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UT Martin names local students to spring semester Chancellor’s Honor Roll PDF Print E-mail
Written by btnews   
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 10:31 AM

The outstanding academic achievements of undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee at Martin have been honored with publication of the Spring 2014 Chancellor’s Honor Rolls for the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, College of Business and Global Affairs, College of Education, Health, and Behavioral Sciences, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

To be eligible for Chancellor’s Honor Roll recognition at UT Martin, a student must take at least 12 hours of credit (pass-fail courses are not included) and achieve a 3.2 (B) grade point average based on a 4.0 scale. Students can make the Chancellor’s Honor Roll with honors (3.2 through 3.49), high honors (3.5 through 3.79) or highest honors (3.8 through 4.0).

 Students from Hardeman County include: 

Bolivar: Kristin L. George, Highest Honors; Jennifer L. Hertweck, Highest Honors; Mackenzie B. Keller, High Honors and Christen E. Plunk, Highest Honors. 

Hickory Valley: Austin G. Scott, Highest Honors. Hornsby: Hunter R. Moore, High Honors. 

Middleton: Tammie Flores, High Honors; Andrew D. Forman, High Honors; Iona C. Gatewood, Honors. 

Pocahnotas: Denessa J. McCullar, Honors. 

Saulsbury: Kevin D. Woods, High Honors

 Toone: Natalie C. Denton, Highest Honors; Cierra L. Gibbs, High Honors

Whiteville: Liocia A. Bass, Honors; Shelby L. Jestice, High Honors; Matrekia G. Minter, High Honors; Willie R. Robertson, High Honors

UT Martin is a comprehensive public university that maintains an excellent reputation for its high-quality undergraduate programs, its beautiful campus and caring professors.

MHS Class of 2014 celebrates graduation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Bodiford   
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 10:28 AM

Cheers filled the Bailey Howell Gymnasium in Middleton Friday night when the 2014     Middleton High School commencement exercises took place in front of a packed crowd. 

The ceremony brought laughs, plenty of smiles, and a few tears as the 84 seniors making up the MHS Class of 2014 received their diplomas after many years of hard work and perserverence in the classroom.

The traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” was played during the processional as the classmen took part in the ceremonial walk to their respective seats. MHS senior Jake Leslie gave the invocation to begin the ceremony.

“We are graduating. Can you believe it?”, said MHS Class of 2014 President Kayla Smith as she greeted classmates, parents, teachers and friends, welcoming them to the commencement exercises.

Final speeches of the evening were given by salutatorian Ben Bishop and valedictorian Anna Willis reflecting back on the journey that has led the 2014 class to the end of high school, and a glimpse into future challenges and opportunities yet to come.  Bishop, who will be attending The University of Memphis at Lambuth in the fall, and Willis, who will be attending The University of Tennessee at Martin, are both National Beta Club members, Tennessee Scholar award recipients and are graduating with “Highest Honors”.

MHS vice principal Keith Cabanaw led the presentation of the Class of 2014.  One by one, seniors filed across the stage for their final high school appearance as MHS principal Darlene Cardwell and Nancy Foote conferred their diplomas. 

The MHS Class of 2014 commencement ceremony concluded as Dontavious Lamondre' Keshun Coby delivered the benediction.

MHS graduates celebrated their achievement of the academic milestone with the ever traditional graduation cap toss.


President: Kayla Smith,  

Vice-president: Shemar Harris, Secretary: Destiny Tyhemba

Treasurer: Kanetra Smith, Reporter: Josie Ragan


BCHS graduation honors fallen classmates PDF Print E-mail
Written by Amelia Carlson   
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 9:14 AM

The Bolivar Central High School (BCHS) Class of 2014 held Commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 15 with two empty chairs in the class. In the midst of valedictorian and salutatorian speeches remembering the joys and memories of the years the class has spent and the trials they have endured together, a place of honor was set on the football field beside the graduates for the parents of Jamal Sain and Justin West.

Sain was killed on June 1, 2013 in a shooting in Haywood County and West died on November 13, 2013 after complications from an automobile accident. The parents of Sain and West were honored with special seating beside the graduating class, as well as honorary diplomas for the students and large portraits of West and Sain that were signed by the graduates. In addition, West’s mother was provided with the baseball bat that each senior baseball player received at the baseball banquet earlier in the week.

The BCHS graduating class also contained the first class of Tennessee Scholars to graduate.

BCHS Band tours and invites the community to Family Fun Fest PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Smeltser   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:30 AM

The Bolivar Central High School (BCHS) Band visited local middle schools to show off their talent as a musical group and also give future BCHS high school students a glimpse into one of the areas they may become involved in as a student at the school. Students at Bolivar Elementary School (BES), Hornsby Elementary School (HES) and Whiteville Elementary School (WES) were treated to a mini-concert that included a special performance by the 2014 BCHS Idol contest winner, Kyla Clark, who sang "Break Every Chain," the song that won her first place. The BCHS Band even entertained their peers when they performed for the BCHS student body as part of the tour.

