Sullivan school board honors Reward, Level 5 schools

Rick Wagner • Oct 5, 2018 at 4:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County Schools had five schools, including two high schools, honored as Tennessee Level 5 schools, and two of those won Rewards School status for growth in the TNReady standardized testing program, known as end-of-course testing in the high schools.

The county Board of Education honored principals from the schools Tuesday night, but Director of Schools Evelyn Rafalowski said the honors indicate hard work and dedication from the staff, faculty and students of the schools.

“Every person in our schools is responsible for our success,” Rafalowski said. Banners provided from the state will be given to the schools when they arrive, she said.


To be ranked as a Reward School,  a school had to have a score of 3 or 4 on a 1-to-4 scale. South High, where Josh Tate is principal, had a 3.4, while Miller Perry Elementary, where Mike Wilson is principal, had a 3.6.

As for Level 5 schools, Emmett and Miller Perry elementary schools and Sullivan East and South high schools received the honors. Emmett was represented by retired Principal Deborah Stevenson and Assistant Principal Chris McReynolds in the absence of Principal Michele Murray, who was at an education meeting out of town.

East Principal Andy Hare, Miller Perry Principal Mike Wilson and South Principal Josh Tate represented their schools.


In other honors, the board recognized South High senior Madison McKinney, who recently was named one of 13 Northeast Tenenssee semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship program. The semi-finalists were chosen based on the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screening of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

Madison scored a 34 out of a possible 36 on the ACT her sophomore year and most recently earned a 35. She plans to take it again later this year. She said she hopes to attend Vanderbilt University and major in chemistry or chemical engineering, saying her Advanced Placement chemistry taught by Gerri St. Clair is helping her prepare for her major.


Also during the meeting, Director of Schools Evelyn Rafalowski announced that the school system has administered 2,625 flu shots with one more school to go, making for an anticipated number of more than 3,000 shots given for the school year.

The board also made a series of policy changes to clarify things and comply with Tennessee law and is to hold its 2018-19 retreat for 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 29. The site of the retreat has yet to be determined. Also, the board reset its next meeting for Monday, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m. since the elections are set for Nov. 6. In addition, the board is to hold its work session for the meeting from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 5.

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