Crissy Haslam, McQueen visit Tri-Cities

Rick Wagner • Nov 6, 2017 at 10:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Crissy Haslam, the first lady of Tennessee, and Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen were in the Tri-Cities on Monday in a stop that included a visit to Kingsport in support of early childhood literacy efforts.

The two later visited Fairmont Elementary School in Johnson City to see its reading program. Fairmont recently was named a Rewards School by the state Department of Education for academic achievement based on test scores.

Leadership Tennessee and Tennesseans for Quality Early Education held one of a series of events at Kingsport’s MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in the morning to bring community partners together around the topic of the importance of early literacy, which covers up to age 8. Hosted by QEE and the Kingsport, Bristol and Johnson City chambers of commerce, the event drew about 120 representatives from the areas of business, government, nonprofit and education, according to Haslam spokeswoman Ella Watkins.

Panelists were Amy Doran, coordinator of early education for Kingsport City Schools; Bristol, Tennessee, Director of Schools Gary Lilly; and Lottie Ryans, director of workforce and literacy Initiatives for the First Tennessee Development District. Topics included in the discussion were mentoring as an elementary student’s “reading buddy,” making sure families have access to transportation to get to school and raising awareness on this issue.

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