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• John M. Ferren, author and senior judge in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, will give the commencement address during Maryville College’s graduation exercises, set for 6 p.m., Sunday, May 20, on the campus grounds. Ferren, along with Dr. Bryant Cureton, president of Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill. and a member of Maryville College’s class of 1960, will receive honorary degrees from the 188-year-old institution. Ferren will be presented with the honorary doctor of laws degree while Cureton will receive the honorary doctor of letters degree.

• Kristin Baksa, science teacher at Farragut High School, was named as one of two winners of the Knoxville Downtown Rotary Club's 2006-2007 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award May 8. Brooke Cardwell of Amherst Elementary was named as the winner in the elementary school category. Baksa also received the 2006-07 Knox County School District Building Level Teacher of the Year Award.

• Pellissippi State Technical Community College announces that at least 50 students in Class of 2007 are African-American, the most African-American graduates in the reception’s 14-year history. Mike North, interim associate vice president of Student Affairs, presented the following outstanding graduates with the African-American Excellence Award: Dannisha Davis, Mackel Gharib, Mercedes Ain Jones, Kyla Nichole King, Demarcus Littlejohn, Joseph A. Mayfield, Gay Othniel Miller, LaTrice C. Morris, Ami Pauline Ndiaye, Ernestine Sloan and Whitney Leigh Smith. King, Mayfield and Mdiaye also were recognized for being members of the academic honor society Phi Theta Kappa. In honor of the milestone, Pellissippi State President Allen Edwards presented each graduate with a special kente-cloth stole, which the students then wore at commencement.

• Greenway School’s sixth-grade team placed second in the annual Pellissippi Math Bowl, competing with 320 students from 20 Knox and Anderson county schools. Sam Shadwell placed second individually, and Timothy Blackwell placed fifth. Sam is the son of Cliff and Jane Shadwell. Timothy is the son of Stephen and Aleka Blackwell. Other members of Greenway’s winning team were India Gill, daughter of Karen and John Bluth Gill and Ethan Schulz, son of Hans and Debbie Schulz.

• Greenway School student Sophie Yates was among the five highest scoring students in the state of Tennessee in the Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge. The Word Power Challenge is a vocabulary contest designed for grades four through eight at schools nationwide. To become a school champion in the Reader‘s Digest competition, Sophie answered some questions requiring a straight definition; others required knowledge of a word's antonym or its proper use in a sentence. Students are sometimes asked questions about words derived from other languages and words categorized by different themes or topics. The contest is an educational outreach program of Reader's Digest magazine. In recognition of her accomplishment, Sophie Yates will receive a selection of books from World’s Best Reading. She is the daughter of Em Turner Chitty and John Yates, both of Knoxville.

• Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi announces Joseph Saei of Knoxville has been awarded a Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant for 2007. He attends the College of Charleston and will participate in a study abroad program in Cairo, Egypt at the American University. He is the son of Kamal and Lynn Saei. Study Abroad Grants are designed to recognize and assist undergraduates as they seek knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. Fifty grants valued at $1,000 each are awarded annually.

• Zach Herron, a founding student at Episcopal School of Knoxville and a self-described science enthusiast, is one of four students in the country to be named a Distinguished Scholar recipient at the Baylor School in Chattanooga. Based solely on merit, the program provides a four-year academic and boarding scholarship. Those students must be among the top 10 percent in national standardized testing, have grade point averages of 3.7 or higher, have proven leadership in their schools or organizations and demonstrate involvement in their schools and communities. There are currently 17 Distinguished Scholars from 11 states attending Baylor.

• Farragut High School qualified a record six individuals to compete in the state chess championships. Individual results for the high school section are: Jesse Jones, third-place; Andrew Mungan, 14th-place; Cory Paul, 16th-place; and Noel Herrmann, 25th-place. Individual results for junior high section are: Evan Noon, 14th-place; and Shreyas Dahotre, 20th-place. A FHS team competing in the high school section consisted of Jesse Jones, Andrew Mungan, Cory Paul and Justin Menestrina, and won second-place. A FHS team competing in the junior high section consisted of Evan Noon, Shreyas Dahotre and Clayton Gotwals, and won ninth-place.

