First, at the time of this writing, students were still able to attend school in person (as well as virtually at home) with masks, constant sanitizing and social distancing when possible. Schools were closed a day or two as needed to clean and disinfect when positive cases were identified, but they remained open.
Parents added more outdoor classrooms at Thrasher Elementary, and work on another outdoor learning pavilion has also begun, thanks to Charlie Spencer, who spearheaded creation of the first two with funding by TVA.
Thanks to former Thrasher student Zach Duncan for creating beautifully carved wooden signage for the school’s nature trail as his final work on updating and expanding (assisted by others) as his Eagle Scout project.
Nolan Kindergarten teacher Becky Cox is thankful to those who supported her Donors Choose grant project to provide flexible seating while allowing students to maintain social distance without table dividers and still keeping mask breaks. She still has a table for students to rotate for table time.
Congratulations to Senior Yoonie Yang for earning a perfect 36 composite score on the ACT college pre-entrance exam! She is the seventh student to achieve this at Signal Mountain Middle/High School. (see separate story on page 34)
Congrats also to seniors Madeline Bruce and Madeline Wyatt for being named Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship program. This means they both had PSAT scores in the top 4 percentile of more than 1.5 million students who took the assessment nationwide.
Kudos to SMMHS for having the highest graduation rate for 2020 in Hamilton County among non-magnet public schools!
Hats off to Signal Mountain’s high school boys’ golf team for securing its third straight State Title! Members include Beck Lewis, Peyton Ogle, Benjamin Burns, Carson Johnson, Benjamin Burns, Anderson Lusk, and Graham Barrett. Kudos are also extended to Beck Lewis for placing third overall in the TSSAA Small Class division!
Sally Hogue and Caroline Burns placed 12th and 14th overall, respectively, in the girls’ division.
At the time of this writing, Signal’s cross country teams had earned several top placements and had only one more big meet before going to State in their quest for more consecutive state titles. Girls’ soccer was racking up major wins, too, and looking toward another state title. And, Signal Mountain’s volleyball team had just won a district semifinals game and was headed to the District championship game at the Mirror deadline.
On the middle school level, Signal Mountain’s cross county boys’ team is the new All County Champion, with Tynan Borders placing third overall in the county. The girls’ team was runner-up in Hamilton County, with Ada Boyd and Aubrey Lynch placing third and fifth overall, respectively, in the county.
Signal’s Middle School football team ended up second in league, while the JV team ended its season undefeated.
Clearly there is lots of talent both academically and athletically in our public schools!
Speaking of talent, COVID-19 has prevented the usual schoolwide, sit-down assemblies at our elementary schools, so Thrasher is hosting those virtually and inviting students to send short videos of themselves engaged in a talent or interest.
Through these online assemblies, Thrasher students have enjoyed seeing classmates perform a variety of activities. Charlie Wheeler shared a talent for riding horses. Phin Walker showed off monkey bar skills, and Amelie Wolbers showed what she learned in tae kwon do. Lucy Hallman performed a cartwheel, while Mena Pillai shared her handstand-walking abilities. Leah Burgess demonstrated her gymnastics prowess, while Patrick McMahon threw and caught a model plane, and Mathilda Koffron provided some impromptu storytelling.
Nolan third graders also got meet and hear a cool presentation by student Liam Badeaux’s father, Brent, who is a retired Marine meteorologist. He talked to students in one of the school’s outdoor classrooms so that at home learners could also enjoy the special lesson.
Badeaux not only shared super cool info about weather systems and how they are formed, but he also shared a story about a sandstorm he experienced in the Middle East while on tour there … a story quoted in the National Geographic magazine.
Pandemic precautions canceled this fall’s annual Homecoming parade, but organizers hope to have a spring parade. A positive COVID-19 case on the Eagles’ football team also canceled the Homecoming game in mid September, so that and all related activities were postponed until the October 30 game.
Congratulations to these seniors who were voted by their peers as Homecoming Queen candidates: Audrey Coterel, Lila Edwards, Ella Gordon, Edie Hansen, Francie Hunt, Ellie Meyer, and Julia Stong.
Congrats are also in order for these grade-level representatives for Homecoming Court: ninth grade, Aida Abello; 10th grade, Winter Ervin; and 11th grade, Kelsey Hewitt.
Thrasher Staff Changes
A belated welcome to a few new staff members at Thrasher. Cindy Abello, a former educational assistant, replaced Teresa Bishop, who retired as school secretary. Lindsay Alsobrook, Mark Walker, Desi Driscoll and Karen Leonard are new educational assistants, and Lauren Ray is working in literacy education.
Long-time fourth grade teacher Raquel Newton also stepped into the role of assistant principal when Fannie Moore was tapped to lead CSAS. Heidi Mies, a previous STEM lab teacher, is now an instructional coach for the district but remains based at Thrasher.
Again, there are many blessings among our schools to be thankful for in this extended season of COVID-19.
Thanks to all of you who support our Signal Mountain schools!
by Melissa Barrett