Archive | January, 2017


Family Nurse Practitioner White Coat Ceremony

Posted on 31 January 2017 by

Students in the Family Nurse Practitioner program celebrated a milestone with the official White Coat Ceremony. The white coats are bestowed to the students as they begin their clinical training. The cremony was held on Jan. 30, and the event was made possible through a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Tom Jessee.


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Tusculum College healthcare management program enrolling for fall

Posted on 31 January 2017 by

Tusculum College has begun accepting applications for the new healthcare management degree program, which will begin fall 2017.

The Bachelor of Science in healthcare management is designed to prepare graduates for entry-level positions that manage day-to-day operations of healthcare organizations by giving them a firm foundation in the core disciplines of healthcare administration and management.

The program with be offered through both the traditional day program and the Graduate and Professional Studies program. The GPS program is a fully online program and may be completed in 21 months.

According to Dr. Lois Ewen, dean of the School of Nursing, Health Sciences and Human Services and professor of nursing, career opportunities for persons holding a Bachelor of Science in healthcare management can be found within a variety of healthcare organizations such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health agencies, outpatient facilities and doctors’ offices.

“Healthcare continues to be a dynamic and growing industry. Increased government involvement, new technology and changing population demographics have caused the business of healthcare to evolve, as well,” said Dr. Ewen. “With the industry facing a greater need for quality care, increased competition, decreasing financial reimbursements for provided services and the need to closely monitor costs, healthcare managers and providers are being challenged to operate more like traditional businesses, weighing how their decisions impact the quality of healthcare while assessing them from a business perspective.”

The bachelor’s degree in healthcare management at Tusculum College intentionally combines business and healthcare administration courses with the goal of preparing graduates to take advantage of the healthcare industry’s movement towards a more traditional business model, according to Dr. Michael Dillon, dean of the School of Business and associate professor of business.

The program is designed for anyone who would like to begin a career or advance their current career in healthcare and is a particularly good opportunity for current healthcare employees who have already earned an associate degree in a healthcare technical field but require a bachelor’s degree to seek a managerial position.

According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers within the healthcare management field are expected to grow nearly 17 percent through the year 2024, 10 percent faster than the total national employment average, which is 6.5 percent. Additionally, the survey notes the median pay for medical and health service managers is $94,000 per year.


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Tusculum College addressing teacher shortage

Tusculum College addressing teacher shortage

Posted on 30 January 2017 by

With the recent announcement that Rutherford County School System in Middle Tennessee would be seeking to hire 400 new teachers in the next year, the teacher shortage is becoming more of a concern than ever and a national study points to a need for even more teachers in the years to come.

To address this, Tusculum College is continuing to promote its teacher education program to anyone interested in education as a career, including both students who are looking at education for the first time and those who are considering a career change.

According to Dr. Tricia Hunsader, dean of the School of Education and professor of education, Tusculum College offers a variety of degree programs that prepare students for teacher licensure, including the one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program designed to prepare a student with an existing bachelor’s degree in something other than education for licensure.

“The Master of Arts in Teaching offers individuals holding a bachelor’s degree in specified areas the opportunity to pursue teacher certification,” said Dr. Hunsader. “The K-5, 6-12, and K-12 (content specific) licensure programs are designed for working adults who currently hold a bachelor’s degree and wish to pursue the licensure sequence and obtain a master’s degree at the same time. Courses are delivered in an accelerated format at times convenient for working adults.”

And while there are reports of shortages in Tennessee, it is by no means limited to the state. A recent Learning Policy Institute study describes the shortage nationwide and predicts that it only stands to get worse.

“We are experiencing what appears to be the first major shortage since the 1990s,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, professor at Stanford University and president and CEO of the institute, a nonpartisan education organization launched last year. “And teaching is, in some respects, as an occupation, at its lowest point in 20 years.”

The report, more than a year in the making, uses data sets from the Department of Education and provides one of the most comprehensive looks at the teacher shortage to date.

The problem is multipronged: At a time when public school enrollment is on the upswing, large numbers of teachers are headed for retirement. Meanwhile, enrollment in teacher preparation programs is dropping dramatically, falling 35 percent nationwide in the last five years, the report found.

