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Museums of Tusculum College to participate in Eighth Annual History Fair in Knoxville on Saturday, Aug. 15

Posted on 31 July 2015 by

The Museums of Tusculum College will help bring history to life and share it with the public as one of the participants in the East Tennessee Historical Society’s Eighth Annual History Fair in downtown Knoxville on Saturday, Aug. 15.

Featured in the family-oriented event are a living history timeline telling the story of the region from early settlement through the mid-20th century, live music, historic crafts demonstrations, historical and genealogical groups from across the region such as the Museums of Tusculum, children’s crafts and activities and a birthday party for Davy Crockett. All the activities are free and open to the public.

The History Fair will offer an opportunity to visit and learn about historic sites in the Knoxville area through walking tours of the city’s downtown, Civil War site bus tours, bus tours of historic homes and tours of underground Gay Street.

In addition, there will be a “History Hound” dog costume contest, free museum admission, a Smoky Mountain film festival at the Tennessee Theatre, vintage baseball games at World’s Fair Park, art exhibits, miniature battles, traditional foods, book sales, farmers market, and much more.

Activities will be focused around the East Tennessee Historical Society and Krutch Park on Gay Street in Knoxville as well as other sites in the surrounding downtown area.

The History Fair is a presented by the East Tennessee Historical Society and sponsored by the Seven Islands Foundation, Knoxville Central Business Improvement District, Arts & Heritage Fund, Clayton Bank & Trust, City of Knoxville, WUOT, WDVX, WBIR, Tomato Head, Food City, PetSafe, Comcast, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, Friends of the Knox County Public Library, and Knox County Public Library. For a detailed listing of events and times, visit or call 865-215-8824.

The Doak House Museum and the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library are operated by the Department of Museum Program and Studies of Tusculum College. In addition to the museums, the department is responsible for the College Archives and offers one of the few undergraduate Museum Studies degree programs in the country. The two museums are also part of the National Historic District on the Tusculum College campus. Follow the museums on Facebook and Twitter to learn the latest news and upcoming events or visit its Web site at to learn more about the variety of programs offered at the museums.



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The Band Perry rehearses at Tusculum College

Posted on 29 July 2015 by

The Tusculum College community hosted some famous neighbors on the Greeneville campus in July when Grammy® Award-winning trio, The Band Perry utilized Tusculum facilities for rehearsal space.

According to David Martin, director of facilities, Kimberly Perry, Reid Perry and Neil Perry were all in their hometown the second week of July and performed at Fun Fest in Kingsport. While in town, they spent a good deal of time on the Tusculum campus, rehearsing for an upcoming live performance.

“There’s nothing like coming home to Greeneville, Tennessee and spending time with our family, friends and neighbors,” said The Band Perry. “Tusculum College always welcomes us with open arms and gives us a great place to work and rehearse while we’re in town, and we are grateful.”

While in town, The Band Perry rehearsed at the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center, using the auditorium and other facilities there.

The trio has visited the college on several occasions, and they performed a free student concert during their formative pre-superstar years. The three were last on campus when they were recognized as Hometown Heroes by the Greeneville Astros rookie league baseball team, whose home field is on the Tusculum campus. The Perrys provided an on-campus, pre-game concert.

They also come home to recharge quite often. Kimberly’s wedding was held in Greeneville last year, and local support for the popular group was never more evident than when they performed in Downtown Greeneville in 2013 to a crowd of more than 25,000 enthusiastic fans. The college community was particularly ecstatic when the latest release from the band was announced to be titled, “Pioneer,” the mascot of the college.

“We are proud of our neighbors, The Band Perry, and they are such wonderful ambassadors for our community because of their genuine love for their hometown,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. “They will always be welcome at Tusculum as friends and as part of our community. We were happy to be a part of their visit home, and the Pioneer nation wishes them the best in all they do.”

As Neil Perry has often been quoted, “Anyone who knows us, knows how much we love our hometown.”





