Writing this column in early December finds me thankful that our students and teachers have returned to a nearly normal school environment after so many ups and downs with COVID-19 during the past 18 months. (Praying that nothing has changed in the month between this writing and publishing.)
Welcome back to beloved bus driver John Champagne, who battled COVID-19 for many months and returned to work after Thanksgiving!
Hopefully everyone had happy holidays and enjoyed all the many varied Christmas concerts, plays, and other activities in our schools!
A new holiday tradition introduced two years ago returned this year with “A Mountain Madrigal Feast” presented by the Theatre Arts department at Signal Mountain Middle/High School under the direction of Ruth Farrimond Raborn. Held at Signal Crest United Methodist Church, the event showcased many students from the school’s theater, strings, band, and choir programs. Set a reminder now not to miss next year’s event on the first Friday in December.
Congratulations to SMMHS freshman Haven Gee and sophomore Beke Nestler as Tennessee All East Choir participants with special recognitions! Gee was selected for the All East Honor Choir. Nestler was selected for SATB All East Honor Choir and All State Honor Choir in which she will perform in April. (SATB stands for soprano, alto, tenor and bass.)
Hats off to 52 students in seventh through ninth grades who were selected to perform with the All-Region Band in mid December!
Congrats to these who were named region champions on their instrument: Audrey Lian, Adam Aboulfaida, Logan Lambeth, Will Stong, and Emily Campbell! Kudos are also extended to students named as region runners-up on their instruments: Elly Wu, Zander Moody, Clayton Lord, Dylan Stone, Carter Kent, Barret Cloud, and Chandler Sewell!
A much smaller group of SMMHS students than usual participated in Model U.N. this fall because it was all virtual. Hats off to Kaitlyn Castellanet for honorable mention in the Security Council and to Josh Dulin for recognition as a Best Delegate in the United Nations Environmental Programme!
Thanks to officers Hannah Morton, Alexia Apablaza, and Jack Gibby for their work in planning and leading the conference as well.
Congratulations to Signal Mountain football team players who received All Region recognition! Award winners included Logan Farr (Safety of the Year and All Region), Aidan Adkins (Linebacker of the Year and All Region), Peter Sesterhenn (Kicker of the Year and All Region), Drew Williams, Duncan Cannon, Luke Alexander, Rip Hutcherson, Chance Towson, and Blake Wolfard.
At the time of this writing, high school basketball had kicked off with district wins scored by both our Eagles and Lady Eagles.
Signal Mountain’s high school wrestling team was also off to a great start, being ranked as fourth in the state after winning the Vandergrill Duals at Hixson over Thanksgiving weekend and the Ooltewah Invitational in early December.
Under new coach Houston Clements, the Eagle Wrestlers are led by brothers Ethan Uhorchuk and Caleb Uhorchuk. Other consistent winners included Noah Shriner, Jackson Davis, and Daniel Odom.
Signal Mountain’s bowling team was seeded second as it was entering the district tournament.
Middle School soccer teams were also entering district tournaments with high expectations.
Signal Mountain enjoys successful academic and athletic programs not only because of hard-working students but also because of a wonderfully supportive community. Thank you! And Happy New Year!
by Melissa Barrett