According to Dr. Hunsader, Tusculum College’s programs aim to direct students toward fulfilling teaching careers at a time when they are needed most.

“The job outlook for licensed teachers is excellent, and more than that, it’s an area our communities need us to address,” said Dr. Hunsader.

In addition to the MAT program, Tusculum College offers four categories of teacher licensure programs:  elementary education (interdisciplinary studies), secondary education, K-12 physical education and special education.

All of Tusculum College’s teacher licensure programs are approved by the Tennessee Department of Education and are enhanced by the focused calendar, which facilitates early and frequent placement of education students in practicum experiences in area schools. These experiences enrich the knowledge gained in classroom work and more fully prepare students for their student teaching.

“Many students discover vital new interests in various aspects of education as a result of practicum experiences; sometimes confirming their choice of major, or in other cases, leading the students to select a different major more closely related to their interests,” said Dr. Hunsader.

A second master’s degree, in curriculum and instruction is also offered through the Tusculum College Graduate and Professional Studies program for students who are already licensed teachers.

For more information on the education programs at Tusculum College, call 800.729.0256 or visit


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Tusculum College rolls out master and bachelor programs in talent development

Posted on 30 January 2017 by

Tusculum College has announced two new programs to its academic catalog, the Master of Arts degree in education: talent development and the Bachelor of Arts degree in talent development.

Applications are being accepted now for both programs for the first semester of the programs, scheduled for fall 2017. The master’s program will be offered through the Graduate and Professional Studies program, while the bachelor’s degree program will be offered in both traditional and adult student programs.

According to Dr. Tricia Hunsader, dean of the school of education, career opportunities for persons holding this degree include corporate trainers, project managers, strategic planners, team developers, process analysts and performance improvement consultants, all of which are needed by a wide variety of organizations.

“The curriculum addresses the major segments of the talent development field by focusing on concepts, models, skills and methods. Courses are designed so that theoretical foundations are complemented with practice and application that enable students to build skills and competence,” said Dr. Hunsader.

The master’s degree program will be exclusively offered in a fully-online format.

The master’s level talent development program is designed to lead students to develop training materials and programs based upon curricular and instructional design best practices, assess organizational needs for enhancing performance, apply adult learning theory and the Instructional System Design model into practice for organizational learning needs, as well as evaluate learning and impact of learning and develop team behaviors and leadership.

The bachelor’s degree program will be offered in two formats, one a fully online program and the other a hybrid program composed of a combination of online coursework and in class instruction.

According to Dr. Hunsader, the bachelor’s degree in talent development at Tusculum College will prepare students to work in organizations as entry level training and talent development. As they work towards the completion of their degree, students will develop skills in human resource development and training, instructional design, curriculum design, leadership, employee evaluation and adult learning.

For more information on these programs or to enroll, contact Katie Tassell, senior enrollment representative, at 888.488.7285.


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Monday, Jan. 30, Tusculum on one-hour delay

Posted on 30 January 2017 by

For Monday, Jan. 30, Tusculum College will operate on a one-hour delay due to icy road conditions.

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Tusculum College to host ‘An Evening with Crystal Wilkinson’ Tuesday, Feb. 7

Posted on 27 January 2017 by

Crystal Wilkinson

Esteemed Southern author Crystal Wilkinson will read from her award-winning novel “Birds of Opulence” and discuss the structure of the novel on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Tusculum College.

“An Evening with Crystal Wilkinson” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Behan Arena Theatre in the lower level (side entrance) of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on campus. The event is the first for 2017 in the Cicero Lecture Series, which is part of Tusculum Arts Outreach’s 2016-17 Acts, Arts, Academia performance and lecture series. The event is being held in conjunction with the College’s School of Arts and Sciences.

During her presentation, Wilkins will read from her 2015 novel, “Birds of Opulence,” which was winner of the 2016 Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.  The novel lyrically tells the story of the loves and losses of several generations of women in a bucolic southern black township. Wilkinson will also discuss the narrative strategy and structure of the novel, which has also been described as a short story cycle.

In addition to “Birds of Opulence,” Wilkinson is the author of “Blackberries, Blackberries” and “Water Street.” “Blackberries, Blackberries” was recognized with the 2002 Paul and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature and was Today’s Librarian Magazine’s choice for 2001 Best Fiction Debut.

