Sullivan school system hands out Pinnacle, other awards for 2017-18

Rick Wagner • Apr 29, 2018 at 2:30 PM

BLOUNTVILLE —  Sullivan County Schools teachers, administrators and staff were recognized Thursday night for everything from helping boost students’ academic performance to helping students in non-academic ways.

The fifth annual Pinnacle Awards event, emceed by Director of Schools Evelyn Rafalowski and started under former Director Jubal Yennie, was held  at Northeast State Community College and included entertainment from guitar-player and singer Brayden Ringley, 11, a fifth-grader at Mary Hughes School in Piney Flats.


The honorees included Holston Elementary School’s Judy Lambert, county elementary teacher of the year; Holston Middle School’s Heather Corey, middle school teacher of the year; and Sullivan Central High School’s Sally Shipley, high school teacher of the year. Also, the principal of the year award went to Cathy Nester of Bluff City Elementary, and the supervisor of the year went to Assistant Director of Schools Angie Buckles, who is also special education supervisor.

The honorees were chosen by central office staff from among teacher-elected winners from each school; the administrators were chosen by central office staff.


Four school cafeteria staffs were recognized for Cafeteria Excellence, which is getting two perfect 100 health inspection scores for the 2017-18 school year:

— Indian Springs Elementary. The manager is Rebecca Nelms, and employees are Jennifer Turner and Kimberly Hall.

— Colonial Heights Middle School. The manager is Tina Ford, and employees are Regina Simpton and Cynthia Salyer.

— Holston Elementary/Middle schools. The manager is Rita Frazier, and the employees are Patty Sharp, Kelli Capehart, Marsha Roberts, Teresa Vance and Tiffany Edwards.

— Sullivan Gardens K-8. The manager is Darlene Garrett, and the employees are Robin Peters, Michelle Bombailey, Connie Bachman and Ashley Edison.

This marks the second year in a row that Holston and Sullivan Gardens got perfect health inspection scores.


These were based on nominations from fellow employees and, in some cases, parents.

— Bluff City Elementary: Assistant Principals Clint Dowda and Sabrina Smith

— Bluff City Middle: special education teacher Cheryl White

— Blountville Elementary: bookkeeper Rebecca Sell

— Blountville Middle: guidance counselor Patty Seeger

— Colonial Heights Middle: secretary Carolyn Oliphant and custodian Eddie Samples

— Sullivan Central High: lead custodian Kathy Musselman, math teacher Rebecca Reasor, graphic arts teacher Rhonda Flanary and graduate-on-time coach Margaret Cloninger

— Holston Middle/Innovation Academy: Principal Jonathan Fields

— Holston Middle: math teacher Helen Martin

— Holston Valley Middle: guidance counselor Amy Keesling, who assisted a student whose father was murdered and who had to leave for another school

— Indian Springs Elementary: instructional assistant Jennifer Richmond, bookkeeper Angela Adkins and teachers Brandy Nothnagel, Britni Mains and Rebecca Jessee

— Sullivan North High: custodian David Blalock

— Rock Springs Elementary: instructional assistant Diane Bradley and social intervention teacher Sarah Campbell

— Sullivan East High: coach, teacher and athletic director John Dyer, cafeteria manager Amy Malone, Assistant Principal Rick James, special education teacher Michael Sheffield and 50-year English teacher Judy Parker

— Sullivan South High: band director Ken Carrico, special education teacher Mary Jernigan, chemistry and math teacher Rebecca Grese and social studies teacher Ben Davenport

— Systemwide: HVAC maintenance employee Brad Shaffer, homeless student coordinator Melissa Dotson and special education and behavorial specialist Angela Hilton


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