• Farragut High School student Jesse Jones won the Knoxville Writer's Guild's “KWG Young Writers Prize in Poetry.” The contest is open to all high school students in East Tennessee, and is judged using a rigorous, double-blind procedure. This year they received about 160 entries. The winner receives $150 and an invitation to read his or her poem to the Guild membership. Jones is the first winner from FHS.

• The Adult Education Program at Pellissippi State Technical Community College offers free GED preparation using a variety of teaching strategies, and is available at two locations: the Hardin Valley road campus and at the Magnolia Avenue campus. Classes are offered Monday through Friday, with day and evening hours. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 865-539-7109.

• Martha Merrill, associate professor of Office Systems Technology at Pellissippi State Technical Community College, has been named a recipient of the Wal-Mart Teaching Excellence Award. Merrill is one of only five instructors from two-year institutions who were chosen for the honor. Merrill will attend the annual ACBSP conference June 29-July 2 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and all regional winners will be honored during the July 1 Salute to Regions luncheon. Each regional winner will receive a medallion and a check for $1,000. Merrill is now eligible to become one of two instructors selected for the international award. One candidate from an associate’s degree institution and one from a four-year school will receive international recognition and a plaque. The honorees also will have their names inscribed on a permanent honor roll maintained at the ACBSP office and receive a check for $2,000.

• If you are a new student to Pellissippi State Technical Community College this fall, make plans to attend one of the college’s New Student Orientation sessions. Attendance is required of all first-time freshmen. Orientation sessions are in the Goins Auditorium at the Hardin Valley Road campus. Sessions are offered from 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., May 17, June 7 and 28, July 12 and 26, and Aug. 9 and 23. Evening sessions are from 4 to 8:30 p.m., June 14, July 19 and Aug. 2. To register, visit adv/nso, call 865-539-7155 or e-mail

• Knoxville campus of National College of Business & Technology will hold its graduation ceremony at Fellowship Evangelical Free Church with special guest, Anne M. McKinney, at 7 p.m., Friday, June 1. More than 125 students are expected to attend the ceremony and receive their diplomas and degrees.

• Gibbs High School, Class of 1987 is looking for members of its class. Names, addresses, etc., are needed. For more information, e-mail

• Central High School Class of 1967 is holding its 40th reunion July 20-21. Information is available at Help is needed in locating addresses for classmates; a list is available on the Web site. Contact Idonna Tillery Bryson at 865-688-5816 or idonna@joshua, Ann Paylor Williams at 865-687-7759 or or Debbie Dalton Lamb at 865-922-7172 or

• Gibbs High School Class of 1972 will hold its 35th Reunion from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, June 16, at Time Warp Tea Room, 1209 North Central St., Knoxville. For more info, contact Linda Harrell Tunstall at 865-986-4565 or

• Young High School Class of 1967 will be celebrating its 40-year reunion June 9 at Calhoun’s on the River. Help the committee find the following: Jerry Beeler, Gail Chambers, Barbara Davis, Judy Davis, Ann Green, Chris Haws, Jeff Heath, Shirley Hutchinson, Verna Jackson, Janie Johnson, Allen Jordan, Mary Long, Joe McCarter, Edd Orr, Theresa Payne, David Pittman, Joe Poston, Karen Ressler, Barbara Sanders and Charlotte Taylor. For more information, call Linda at 865-573-1181 or

• Powell High School’s Class of 1987 members plan a 20-year class reunion for autumn 2007. If you are a 1987 PHS alumnus, not yet contacted by the reunion committee, send contact information to PHS 1987 Reunion Committee, P.O. Box 854, Powell, TN 37849 or e-mail Brenda Mincey at


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