Several of Wilkinson’s short stories, poems and essays have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including most recently the Oxford American and the Appalachian anthology, “Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean.” Her short story, “My Girl Mona,” won the 2002 Fiction Prize for Indiana Review, and her poem, “Terrain” was awarded the 2008 Denny C. Plattner Award in Poetry from Appalachian Heritage.

Nominated for both the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Kentucky Arts Council, the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

While serving as a public information officer and community relations manager for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wilkinson would gather with other Kentucky African-American writers at the University of Kentucky, a group later known as the Affrilachian Poets.

In 1997, she was hired as the assistant director of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington, where she taught courses and implemented many different programs and activities for Kentucky’s literary arts scene. She also taught high school juniors and seniors who were juried into the creative writing discipline for the Governor’s School for the Arts in Kentucky from 1997 to 2001, and again in 2008, and served as chair of the creative writing department from 1997 to 2001. In the spring of 2004, she served as the Writer-in-Residence for the Appalachian College Association.

Currently, Wilkinson is Writer-in-Residence and teaches at Berea College. She has taught creative writing at Eastern Kentucky University, Indiana University-Bloomington and Morehead State University.

She and her partner, poet and artist Ron Davis, own Wild Fig Books & Coffee, located in the North Limestone neighborhood in Lexington.

Admission for the lecture is $7. For more information about the lecture, call Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620, or email

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Tusculum College math and computer science program for area teachers kicks-off on Feb. 10

Posted on 27 January 2017 by

A new program designed to improve the skills of area high school math and computer science teachers will kick-off at Tusculum College on Friday, Feb. 10.

This marks the first workshop of the Tusculum College Python TEAM2 Project and will include a full-day workshop for computer science and mathematics teachers from 20 area high schools who will spend the day in the new Ronald H. and Verna June Meen Center for Science and Math.

Tusculum College has received a $74,991 grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to fund the regional educational effort.

The Tusculum College Python TEAM2 project is designed to enhance the content knowledge, pedagogical skills and pedagogical content knowledge of high school mathematics and computer science teachers in the high-needs school districts surrounding Tusculum College’s home campus in Greene County and its instructional sites in Hamblen and Knox counties.

Participating educators will benefit from five on-site days of professional development in Tusculum College’s Meen Center for Science and Math along with a 10-month online credit-bearing course in the Python computer language. The content focus will be on the use of Python computer programming to solve mathematical problems. Participants will explore mathematical concepts, learn the Python programming language and develop programs to solve the kinds of problems they teach in their high school classrooms.

According to Dr. Tricia Hunsader, dean of the School of Education and professor of education, participants’ growth in content knowledge related to mathematics concepts, programming basics and the Python computer language will be assessed via a pre-test and post-test. Participant surveys will assess teachers’ perceptions of the learning experiences and their growth in content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and pedagogical content knowledge.

“The primary content objectives are to increase high school mathematics and computer science teachers’ knowledge of and practical skills in fundamental mathematical concepts directly applicable to computer programming, essential structures and algorithms used in object-oriented programming, the writing of Python code to solve mathematical problems and numerical methods applicable to the high school mathematics curriculum,” said Dr. Hunsader.

The program is a partnership among Tusculum College’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science within the School of Arts and Sciences, Tusculum College’s School of Education and regional high-need school systems, which include Greene County, Greeneville City, Hamblen County, Hawkins County, Jefferson County, Knox County and Washington County school districts.

THEC administers this federal program, which was established to provide grants for colleges and universities to develop and implement workshops for K-12 teachers in the areas of mathematics, science and humanities. The purpose is to establish a collaborative planning partnership between higher education and K-12 education for teacher preparation and continuing professional development. – See more at:



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Alumni events scheduled early next month in four states

Alumni events scheduled early next month in four states

Posted on 26 January 2017 by

Make plans to join Tusculum College representatives as they come to your area to learn more about the latest news at your Alma Mater, as well as catching up and networking with fellow alumni in your area. Representatives will be visiting these areas during early February.