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Kathy May named director of Tusculum College Community Chorus

Posted on 29 July 2015 by

Kathy May has been named director of the Tusculum College Community Chorus.

She will be replacing Dr. David Hendricksen, who is retiring this year after 19 years of directing.

The Chorus began with 35 singers in 1996, when Hendricksen founded the group. Over the years, more than 300 singers have performed with the chorus. Matthew Brickey will also being joining the group as their new accompanist.

“I really appreciate and respect Dr. David Hendricksen for his establishment of the Tusculum College Community Chorus and for his generous years of service and musical expertise as our conductor,” said May. “I feel honored to continue this choral tradition in our community and look forward to working with our seasoned chorus members and wish to invite new singers who are interested to join the chorus in September.”

Kathy May

May just completed her thirtieth year as the choral director and Advanced Placement Music Theory teacher at Greeneville High School. In her 35 years of teaching, she has taught in Johnson City, Greene County Schools and Greeneville City Schools.

She received her Bachelor of Science in music education and Master of Education Administration degrees from East Tennessee State University and was selected as the 1995 Alumna of the Year by the ETSU Music Faculty. In 1996, she was the Greeneville City Schools’ “Teacher of the Year” and the Smoky Mountains Music Teachers Association “Teacher of the Year.” In May, 2015, she was awarded the Dr. Ernest W. Martin Champion for Children Award at the Greeneville City School’s personnel breakfast.

Under May’s direction, Greeneville High School choirs have performed many places, notably the 1996, 2000, and 2006 American Choral Directors Southern Conventions, the 2000 SD-ACDA Women’s Choir Festival and the 2003 TN ACDA Convention. Her choirs have appeared on several Tennessee Music Educators Convention programs. In 2014, the Greeneville High School Chorus performed in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Recently, a choir of GHS students and alumni participated in a concert tour of Italy including a performance for Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.


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Tusculum College alliance to increase opportunities for distance learning

Posted on 27 July 2015 by

Recent acceptance into a national organization for reciprocity agreements will make opportunities for distance learning across state lines more abundant at Tusculum College.

Tusculum College has been approved to join the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a nationwide initiative of states that will make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines, as well as making it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education.

The NC-SARA agreements are being implemented by the four regional higher education interstate compacts, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, the New England Board of Higher Education, the Southern Regional Education Board and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. The effort is funded by a $2.3 million grant from Lumina Foundation.

“Tusculum College is hard at work expanding our distance learning programs and being accepted into NC-SARA will make implementation of the courses much less difficult in terms of making it available for persons outside of Tennessee to participate,” said Dr. Carl Larsen, assistant to the president for institutional planning and effectiveness.

Dr. Larsen said that with Tusculum College becoming part of NC-SARA, it will increase administrative efficiency and lower the costs of obtaining authorization to provide postsecondary distance education. This will allow Tusculum College to more widely distribute academic programs and accept enrollments from students in many other states.

As a member of NC-SARA, Tusculum will be able to seek approval for distance learning programs and courses through the State of Tennessee, regardless of what state enrolled students may be located and will not need to seek approval from each state in which they would like to offer students the opportunity to enroll.


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Two named department chairs at Tusculum College

Posted on 20 July 2015 by

Two new department chairs have been named in the School of Arts and Sciences for the 2015-16 academic year at Tusculum College. Dr. Deborah Bryan has been appointed chair of the department of fine arts, and Dr. Melissa Keller has been appointed chair of the department of natural sciences.

Dr. Bryan has been with Tusculum College since 2007, first as a visiting assistant professor, then assistant professor and finally associate professor in the department of fine arts. From 2012 to 2015, she served as the art and design concentration program coordinator.

“Dr. Bryan has been, for years, the person most instrumental for many of the successes in art and design,” said Wayne Thomas, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, “But she’s done so primarily from behind-the-scenes. I’m grateful Dr. Bryan has agreed to serve as the leader of those programs. She works hard for her students, and they revere her.”