BCHS Band Director Matt Boatwright, along with BCHS Band Director Michelle Boatwright and BMSl Band Director Chris Vaughn, have worked tirelessly to build the music programs at both schools. As a result, Hardeman County has seen a huge amount of talent come out of both schools with the recent recognition that BMS band members received, as well as the many concerts the community has enjoyed over the years performed by both bands.

“Touring the schools gives us a chance to perform, which we enjoy doing as a band; to show them what we do; and also to show students a group they can be a part of when they attend BCHS,” said Matt Boatwright.

One of the ways the band is able to continue performing as they do is by holding fundraisers like Family Fun Fest, which they will hold on Saturday, May 31 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the high school.

“We have an exciting and entertaining day planned for all who attend the Family Fun Fest,” said Boatwright. “There will be entertainment, fun and food.”

There will be music performances by the BCHS Band and The Perrys. A variety of games for all ages will be open including a Lollipop Tree, bounce houses, a cake walk and a three-on-three basketball tournament. There will also be percussion and mini-color guard lessons.

“We hope the community will come out and support the band as they always do for our concerts,” said Boatwright. “We are looking forward to a great day of fun with family and friends.”

You may stay up-to-date on the Family Fun Fest event details by visiting https://www.facebook.com/BCHSBand.

H.C. Board of Education recognizes Teachers of the Year PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Smeltser   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:29 AM

As school approaches its final days, students are not the only ones who are being recognized for their achievements during the past school year. Constance Avent, Hornsby Elementary School; Michelle Burgess, Bolivar Middle School; Susan Hill, Middleton High School; Gail Kessler, Bolivar Elementary School; Michelle McCommon, Toone Elementary School; Mitzi Newby, Middleton Elementary School;  Christie Parker, Bolivar Central High School; Kim Ross, Grand Junction Elementary School; and Valerie Trice, Whiteville Elementary School, were all honored as 2014 Hardeman County Teachers of the Year by the Hardeman County Board of Education (HCBOE) during its recent board meeting.

“The teachers who are being recognized today are the cream of the crop, the best of the best in our system as voted on by their peers, and are noted as the best educators this year. We want to take this opportunity to recognize these teachers and express our thanks to them,” said Hardeman County Director of Schools Warner A. Ross, II.

The nine teachers proudly represented the schools where they teach and the principals of those schools were in attendance at the meeting to share in presenting them with plaques. The Teachers of the Year also received certificates noting their stand-out performance this past school year.

The ceremony occurred during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-8), during which Tuesday, May 6 was designated Teacher Appreciation Day.

Summer learning opportunities for students from GEAR UP PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Smeltser   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:29 AM

The Hardeman County GEAR UP TN program is again offering two summer events, GEAR UP  Bridge Camp 2014 and GEAR UP Summer CAMPus!, for students to broaden their horizons during the summer months. Bridge Camp 2014 is offered to current eighth

graders (rising ninth graders) and will be held Monday, June 9 through Friday, June 13 at The University of Memphis Bolivar Campus building on Hope Street. Summer CAMPus! is offered to current eleventh graders (rising seniors) and will be held at the University of Memphis Lambuth campus Wednesday, May 28 through Friday, May 30.

Last summer, both events were first offered to Hardeman County students with a significant number of students participating.

“The Bridge Camp is a week of activities designed to prepare students for high school and college by providing academic support, project-based learning, STEM and enrichment activities, career exploration and a field trip to Discovery Park in Union City,” said Dorrie Powell, the GEAR UP site coordinator for Hardeman County. 

“Summer CAMPus!, which is limited to 45

students, is a three-day camp of college activities designed to provide rising seniors with a real college campus experience with mock classes, tours, discussions, presentations and daily fun activities.”

Some of the topics the Summer CAMPus! participants will cover include the admissions process, financial aid, career exploration, student leadership and campus life.

“Both events offer a wonderful educational opportunity to students,” said Powell, who would love to see more students involved in GEAR UP and sees a lot of benefits that are available for students who participate in the program that is also offered during the school year.

“Some level of post-secondary education is necessary for most of the desirable jobs

in the current economy. GEAR UP can help students successfully address that fact by giving them, especially the cohort students, opportunities to explore their options beyond high school, helping them find the best fit and guiding them to graduate from high school prepared to pursue

that path,” said Powell. “It is especially valuable for students who will be the first in their family to attend college.”

Registration for both summer programs closes on Friday, May 16. Applications are available at all county middle and high schools and at the Hardeman County Board of Education (HCBOE) website at www.hardemancountyschools.org. Completed applications may be returned to the school guidance counselor or to the HCBOE office at 10815 Old Hwy 64 West Bolivar,

38008-3599. Contact Dorrie Powell at (731) 658-2510, ext. 146 for more information about GEAR UP.

Stowe receives diploma PDF Print E-mail
Written by btnews   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:22 AM

Melissa Stowe Doles, daughter of Rick and Debbie Stowe, wife of Lynn Doles and mother of Emilee and Bailey, graduated Cum Laude from The University of Memphis May 10 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education.