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Tusculum alum finds investment in education has huge returns

Tusculum alum finds investment in education has huge returns

Posted on 26 January 2017 by

LeAnne Anderson

A Tusculum alumna has found her decision to return to school has had huge dividends as she earns promotion to a district post by the Tennessee Department of Correction.

LeAnne Anderson ’07 has been promoted to district director of community supervision with the state Department of Correction. Additionally, she was selected to be one of six representatives from TDOC to be part of LEAD TN in 2017.

LEAD Tennessee is a statewide, 12-month development initiative for current and emerging leaders from all branches of government. It consists of six one-day summits of intense, high impact learning focused on eight leadership core competencies. The goal of LEAD Tennessee is to increase the state’s leadership bench strength by providing agencies a continuous pipeline of motivated and prepared leaders who share a common language and mindset about great leadership.

Anderson is a resident of Sneedville and is a 2007 graduate of Tusculum College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in organizational management. She also holds two associate’s degrees from Walters State Community College and she is a graduate of the Police Academy program there as well.

Professionally, she previously served as probation and parole manager for the State of Tennessee and as a 911 dispatcher.

“When I realized I had to go back to school so I could have more options, I began looking for a school that would work with my schedule,” said Anderson. “Needless to say my options were few and far between. I wanted a good education, but I had to continue working. Tusculum was my school. The hours were perfect for me and the classes were awesome.

“I was able to work during the day and do my class at night. I didn’t miss any of my kids activities and finished with my degree really fast.”

According to Lindsey Seal, director of GPS enrollment at Tusculum College, “While the return isn’t always immediate, with dedication the investment in a college education does pay off. LeAnne’s story is proof of that.”










Seymour "Sy" Marsh and his wife Lyn (Siter) '69 '70 of York, PA, visited campus in November. While in Greeneville, they also visited WGRV-Radio where Sy had worked as a Tusculum student, left. During the visit, Sy was interviewed on air during the "Ray and Ron" morning show, right.



John Eiskamp ’75, the girls soccer coach for Greeneville (TN) High School, has been honored by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as the 2016 Fall Small School National Coach of the Year. Coach Eiskamp led the GHS team to a 26-1 record this past season and the program’s second consecutive TSSAA Class A-AA state championship.



Robert Sarden ’85 is the proud father of a graduate of Universitaet Mannheim Philisophical in Germany. His daughter, Sarah, is part of the university’s graduating class of 2016, earning a bachelor’s degree in Anglo-American Studies and Sociology. After graduating from Tusculum, Robert enrolled at East Tennessee State University and received an ROTC commission as a second lieutenant. Subsequently, he began a career in the U.S. Army, working in various areas in the social services. Robert has lived in Germany since 1986. He married Andrea Haut in 1987, and the couple has four children – three girls and a boy.


Allana Hamilton ’87 has been appointed president of Jackson State Community College by the Tennessee Board of Regents. She began her tenure as president on January 10, 2017. Hamilton was serving as vice president for academic affairs at Northeast State Community College, a position she had held since 2010. She had served in that role on an interim basis from 2008 to 2010. Hamilton joined Northeast State in 1991 as an adjunct faculty instruct tor in biology. She became a faculty member on a full-time basis in 1992 and worked her way up from instructor, assistant professor and associate professor to tenured professor and biology department curriculum coordinator. From 2001 to 2008, she served as academic division chair and dean before her appointment as vice president for academic affairs. In that role, she led the faculty, staff and administration in support of the college’s instructional program. She helped develop new academic programs based on the community’s needs, including, for example, an industrial operations technical certificate and a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) initiative involving K-12 schools, public and private colleges and universities, employers, and community members. She also provided oversight and guidance to academic deans and for evening and distance education, learning support, the library, honors program, and teaching and learning resources at Northeast. She continuously evaluated the effectiveness of existing academic programs; participated in institutional strategic planning, and developed and managed a $19 million instructional budget.


State Rep. David Hawk ’89 (R-5th of Greeneville) has begun the 110th Tennessee General Assembly with a new responsibility, assistant majority leader in the Republican Caucus. He was elected to the position by his legislative peers.



Rodney Taylor ’92 has been named to head the baseball program at his high school alma mater, Port Charlotte High School in Florida. Taylor served as head coach of the high school’s softball team for 10 years and is the boy’s golf coach at the high school. He has served as an assistant for the school and at Charlotte High School. Taylor has also coached volleyball.