Dr. Deborah Bryan

She has been elected to membership in the Society of American Graphic Artists, the American Color Print Society and the Boston Printmakers. Her work has been exhibited in dozens of juried national and international art exhibitions, and while at Tusculum, she has completed four solo exhibitions of prints, photographs, drawings and artist’s books in the Allison Gallery on the Greeneville campus. She also has completed several solo exhibitions in various national settings.

In 2012, she received the National Living Faculty Award from Tusculum College. She has served on the Assessment Committee, the Admissions and Standards Committee, the Commons Advisory Committee and the Honors Advisory Committee, in addition to her responsibilities for advising students and for teaching drawing, painting, printmaking, book arts, art history, service learning in the arts, introduction to art and basic design courses.

Professor Bryan received her doctorate in clinical psychology in 1989 from Kent State University and a Master of Fine Arts in studio art in 2000 from East Tennessee State University. Her work may be viewed at

Dr. Keller joined Tusculum College in Fall 2013 as an assistant professor of biology. Dr. Keller holds a Bachelor of Science in environmental science from Roanoke College and a doctorate in plant pathology from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

While in graduate school, Dr. Keller said she fell in love with teaching biology laboratory courses to freshman and chose to complete an education certification. Her graduate research focus was in agriculture, and she continued this research as a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University. She returned to education and to Tennessee, where she works with the students and faculty of Tusculum College.

“Dr. Keller is an impressive scholar, academic and teacher,” said Thomas. “In her short tenure at Tusculum, she has already tackled major initiatives and carved out tremendous successes. She’s a popular teacher amongst the students and admired by her colleagues. I’ve no doubt that she’ll be tremendously successful as the new Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences.”

Dr. Keller continues to publish in agriculture journals and her most recent articles include “Evaluation of Entomopathogenic Nematodes for Biological Control of Plum Curculio,” “Aerobiology of Fusarium graminearum,” and “Aerobiological sampling efficiency of Petri plates for use in lower atmosphere spore collection.”

Dr. Melissa Keller

She is currently collaborating with Dr. Richard Thompson and eight students on a $20,000 Appalachian College Association grant for the collection of fungal specimens in Rocky Fork State Park to be analyzed for possible bioactive compounds. While at Tusculum College Dr. Keller has served on various committees, overseen the ASafeHarborHome, Inc. Meditation Garden and is currently assisting with the installation of the arboretum on the Greeneville campus.

“Dr. Bryan and Dr. Keller are both phenomenal leaders at the college and in the community,” said Thomas. “I anticipate both of the programs thriving under their leadership for the betterment of our students, school and the East Tennessee region.”


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Wayne Thomas named Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tusculum College

Posted on 10 July 2015 by

Wayne Thomas has been named dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tusculum College.

Thomas has served as interim dean since July 2014, and formerly as chair of the Department of Fine Arts and as associate professor of English. He also served as the chair of the English Department. He joined Tusculum College in 2005 and not only continuously worked to serve his students and grow his departments but also built several strong arts and humanities programs that have become part of the college’s culture.

“Under the leadership of Mr. Thomas, many students have successfully published, graduated and been admitted to graduate programs,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College. “Through the guidance of Mr. Thomas and other faculty members, many Tusculum students have received scholarships and built relationships to pursue advanced degrees at a wide array of colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Washington University in St. Louis, California Arts Institute, Chicago Institute of Art and the University of Central Florida.”

After being named the college’s first chair of the Fine Arts Department, Thomas was instrumental in the resurrection of the tradition of the Old Oak Festival, working to bring it back with a focus on fine arts, music, theater and writing.

Wayne Thomas

During his time with the English Department, Thomas coordinated the annual Humanities Lecture Series, bringing guest authors to campus not only to share their works but also to meet with students and share their professional experiences through small panel sessions. He has previously served as editor of “The Tusculum Review,” overseeing the student-driven production of the college’s literary journal.

