2014.
“In each of these roles, Terry displayed initiative, enthusiasm and a drive to help his students and his school succeed,” said Blankenship.
Prior to his educational career, Harris served as logistics supervisor at Cormetech-Eaton in Cleveland, and as production and logistics manager at Rubbermaid Cleaning Products in Cleveland.
“In those positions, he also exceeded all expectations and helped meet goals and streamline processes,” Blankenship noted. “This allowed for more efficiency and better production. This past experience will help him work with the faculty and staff at Madisonville Primary School. His technology skills, his people skills and his strong work ethic will aid him in this new role, and we are confident he will continue to lead our program successfully into the future.”
A man in the Monroe County Jail on an armed robbery charge has been charged with murder in Meigs County by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).
Clifford Howard Jr., 39, Highway 68, Sweetwater and Athens, was arrested by Sweetwater Police last week after he allegedly robbed a man at gunpoint in the Duck Park. Now, Howard has been charged in the murder of a Decatur man who was found bound on the side of the road by a school bus driver.
The deceased man was identified as Roger Miller, 60, and Miller’s ex-wife, Stacy Miller, has also been charged in the killing.
TBI told WTVC-Channel 9 in Chattanooga that Howard is accused of committing the murder and Stacy Miller helped facilitate it.
WVTC also reported the school bus driver who found the body had several children, ranging in age from elementary school to high school, on the bus, all of whom saw the body. The students were offered counseling if their families desired it.
Howard has been charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, and theft over $10,000. He is being held without bond.
Stacy Miller was arrested in McMinn County after a short foot chase, and charged with facilitation of first-degree murder, facilitation of felony murder, facilitation of aggravated robbery, facilitation of aggravated kidnapping, and theft over $10,000. She was booked into the Meigs County Jail on a $375,000 bond.