Angela Warden Buckles ’96 has been named assistant director of schools for the Sullivan County Department of Education. She began her new role Jan. 3. Buckles was appointed Sullivan County’s special education supervisor in June 2013 and will continue to serve in that position. She previously served as principal of Sullivan East High School for eight years and as a special education teacher.


Brad Jenkins ’99 of Johnson City, TN, has been named executive director at Mountain Region Speech and Hearing Center. The center provides infants, children and adults in about 10 counties across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia high quality and cost effective evaluation, treatment and education for speech, language, hearing and swallowing disorders, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay.



Chris Wilson ’03 was named one of the members of the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” annual list. Individuals chosen for the recognition “share a passion for making Knoxville and its surrounding areas better communities” and are “young leaders who are leaving their mark . . . through their professional and philanthropic efforts.” Wilson is director of sales, South Pacific and Canada, for DeRoyal Industries, Inc.


Corey Shipley ’08 has opened a new law firm with partner, Curt Collins, in downtown Greeneville, TN, offering services in a wide range of areas including state criminal law, federal criminal law, civil law, family law, divorces, custody issues, property management, wills and general legal advice. Shipley came to Tusculum on a football scholarship and completed his studies at the University of Tennessee. He went to Charleston, S.C., for law school to pursue an interest in maritime and admiralty law. Shipley interned in Manhattan, NY, and was editor in chief of the school’s maritime law journal. After earning his law degree, Shipley joined the Terry Law Firm in Morristown, where he worked as an associate attorney until February 2015. Most recently, he has served as a special assistant United States attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office, and was involved in approximately 150 federal criminal prosecutions.



Michael Miles ’13 has written his first book, “Dominion.” Miles, who has been writing since fourth grade, is a substitute school teacher for the Sullivan County School System and a jeweler in Johnson City, TN. While teaching history for a couple of years at Jellico High school in Campbell County, TN, he discovered that teens are craving another series like the “Hunger Games.” Miles novel is crafted in that vein for an audience between ages 16 and 30, and tells the story of two war veterans who are fighting back against the Dominion — a secretive shadow group in their town, and, in time, these veterans learn that this is part of an international fight. After recently serving a brief stint in the U.S. Marines, Miles had to take a medical discharge due to a problem with his knees. While leaving the Marines was disappointing and depressing, Miles used the opportunity to finish writing his novel and make plans to turn it into a trilogy.


Justin Phillip Reed ’13 was selected as a runner-up for the 2016 Iowa Review Awards for his original poetry.





Joyce Mae Dobson Freeman ’58 of Greeneville, TN, passed away on January, 16, 2017. Mrs. Freeman had worked at Glamour Tans LLC for 12 years. She spent her free time with her daughter and grandchildren, living life to the fullest.


Roger Williams Krase ’61 of Afton, TN, passed away on January 12, 2017. Mr. Krase was retired from Philips Consumer Electronics and attended Hermon United Methodist Church. He was  a member of Greeneville Masonic Lodge No. 3, F&AM, and the Greeneville Moose Lodge.


The Rev. Curtis D. Williams ’61 of Morristown, TN, passed away January 18, 2017. Rev. Williams was a member of Antioch Baptist Church.


Thomas Edward Bitner ’72 of Greeneville, TN, passed away January 9, 2017. Mr. Bitner worked in the construction industry and was a member of Notre Dame Catholic Church.


Edward Boyd ’83 of Greensboro, NC, passed away December 23, 2016. Mr. Boyd was owner of Boyd’s Automotive Services in Greensboro.


Kevin Joesph Canning ’86 of Wilton, CT, passed away October 4, 2016.


Vivian Gallimore Jones ’90 of Chattanooga, TN, passed away December 15, 2016. Mrs. Jones was a longtime member of Second Missionary Baptist Church, where she expressed her love of singing as a member of the Women’s Choir. In her later years, she was a dedicated member of Olivet Baptist Church, never missing a Wednesday noonday bible study.