“I’m honored to serve our institution and President Moody in this capacity. Tusculum is a place you go to for community, individual growth and civic engagement,” said Thomas. “It’s these things that remind us of how one small college in the northeast Tennessee foothills plays such important roles in a world that needs more empathy, commitment to good and diversity of thought.”

Thomas’ essays, stories and plays have been seen in several literary journals and anthologies, including “Sudden Stories: The Mammoth Book of Miniscule Fiction” and “River Teeth.” In addition, he co-edited an anthology of Appalachian literature, “Red Holler.”

Thomas holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre history and literary criticism from Georgia College, a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing/scriptwriting from Georgia College and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing/fiction and nonfiction from West Virginia University.

Thomas is the 2012 recipient of Tusculum College’s Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award. He also received the alumni-presented National Living Faculty Award for dedicated service to students in 2013.


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Congressman Phil Roe visits Tusculum College to learn more about TRIO college preparation and success programs

Posted on 07 July 2015 by

Tusculum College welcomed Congressman Phil Roe to campus on Monday, July 6. Roe visited the campus to learn more about the college preparation programs offered by Tusculum College through the TRIO programs.

TRIO includes three federally funded programs, Talent Search, Upward Bound and Student Support Services. These programs serve regional students who are from low-income backgrounds and if they attend college, will be first-generation college students.

While on campus, Congressman Roe visited Talent Search students from across the region, encouraging them to stick with their education and continue on to higher education.

Roe represents Tennessee’s First District and currently serves on the federal Education and Labor Committee. He expressed a great deal of interest in programs that encourage young people to continue their education after high school. He shared his own educational experiences as well.

“Take advantage of this program and all that it has to offer,” he told the group of mostly high school juniors and seniors. “Going to college opens so many opportunities, almost unlimited.”

Of the three programs, Talent Search begins the earliest, with students entering the program in the sixth grade.

“We begin monitoring the courses that they take, work with students on attainable goal setting, and taking them on college visits,” said Jeanne Stokes, director of TRIO programs.

Upward Bound, which serves high school students and is currently in summer session on the Greeneville Tusculum College campus, brings the students to the college to learn and experience life on a college campus. Students take courses and live on campus. They learn to deal with roommates and experience eating in the cafeteria.

“Our programs are very much set up like a college program,” said Stokes. “We offer courses for them to choose from, including “Creative Writing,” “Forensic Science,” “Navigating Math” and “Photography.”

The third of the TRIO programs is Student Support Services and provides a wide array of academic support services to at-risk students once they are enrolled as a Tusculum College student. Services include tutoring and counseling, among other services.


Congressman Phil Roe visited students in the Talent Search program at Tusculum College learning more about the college preparation and success programs offered through Tusculum’s TRIO programs.


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Women’s Fund Grantweb

Tusculum College receives grant from Women’s Fund of East Tennessee

Posted on 30 June 2015 by

The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee has awarded a $10,000 grant to Tusculum College for a first generation college student mentoring program. Representatives of the Women’s Fund presented the funds to representatives of the college at a luncheon on the Greeneville campus in June.

The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee will provide funding for the proposed program’s guest speakers and honorariums, Tusculum College student participants, interview wardrobe, supplies, meals, cultural events and transportation expenses.

The grant will provide for 18 female high school students, who come from low income families and would be their family’s first generation to attend college, to participate in a five-day residential, mentored institute at Tusculum College. Students from Carter, Cocke, Greene and Unicoi counties will be eligible. The program is called the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency.

Tusculum College is working with its Talent Search program to expand the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency program. The Talent Search program seeks to empower underrepresented participants with the tools to achieve academic and personal success. The program accomplishes this goal through interventions to assist low-income and first-generation participants to finish high school, enter, and complete a program of post-secondary education.

The goal of the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency program is to help girls in East Tennessee learn various life, education, and work-related skills. Various workshops are implemented to instruct participants in areas such as financial literacy, basic social skills, cognitive skills, job- and college-searching, basic employment skills and employment transitions.

