In recent months/years, I have seen a lot of school closures and consolidation. It is sad that small community schools are being phased out of existence. I understand nothing lasts forever with the exception of salvation in Jesus Christ. As a former student and retired teacher, coach and principal of Mary Hughes School, one of the smallest Sullivan County schools, I want to give recognition to some of my former students with regard to Mary Hughes School producing some of the finest leaders in Northeast Tennessee.

The aforementioned personnel are all school principals of various schools in East Tennessee. Most of these students began in kindergarten and continued through eighth grade at Mary Hughes School. I had the honor and privilege of watching their growth and progress to become excellent leaders in the field of education.

Listed as follows: Andy Hare, principal, Sullivan East High School; Chris Berry, principal, T.A. Dugger Junior High School; Hank Hare, principal,  Bluff City Elementary School; Josh Carter, principal, Science Hill High School; Becky Olinger, principal, Central Heights Elementary School; and Dr. Rachel Walk, former principal of Fairmount Elementary School and now supervisor of curriculum and instruction of Bristol City (Tennessee) Schools. I might add that Teresa Nelson, another former student, was recently named general sessions judge of Sullivan County. All are Mary Hughes School alumni. Congratulations to all!

Bryan Mason

Piney Flats

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