John D. Broyles ’93 of Greeneville, TN, passed away December 3, 2017, after suffering a massive heart attack while on the golf course. He was a materials control manager at Delfort Group, formerly Mudet. Mr. Broyles was a long time member of Mount Hebron United Methodist Church where he was active in all activities of the church. He was an avid golfer and a dedicated Vols fan.


Timothy Andrew Frankford ’01 of Knoxville, TN, passed away December 2, 2016. He loved to work and had 16 years of service with GC Services. Mr. Frankford was a devoted husband and loved his family, Tennessee Football, Penn State (WE ARE), Texas Hold-em, golf, fantasy football, basketball, animals, and travel, especially trips to the beach.




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Art gallery reopens in Shulman Center

Art gallery reopens in Shulman Center

Posted on 18 January 2017 by

Tusculum College will re-open its Allison Gallery in a new location in January with a reception for J. Clement Allison. Allison, the gallery’s namesake, will be the new location’s first featured artist.

According to Wayne Thomas, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of English, the gallery has been relocated to the Shulman Center on the eastern side of the college campus. “The new location is spectacular,” said Thomas, “And, we are excited to celebrate the re-opening with an exhibition from Clem Allison.”

The first show, a retrospective exhibition of Allison’s artwork over the course of his lifetime, will be available for viewing January 18 – February 15. There is no admission fee and the event is open to the public. Additionally, a closing reception will be held on Friday, Feb. 10, from 4-7 p.m.

Clem Allison

The Allison Gallery, named in appreciation of J. Clement Allison’s three decades of exemplary commitment to Tusculum College, was created to provide a venue for a variety of artistic experience. To further this mission, the gallery hosts the exhibitions of local and regional artists as well as exhibitions by Tusculum College’s art students.

Artists of regional and national prominence are displayed year round, providing a unique and useful tool for the college community by allowing students, faculty and staff to view and experience art from across the country without leaving the Tusculum campus.

The residents of Tusculum, Greeneville and other surrounding communities also benefit from the opportunity, provided by the Allison Gallery, to access art from across the country at a local, easy to reach location. In fact, The Allison Gallery is the only art gallery in the Greene County area containing exhibitions from a wide array of both national and local artists and one of only a few such galleries in the region.


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Tusculum sponsors free federal income tax preparation program

Tusculum sponsors free federal income tax preparation program

Posted on 17 January 2017 by

A new program, implemented through the efforts of Tusculum College, will provide free tax preparation services in Greene and surrounding counties. The IRS-certified tax preparation program will provide three locations in the region where trained volunteers will be available to assist members of the public with the preparation of their tax returns.

Locations will include: Monday nights at Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union ’s community room in Gray, Thursdays at Tusculum and Saturdays at Greeneville Power and Light, starting Jan. 30.

The ACFCU has been a long-time partner with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in the area.

Led by Dr. Harold Branstrator, associate professor of management at Tusculum College, the VITA program offers a free alternative to the expensive services of a paid tax professional. The volunteers of the VITA program have completed roughly 1,000 returns annually since 2014, often saving clients $200 or more that they would have spent on payments for alternative, fee-based, services.

Taxpayers eligible for VITA services include: individuals with annual incomes of less than $54,000, individuals over 55 years of age, individuals diagnosed with a physical disability and non English-speaking citizens.

Appointments are required. Sites and days of operation include:

Mondays: ACFCU, 5034 Bobby Hicks Highway, Gray, TN 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.;

Thursdays: Tusculum College, 5:30-8:30 p.m.;

Saturdays: Greeneville Power and Light Boardroom, 110 N. College St., Greeneville, TN 9 a.m. – noon.

To schedule an appointment, call (800) 378-3778 and wait for the operator, or register online at



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‘Sleeping Beauty: True Love’s Kiss’ to be presented Jan. 27-29 in AHB Auditorium

‘Sleeping Beauty: True Love’s Kiss’ to be presented Jan. 27-29 in AHB Auditorium

Posted on 17 January 2017 by

King Maldoer (Dillon Davis) and Maleficent (Sophia Sparks) rehearse a scene from “Sleeping Beauty: True Love’s Kiss,” the upcoming production by Central Ballet Theatre of Greeneville.

Central Ballet Theatre of Greeneville will bring the timeless tale of Sleeping Beauty to the stage Jan. 27-29 in a multi-faceted production.