Talent Search professional staff, Arts Outreach staff, Tusculum College’s Financial Aid and Career Services staff, Student Support Services, area financial advisors, etiquette coaches, hair and make-up specialists, health department officials and law enforcement officials will conduct the workshops training and activities.

“Tusculum College has a long history of serving first generation college students and that commitment is stronger than ever with the establishment of our summer institute,” said Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College.

According to Dr. Moody, 75 percent of Tusculum College students call Appalachia home, 46 percent are the first in their family to attend college and 66 percent are Pell Grant eligible, the students with the greatest financial need.

“These students need the mentoring and support a small college like Tusculum can provide,” said Moody.

Jeanne Stokes, director of the TRIO programs who will coordinate the new program said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce our students to different career options, teambuilding activities and cultural enrichment. We plan for the students to leave with a sense of self- sufficiency that will enable them to be successful as they complete high school and enter and complete college.”

Because of the partnership with the Talent Search program, participants in the Women’s Search for Success and Self-Sufficiency will continue to be mentored, monitored, and guided throughout high school and college by professional staff and identified mentors. Skill attainments will be measured utilizing pre- and post-tests. A pre-test will be administered at the beginning of the summer institute and a post-test and the end of the week-long institute. Items on the test will cover topics including personal appearance and hygiene, personal safety, leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills, and financial literacy.

The Women’s Fund provided grants to Haven House, New Opportunity School for Women, Red Legacy Recovery, Servolution, The Next Door and Tusculum College.

For more information or to donate to the Women’s Fund, visit or call 865-524-1223.


From left are Heather Patchett, vice president of institutional advancement for Tusculum College; Legacy Member Linda Spence, research and grants committee for the Women’s Fund; Women’s Fund Founder Nita Summers, research and grants committee for the Women’s Fund; Women's Fund Founder Judy Ingala; Women's Fund Founder Cynthia Burnley, chair of the research and grants committee; Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College; Women’s Fund Founder Nikki Niswonger; Jeanne Stokes, director of TRIO program; Alisha Roberson of Hampton; Ali Giovannelli of Unicoi; Lindsey Hixson of Limestone, and Michelle Arbogast, associate director of foundation and donor relations at Tusculum College.


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Tuition Freeze at Tusculum helps Tennessee private schools initiative

Tuition Freeze at Tusculum helps Tennessee private schools initiative

Posted on 29 June 2015 by

Students and parents of students at Tusculum College welcomed good news when it was announced in October that there will be no increase in tuition and room and board fees for Tusculum College students in the 2015-16 year.

Members of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees voted to freeze fees for the upcoming year at their fall meeting on the Greeneville campus.

“We are pleased that tuition, room and board at Tusculum College will remain at the same rate,” said President Nancy B. Moody. “It is our challenge and our duty to control costs for our students to the best of our ability.”

The tuition freeze will be applied to both the residential and the Graduate and Professional Studies programs. Students from both programs have responded positively.

Tusculum’s efforts support an initiative of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities that show private, non-profit, four-year colleges and universities in Tennessee are committed to holding down student debt.

Students at these institutions across Tennessee will see a modest increase in tuition and fees next year, and they will continue to pay thousands of dollars less than students attending similar institutions in most other states.

Average undergraduate tuition and fees for 2015-16 at the member institutions of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association will increase by 2.95 percent, the lowest such increase in more than a decade.

“TICUA institutions are steadfast in their commitment to educational opportunity and choice,” said Dr. Gary Weedman, Chair of TICUA Board of Directors and President of Johnson University. “Our institutions are affordable. In addition, we provide generous financial aid, making it possible for students to attend the college or university that best fits their individual needs.”

Through their commitment to provide affordable access to higher education, TICUA institutions serve many low-income students. Approximately 91 percent of first-time, full-time students attending private, non-profit colleges and universities in the State receive some form of financial support. The majority (75%) of this aid comes directly from the 34 college and university members of TICUA, of which Tusculum College is one.

