Archive for April, 2012


Monday, April 30th, 2012

Lori Tucker (WATE News Anchor) opened the program and introduced Larry Mauldin (Project GRAD Board Chair) who welcomed the more than 600 people to the Annual Scholars Celebration Dinner. Larry then introduced Jack Miller (Class of 2005 GRAD Scholar, Fulton High School) who came to the stage to perform the Invocation. Prior to offering his prayer, Jack shared his experiences with Project GRAD with those in attendance. Jack spoke of his decision to attend college, left to go to work and then returned when he discovered that education is important.

Following dinner, a video was shown that highlighted “Teachers of the Year.” this video was created by staff members Kelly Headrick and Michelle McArthur (School Climate Coaches). The video was reflective of teachers who were nominated by their peers for “Teacher of the Year” in Knox County Schools. As the video played, teachers in the audience clapped for their peers as GRAD scholars also expressed their appreciation.

Scholars who spoke to the audience and shared their reflections were Jessica Tarver (Class of 2012, Fulton High School) and Cordy Cox (Class of 2012, Austin-East high School), Jessica reflected on her high school experience and GRAD experience. She shared that by attending the Summer Institutes she made up her mind about attending college and decided to pursue a major in journalism. Cordy Cox reflected on his school years as he thanked those who had helped him in elementary, middle and high school. He also thanked his parents, members of Knox County Schools, Project GRAD Knoxville staff and the Project GRAD Knoxville Board of Directors. Cordy also shared his Summer Institute experiences as he talked about rising early to attend classes and how much the Institutes helped to prepare him for college. Cordy plans to attend college and major in mathematics.

PGK College Graduates didn’t speak this year but those in attendance were recognized. During the recognition, a special video was played that pictured several graduates in their cap and gown. The video also included testimonials from parents and students who have been impacted by Project GRAD. The video was powerful as the audience heard from parents and students about their experience with Project GRAD and all of the support they receive from College Support Coach Ms. Annette Long.

This year’s “Caught Doing Right For Kids” Award was given to an outstanding educator and longtime community member who is very deserving of the honor. Reverend Dr. Montina B. Jones was named the award winner and received a standing ovation as she made her way to the stage accompanied by her husband to receive the award. As Dr. Jones received this award, she spoke to the audience and shared some of her life story as she told scholars about her parents not having the money to send her to college and their disappointment. Dr. Jones persevered and paid her way thru college by working and going to school and has now earned her Ph.D. Dr. Montina Jones is Senior Advisor for High Needs Schools for Knox County Schools and began working within the school system as a Math and Science teacher at Beardsley Middle School, a teacher a Eastport Elementary, Assistant Principal at South Doyle Middle School, Assistant Principal at Austin-East High School and Principal at Vine Middle Magnet School before being promoted to Central Office in 2003 as Director of Urban Schools. Dr. Jones has received awards in education and for community service. She serves as a Board member for Project GRAD Knoxville, Emerald Youth Foundation, Knox Area Urban League and KCDC. Congratulations Reverend Dr. Montina B. Jones – you have been “Caught Doing Right For Kids.”

It was an honor to have Ms. Betty Jo Hamilton as the mace bearer for the Scholars Procession this year. She was very proud and thoroughly enjoyed leading the Scholars thru the ballroom to receive their medallion and certificate. Ms. Hamilton has been a teacher with the Knox County School system for 56 years.

The program closed with a special spoken word selection performed by Mrs. Rhea Carmon (Teacher, Austin-East High School) aka “Rhea Sunshine.” The selection performed by Rhea was written by her exclusively for this year’s Scholars and she told them “It’s Your Time!”

One hundred forty two (142) Scholars of the Class of 2012 have earned the Project GRAD Scholarship. Congratulations Scholars!

Thank you to everyone who helped to make this year’s dinner a success.







Friday, April 13th, 2012

Project GRAD Knoxville staff will participate in the “Let’s Move Event” coming to Knoxville on May 5th. Cornelia Reece (Family and Community Engagement Coordinator) is working with Aneisa McDonald (Knox County Schools, Coordinated School Health Office) to involve Project GRAD schools. An instruction time has been scheduled on April 17, 2012 at Belle Morris Elementary School (time to be announced). For more information about the instructional time  please contact Mimi Heck at (865) 594-1277. For a list of additional locations, visit

The Flash Mob will be held on Saturday, May5th at Victor Ashe Park and Holston-Chilhowee Park(12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.)

For more information about the “Lets Move” event in Knoxville, please visit the Knox County Schools website – Coordinated Schools Health Office or the website


Friday, April 13th, 2012
May 5, 2012
12:00 pm

Project GRAD Knoxville staff is participating in the Flash Mob that will be held in Knoxville on Saturday, May5th. This Flash Mob event is part of LET’S MOVE and is being coordinated by the Coordinated School Health Office of Knox County Schools and the contact person is Aneisa McDonald. The event will be held at two different locations: Victor Ashe Park and Holston-Chilhowee Park at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. For more information, please visit the Knox County Schools website.

Birthday Celebration for Ms. Sarah Moore Greene

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Happy Birthday to Ms. Sarah Moore Greene who celebrated her 102nd birthday in February with 685 students of ‘Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Technology Academy (SMGMTA).  She has always had a heart for children so it was only fitting that she celebrate her special day with children as they put on a show for her. A great program titled “A Journey Through History To A Living Legend” was planned for the celebration and included community leaders, local and state government officials (Mayors Madeline Rogero and Tim Burchett, Mayor Alfred McClendon (Madisonville) and Mayor Tim Yates (Monroe County), representatives from Congressman John Duncan’s office, Senator Lamar Alexander’s office, and State Representative Joe Armstrong). Dr. Jim McIntyre (Knox County Schools Superintendent) and Gloria Deathridge (District 1 School Board Representative) attended the celebration.

Program highlights: Ms. Greene received royal treatment as she was escorted by members of the Royal Court, Prince Mekhi Stewart and Princess TaDasia Montgomery. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by King of SMGMTA DeKeys Tate and Queen of SMGMTA Marissa Taylor; the SMGMTA Jubilee Choir performed three selections; and Bill Williams (Anchor Emeritus WBIR) served as the Master of Ceremony. Ms. Linda Hill composed and narrated a Historic Reflective Narrative with students from Sarah Moore Greene and fifth grade honors student (Daniel Sutton) from Beaumont dedicated a solo to Ms. Greene.

The program was very special as everyone in attendance celebrated Ms. Greene’s 102nd birthday!

A few pictures from the event





2012 Celebration of Stars Dinner

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Excitement is building as time draws near for this years “Celebration of Stars” dinner to honor graduating seniors of the Class of 2012. Approximately 146 Scholars will be honored for their achievements on this very special evening. The Dinner will be held at the Knoxville Convention Center on Sunday, April 22, 2012 with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. and the program beginning at 5:00 p.m. It will be a great evening.