D-B, North, Sevier student councils win 4 Star Awards

Rick Wagner • Apr 23, 2018 at 9:56 AM

KINGSPORT  — For the first time, or at least a long time, Dobyns-Bennett High School’s student council won the 4 Star Award at the annual Tennessee Association of Student Councils convention, and Sullivan North High School won a 4 Star designation for the 15th consecutive year.

Sevier Middle School also won a 4 Star Award. 

The event was held April 6-8 at Bearden High School.


D-B’s John Lewis Corker and Caroline Burch, student body president and vice president respectively, led the group to its first 4 Star Award, which requires 20 projects in various categories including service; education; recreation; money; leadership; pride and patriotism; and a new project. To win the award, a council must attend a regional leadership workshop and the state convention.

Senior council member Rithvik Vutukuri said one of the D-B group’s projects was taking a van of students to a naturalization ceremony in Greeneville.

Josh French, a D-B social studies teacher and one of the advisors on the trip, was recognized for 10 years of service to TASC and student council. Burch received the Above and Beyond Award from the D-B council for her enthusiasm and dedication to student council, and Corker received the Member of the Year Award from D-B’s council for his leadership and dedication to student council. The council also entered one of its projects into the pride and patriotism category and won first place.

“We take a van full of kids there. We are part of the actual proceedings,” Vutukuri said, adding that the students handed out slips of paper to the new citizens with Latin phrases and an explanation of them.

Most of those on the Bearden trip took an excursion to Dollywood before the return journey to Kingsport.

 “They had a blast,” said D-B English teacher Hillary Powell, another D-B student council sponsor on the trip.

Aside from Corker and Burch, others attending from D-B were Vutukuri, Elizabeth Burch, Kristin Thorneloe, James Root, Annika Cleven, Marangelie Cornelio, Alise Farrell, Ashley Roberts, Ashley Rizo, Bronwyn McAlindon, Makaila Freeman and Lyndsey Conway. 


“Meeting and collaborating with other councils from all over the state built valuable leadership skills as well as the opportunity to brainstorm ideas for future projects,” Sevier council sponsor and eighth- grade English teacher Rachel Wagner said. “A particularly cohesive Kingsport moment happened when all the Kingsport student council members represented at the convention posed for a picture together to celebrate over a total of 70 projects completed from all three schools.”

Suzanne Demming, North sponsor and biology teacher, said North sent three students to the convention. The other sponsor is North math teacher Debbie Redman. The students attending were Lyndsay Hodgson, vice president of the student body and president-elect of the council for next year; Alexis Edwards, secretary-elect of next year’s student council; and Katie Williams, vice president-election of next year’s student council. 

North did a cancer-awareness project and won second place in education. North also did an “Eggceptional Egg Hunt” with special education students as a new project, getting second place for that. 

Students from Sevier attending were Abigail Brammer, Jonah Crawford, Kate Dixon, Treasurer Isabelle Fisher, President Conner Hall, Secretary Lauren Haun, Daisy Lockhart, Andrew Stewart, Lindsey Thorneloe and Vice President Rishita Vutukuri.

Seiver projects, according to Wagner, included participating in Operation Christmas Child, facilitating the Robinson Spirit Week leading up to the football game versus Robinson Middle and giving students inspirational quotes in Hersey Kisses during lunch time. The other Sevier sponsor is English teacher Norie-Anne Young. 



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