The State of Tennessee provides another 13 percent and the federal government the remaining 12 percent of the aid.

More than 42 percent of Tennesseans attending TICUA institutions receive the federal Pell Grant, targeted to support students from low-income families.

The State’s need-based aid program, the Tennessee Student Assistance Award provided $21.1 million to more than 5,400 low-income students attending TICUA member institutions.

Thousands of TICUA member institution students also benefit from the State’s education lottery program. In the 2014-15 academic year, more than 12,000 students attending private colleges and universities participated in the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship award program, which provided more than $54.7 million in grant aid to students at private colleges and universities.

“It is important to recognize that almost every student attending a TICUA member campus receives some form of financial aid either from the state or federal government or, more typically, directly from the institution,” said Dr. Claude Pressnell, President of TICUA. “When you combine institutional, state, and federal aid, the actual price paid by students can be substantially lower than the published price.”

For academic year 2015-16, the average published tuition and fees, not including room and board, for undergraduate students attending a TICUA member private, non- profit, four-year institution in Tennessee will be $24,190 per year. This is expected to be considerably lower than the national average. Last year (academic year 2014-15), average tuition at Tennessee’s private, non-profit, four-year institutions was 25 percent less than the national average. After considering the contribution of financial aid, many students ultimately pay significantly less than the either the national or southern regional averages.


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Tusculum College receives grant from the Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board

Posted on 19 June 2015 by

The President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library at Tusculum College has received an $800 grant from the Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board to purchase shelving to improve the storage for its historic collections.

The Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board received $27,500 from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to assist Tennessee’s historic record centers through a grant program called State and National Archival Partnership. SNAP Grants are available up to $2,500.

The SNAP grants are open to any Tennessee organization with historical records that are available to the public. The SNAP grants provide training and supplies for the preservation, improving access and enhancing historic record programs.

Through this grant, the museum will be purchasing new shelves for its archival collections. According to Kathy Cuff, archivist at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library, the new shelves will provide proper storage for the Rare Books Collection and the backlog of other collections.

“This will relieve the crowding seen in the Rare Books Collection, which contains one of the most complete libraries from a post-Revolutionary frontier college,” she said.

Cuff added that the shelving will also be used to improve access to backlogged collections. The backlog shelving will remove the possibility of crushing collections through stacking boxes on top of each other.

“Tusculum College looks forward to installing the shelves soon and redressing these issues.”

The President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library collects, preserves and makes available the records of Tennessee’s first college. The museum is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information about Tusculum College’s historic collections, contact Cuff at or at 423-636-7348.

The President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library and the Doak House Museum are operated by the Department of Museum Program and Studies of Tusculum College. In addition to the museums, the department is responsible for the College Archives and offers one of the few undergraduate Museum Studies degree programs in the country. The two museums are also part of the National Historic District on the Tusculum College campus. Follow the museums on Facebook and Twitter to learn the latest news and upcoming events or visit to learn more about the variety of programs offered at the museums.


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Greeneville native, Tusculum alumnus Nick Darnell named to Governor’s Teacher Cabinet

Posted on 18 June 2015 by

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday 18 Tennessee teachers selected to serve on the first Governor’s Teacher Cabinet.

Among those named was Nick Darnell, a native of Greeneville who graduated from Tusculum with his bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2006. Darnell is a Niswonger Scholar and while at Tusculum was inducted into the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and helped found the college’s chapter of College Republicans.

Now serving his ninth year as an educator, Darnell teaches eighth grade American history at East Ridge Middle School in Hamblen County. He is the head sponsor of the school’s Junior Beta Club, chairman of the school improvement committee, a member of the data team and a lead mentor. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership and his specialist degree in school system leadership, as well as an administrative endorsement, from East Tennessee State University.

Darnell and his wife Emily reside in Morristown.

