Former Ketron PTA president wins TSBA regional volunteer award

Rick Wagner • Sep 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM

KINGSPORT — A local woman is the glue that helps keep a local PTA together, according to the school’s principal.

And she’s won a regional award for those effects.

The Ketron Elementary volunteer leader was recently honored by the Northeast Tennessee district of the Tennessee School Boards Association or TSBA.

And if she wins the award on the statewide level, a $1,000 grant is headed to Ketron.

The TSBA honored immedidate past Ketron Parent Teacher Association President Angie Christian of Sullivan County’s Ketron as its Northeast District volunteer of the year during the Northeast Fall District Meeting Sept. 21 at Hancock Middle/High School in Hancock County, west of the Tri-Cities.

TSBA officials said Christian became the 2015 Northeast District Volunteer Recognition Award winner because, among other things, she has ensured PTA events are adequately staffed with volunteers and stocked with all needed supplies.

She also assists with organizing community yard sales, Operation Santa, Teacher Appreciation Day breakfast and lunch and a school-wide dance, a TSBA news release said.

These days, however, she’s not been able to help much at school because of a leg fracture/break injury from a Myrtle Beach football game in late July.

“They call me every now and then and say, ‘What am I supposed to do?’ “ Christian said of the close-knit group of PTA mothers at Ketron and staff with whom they work. Christian, second grade teacher Debra Ryan and cafeteria worker Brittany Glover helped her coach a spirit team. Christian said she would like to thank Amanda Pitts, Sarah Moody, Rebecca Luke, Glover, Bridgette Peters, Tammy Hammonds, second grade teacher Les Simerly and McKenzie Davis for their help.

“You’ve got to have that one person who’s the glue for the rest of the group,” Ketron Principal Wendell Smith, who nominated Christian for that award, said in a Friday interview. “She’s that glue.”

Many of Christian’s efforts have focused on fundraising for the school, she said, while others have centered on student well being..

“I love working with the kids,” Christian said in a Friday interview, explaining that she has another eight weeks on crutches because of a leg injury and subsequent surgery. “I did make it to eat lunch with my on hi his birthday.”

Among her activities at Ketron, she organized a Wildcat spirit team, as well as a no bullying and “just say no to drugs” club.

The group sponsored a school dance and participated in the Bloomingdale Christmas parade.

She was PTA president for 2013-14 and 2014-15 but retired from that post in May because of a two-term limit. However, she plans to remain involved in the school and PTA and can return to “active duty” in about another eight weeks.

Her son, a fourth grader at Ketron, has been at the school three years, and her daughter is a seventh grader at North Middle School.

Smith nominated Christian, without her knowledge, in May, and she found out in July she had won just before a trip to the beach.

However, she was unable to attend the Sept. 21 meeting in Sneedville because of her beach injury from a flag football game gone awry. She went to the emergency room in Myrtle Beach and thought she would just have a cast for a while. However, she learned she would have to have surgery and screws in her leg after she returned to Kingsport with the fracture.

Each year TSBA honors one school volunteer from each of its nine districts who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating exceptional commitment to volunteerism in a local school district, according to the TSBA.

The district winners have exhibited assisting school boards in effectively governing school districts, exemplary leadership, creativity, cooperation and hard work in their service to a school.

One of the nine volunteers will win the statewide School Volunteer Recognition Award to be presented at the TSBA Annual Convention in November, which will include a $1,000 grant to the school of his or her choice.