She graduated High School at Abundant Life Christian Academy of Bolivar, and now resides in McNairy County.

Emergency responders hold mock wreck at BCHS PDF Print E-mail
Written by Amelia Carlson   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:22 AM

Emergency personnel consisting of law enforcement officials, medical teams and rescue squad members, held a mock wreck at Bolivar Central High School (BCHS) on Friday, May 9, in order to promote safe driving. 

Students were given a demonstration of what happens when impaired or distracted driving gets involved while an individual is behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Laura Ann Higgs Receives Arts Council Scholarship PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joan Henderson   
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 1:52 PM

Each year, the Hardeman County Arts Council (HCAC) offers a scholarship to a deserving graduating senior from Bolivar and Middleton High School.  The applicants must meet the criteria set by the HCAC, and major or minor in the arts or arts-related fields.  Degree programs in art, music, drama, literature, and creative writing, as well as teaching in these areas or related fields, may be considered.

This year, the HCAC is proud to announce Laura Ann Higgs as the recipient of the 2014 Arts Council Scholarship.

Laura Ann is the daughter of Bob and Lisa Higgs.  Laura Ann is a graduate of Bolivar Central High School with a 3.8 GPA.  She will attend Middle Tennessee State University at Murfreesboro and  major in Communication Disorders. She is active in pageants, cheerleading, tumbling, modeling and tap dancing.  

The Arts Council congratulates Laura Ann on receiving this scholarship and wishes her much success in her career chosen field.

The council sincerely thanks the other applicants from BCHS who applied for this scholarship.

No applicants were received from Middleton High.

MHS brings home the 'Gold' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Bodiford   
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 1:51 PM

Middleton High School recently achieved gold status from the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office and has been awarded third place overall honors in safety awareness, beating out numerous larger inner city schools from the Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville areas.

In an effort to reduce Tennessee teenage driving accidents, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office (GHS), along with its affiliated website www.reducetncrashes.com,  holds an annual competition available to all Tennessee public and private schools focusing primarily on safety awareness education when driving. The sole purpose of the competition is to reduce Tennessee crashes by educating teenage drivers as to all of the perils of driving. Students are highly encouraged to participate in all activities as well as assist in educating their peers and younger students. GHS offers a variety of activities for schools to participate in. Points are then awarded accordingly as activities are completed.  Schools with the overall highest points are recognized and awarded with the esteemed Tennessee GHS Safety Awareness awards.

“As students are introduced to the world of driving, it is often their lack of knowledge and education that presents a problem. The Governor’s Highway Safety program is so very important, because we all want our kids to be safe, and I believe that this education will give them the tools needed to do just that,” said Middleton Police Chief Lynn Webb.

This past Tuesday, MHS launched its annual “Click It Or Ticket” campaign in an effort to encourage everyone to buckle up. Students, teachers and parents arrived at school to find a big surprise awaiting them. Student volunteers stood along side Middleton Police Chief Lynn Webb to initiate a “Click It Or Ticket” traffic stop on each vehicle as it entered school property to determine how many drivers and front seat passengers actually wear their seatbelts on a daily basis. Faux tickets and “Dum-Dum” suckers were given to drivers and passengers caught without their belts, while those who were safely buckled were awarded with “Smarties” candies as well as entry into the drawing for prizes ranging from local restaurant gift cards to larger department store gift cards. 

Out of the 94 drivers and passengers checked, 79 were in compliance and were wearing their safety belts and 15 were not. Although this drill served as a mock exercise, the students were told to consider this as their warning and that the next time they might not fare so well. 

 Vince and Larry, the Crash Test Dummies, and Ollie the Otter greeted students as the safety awareness education continued for both MHS and MMS students who were then addressed by Hardeman County Court Clerk, Jerry Armstrong.

“I cannot tell you guys how very important it is for you to pay attention when you are driving.  This means no texting while you are driving and definitely no driving while impaired, because accidents can happen so very quickly, and you don’t always get a second chance,” said Armstrong.  

According to Tennessee Highway Patrol statistics more than 60 percent of vehicle occupants killed in Tennessee crashes this past year were not wearing safety belts. Research also shows it is almost nine times safer to wear your safety belt. Less than 1 percent of children properly restrained while involved in a crash were killed.

In an effort to reduce the above statistics, MHS faculty sponsor Carla Doyle and Middleton Police Chief Lynn Webb continue to keep the message of driving safely as a focal point for the students by implementing a series of serious, but entertaining, ways of educating everyone. The 2014 safety awareness events include a mock wreck simulating the results of driving impaired, Prom Promise pledge, impaired driving simulator games, poster contests, and a “Think Fast” game show and talent contest. In addition, student volunteers make regular visits to Middleton Elementary to pass on their safety knowledge to the younger students. 

Middleton High School continues to vie hard for top honors, and is well on track for first place in 2015, but to them, the end goal is still plain and simple: keeping the kids safe.


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