The cabinet will meet quarterly with Haslam and Education Commissioner Candice McQueen to share real-time information from the classroom, advise on policy considerations and provide a direct line of communication to schools and communities.

Nick Darnell

A year ago the governor traveled the state to hear from groups of teachers, and in December, he announced plans to create the cabinet in an effort to improve teacher communication and collaboration.

“We’ve had a number of conversations with teachers in a variety of settings, and this is another way to receive direct feedback from teachers who are in front of a class every day,” Haslam said. “As Tennessee continues to build on the success we’ve seen in our schools over the past four years, we want to hear from teachers about what is working and what needs improvement. These teachers have a lot on their plates, so I really appreciate their willingness to serve the state in this way.”

Directors of schools were asked to nominate one teacher from each of their districts, and 18 classroom teachers were selected from across the state based on the following criteria: focuses on student achievement, encourages collaboration among colleagues, demonstrates leadership, solutions-oriented and relentlessly pursues excellence.

The teacher cabinet includes a diverse mix of backgrounds and experience. Members represent each of the state’s three grand divisions as well as cities, suburbs and rural areas and have varying years of experience teaching first through twelfth grades.

Members of the first Governor’s Teacher Cabinet are: Elisabeth McArthur Bellah, Maryville City Schools; Melissa Bennett, Blount County Schools; Marsha Buck, Kingsport City Schools; Nick Darnell, Hamblen County Schools; Rebecca Few, Murfreesboro City Schools; Cathy Ginel, Oak Ridge City Schools; Anita Underwood Gray, Lebanon Special School District; Annette C. Johnson, Franklin County Schools; Abbey Kidwell, Clinton City School District; Wanda N. Lacy, Knox County Schools; Jessica Lindsay, Achievement School District; Schwann Logan, Bartlett Municipal School District; Lance Morgan, Union City Schools; Jessica Murray, Dyer County Schools; Kyle Prince, Rutherford County Schools; Angie Tisdale, Franklin Special School District; Karen Vogelsang, Shelby County Schools, and Catherine Whitehead, Chester County School System.

Teachers will serve two-year terms on the cabinet. The first meeting is planned for July.


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Tusculum College Upward Bound celebrates local student graduates

Posted on 15 June 2015 by

Celebrating the successful completion of their high school careers, 40 Tusculum College Upward Bound seniors and their families attended a banquet and discussed paths to success at their respective colleges in conjunction with College Signing Day. Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of Tusculum College, was the featured speaker.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Upward Bound is a program designed to help students excel in high school while providing them with preparation for college success. Students selected for Upward Bound meet with a counselor at their respective school on a regular basis.

The banquet, held on May 1, was aligned with “Reach Higher,” an initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama. The highlights of the evening were the presenting of chords of achievement that the students would don at their graduations, as well as Dr. Moody’s speech about her own struggles as a first-generation college student and her subsequent success as a nurse, nursing professor and ultimately president of Tusculum College.

“Upward Bound was proud to share in First Lady Obama’s celebration, as it aligns perfectly with many of the goals which Upward Bound was founded upon in 1965 as part of The Higher Education Act,” said Jeanne Stokes, director of the TRIO program, which includes Upward Bound, Talent Search and Student Support Services. First Lady Obama created the “Reach Higher” initiative in hopes to inspire young people to “take charge of their future by pursuing education beyond high school.”

Stokes added, “This hope is at the very heart of Upward Bound.” Both First Lady Obama’s plan and Upward Bound incorporate summer programs meant to expand and broaden students’ horizons, support academic planning and promote a better understanding of the financial aid process. Since none of these admirable concepts are new to Tusculum College’s Upward Bound, which has been promoting student achievement for more than forty years, it was a natural progression to make College Signing Day a new tradition, she added.


Tusculum College President Dr. Nancy B. Moody places an Upward Bound graduation cord on Cocke County High School senior and future Tusculum College student Delessa Stewart during the Upward Bound Senior Banquet.


By Chloe Creel

Upward Bound Intern


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