The Chalk Board: July 6, 2015

By Sally Absher Standardized Tests – the Good News. Statewide TCAP (grades 3-8) and high school End of Course (EOC) results were released last week. District and School-level results will be released later this month. The Department of Education touts the statewide 2014-2015 TCAP results: •              We continued to see strong gains in our high […]

Who Are The Pennsylvania  Dutch?

By Rosie Moore William Penn, who founded Pennsylvania (which, by the way, means Penn’s Woods) was born in London, England in 1644. In his twenties he converted to the Quaker religion and was jailed several times for his resistance to the church of England. In 1681 he received a charter to form a new colony […]

Four Generations

By Ralphine Major ralphine3@yahoo.com When winter’s wrath paralyzed our nation last February with weeks of snow and ice, ninety-degree days and summer holidays seemed so distant.  By the time this column is printed, we will have celebrated our nation’s independence.  “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The Star Spangled Banner” can send a chill […]

Backyard Critters

By Joe Rector I like the outside. Nothing depresses me more than being trapped in the house as the rain or snow falls. Working in the yard is a blessing to me, and I’d stay there all the time were I given the opportunity. The only drawbacks to being in the yard or the wooded […]

Rest in Peace, Lady Vols

By Alex Norman Well, that’s it… the Lady Vols as we know them are gone… The University of Tennessee, the University of Tennessee Athletic Department, the UT Board of Trustees… they found a way to greatly diminish something that has put the University of Tennessee in a positive light for decades. The decision to eliminate […]

Keeping busy in athletics helped A-E’s Stephens stay focused

By Steve Williams Ahjanai Stephens picked participation over specialization in her high school athletic career at Austin-East. The Lady Roadrunners’ Student-Athlete of the Year participated in three sports plus band her senior year. I think that’s great. It may not be for everybody, but it fit Ahjanai’s needs. It also led to the first question […]

Dependence Day

By Dr. Jim Ferguson   I can claim only partial credit that this week’s essay is timely. Actually, the Focus editor called my attention to the abbreviated schedule for the 4th of July holiday. Otherwise, I would, as usual, be out of synch with calendar events. (Some might say I’m out of synch with politically […]

Parents Rally for Non-Renewed Teachers

By Sally Absher sallyabsher@knoxfocus.com More than 50 parents, students, and teachers braved threats of thunderstorms to attend a rally outside the City County building prior to last Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting. Most were dressed in red to show support for over 40 non-tenured teachers whose contracts were not renewed for the following school year. […]

Congressman Robert A. “Fats” Everett

By Ray Hill   Long forgotten by most, the late Congressman Robert Ashton “Fats” Everett was one of the more colorful from the political pages of Tennessee’s history.  Everett was by any measure a political professional well before he ever was elected to Congress. Tall and weighing in at over three-hundred pounds, most everyone called […]

A Lot of Familiar Faces in the Class of ‘54

By Ralphine Major It was one of last summer’s highlights! Carol and Perry McGinnis graciously invited me to be their guest at Perry’s 60th Class Reunion for the Gibbs High School Class of 1954.  The couple has appeared in several columns in the ongoing series about his outstanding and successful career as the very first […]

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