Four performances of “Sleeping Beauty: True Love’s Kiss” are scheduled for the last weekend in January in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus. The ballet will be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27; at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29. The production is a part of Tusculum College Arts Outreach’s 2016-17 Acts, Arts, Academia performance and lecture series.

“Sleeping Beauty” continues Central Ballet’s tradition of presenting a multi-dimensional production and will feature majestic sets and backdrops, dynamic lighting and technical surprises brought together through classical and contemporary choreography to tell stories with emotional and spiritual depth. This year’s production will feature choreography that is much more contemporary in style to match the intense dance scenes found while also including the always popular pointe work and classical ballet.

A story of destruction wrought by bitterness and guilt and the overcoming power of forgiveness are the heart of “Sleeping Beauty.” Similar to the recent movie, “Maleficent,” Central Ballet’s “Sleeping Beauty” brings audiences into the world  of evil fairy, Maleficent, and helps them understand the anger and bitterness that leads her to curse the innocent baby Princess Aurora. The story follows what happens as Maleficent follows the growth of the princess and changes begin to happen in the heart of the maligned fairy, and a young Prince arrives on the scene, falling in love with the sweet princess.

Professional dancers Dillon Davis and Dante Adela join the local performers in the Central Ballet company for this production. In his third Central Ballet production, Davis will dance the role of King Maldoer. A member of Chattanooga Ballet, Dillon started his professional career as a trainee at Alabama Ballet under the direction of Wes Chapman. After completing his training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Dillon performed professionally with Nashville Ballet and Dance Theater of Tennessee. While with Dance Theater of Tennessee, he had the opportunity to work with world renowned choreographers Ma Cong, Darrell Grand-Moultrie and Ron De Jesus of Hubbard Street.

Adela returns to Central Ballet stage as the Raven in “Sleeping Beauty.”  Adeala just completed touring for four years as Yao, the lead in Cirque du Soleil’s “Dralion.” Adela trained in dance at North Carolina School of the Arts and Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago then went on to dance in several professional companies including Orlando Ballet and Cedar Lake Ensemble. In past seasons with Central Ballet Theatre, Adela has danced Trumpkin in “Prince Caspian” and Pharoah’s son in “Exodus.”

Aurora will be danced by Meg Butler, a student at Greeneville High School, while Queen Oscilla will be portrayed by Katie Kricko, also a student at Greeneville High. Sophia Sparks, a performer from Greeneville will portray “Maleficent.” Two interesting characters added to the ballet’s storyline are Neene (the giver of evil) played by Elizabeth Bosse of Dandridge and Nahal (the good angel) played by Hallie Frank, a student at Chuckey-Doak High School.

A special addition to this version of “Sleeping Beauty” is speaking during the actual scenes versus a live narrator. CBT held two auditions this year: a dance audition and a voice audition. The voice for each character has its own actor, similar to characters in animated films. “We are quite pleased with the quality of our character portrayals through voice,” said Lori Ann Sparks, artistic director of Central Ballet Theatre. “It is an exciting new feature for our ballets!”

Central Ballet’s productions are the result of countless hours of a number of volunteers sharing their time and expertise. The process of writing the script, choosing music, preparing choreography, setting the scenes on the dancers, rehearsing, and topping the ballet off with local artists designing, building, and decorating sets, costuming, and technical preparations takes ten months and requires approximately 150 volunteer production hours per minute of the show.

“We have an amazing group of enthusiastic helpers who work together sharing ideas, building sets, designing and sewing special costumes, painting, moving dance floors, and construction whatever is needed,” said Blair Berry, secretary of Central Ballet. “We are blessed with a wonderful family of volunteers.”

In addition to its yearly ballet production, Central Ballet Theatre strives to offer outreach to the community. The company performs for nursing homes and gives classes to the Boys and Girls’ Club in Greeneville. “We are grateful for the support of our local and regional contributions from both the private and public sector which helps us afford these performances and give back to the community,” said Parke Brumit, president of Central Ballet.

Tickets for the ballet may be purchased at the General Morgan Inn, The Catalyst Coffee Company, Esther & Ella Boutique, Appalachian Chiropractic Center, from local dancers, or by calling 423-724-7014. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students and seniors ages 60 and up.

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