Nominees announced for Wilson County Teacher of the Year

Organizers of the 19th annual Wilson County Teacher of the Year program announced the nominees for the 2016-17 Wilson County Teacher of the Year.

The overall winner will be honored and named at the annual Teacher of the Year banquet and ceremony April 7 in Baird Chapel on the campus of Cumberland University.

The Teacher of the Year program began nearly 20 years ago under the direction of W.P. Bone III, owner of Wilson County Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, and Bob McDonald, president of CedarStone Bank.

“This program supports education and educators in the communities we serve,” said Bone. “It is fitting that we recognize and congratulate those professionals to whom we entrust the futures of our children.”

Each of the 31 schools in Wilson County nominated and elected its own “teacher of the year” from its faculty; their peers chose the nominees. Those 31 teachers then complete self-evaluation packets, providing the information for the final judging. Past winners of the award meet with those nominees and go over the criteria processing materials, which have proven to be a great learning experience for all those involved, organizers said. An anonymous panel of Cumberland University faculty members then will select the Wilson County Teacher of the Year.

Those selected from across the county as “teachers of the year” in their respective school are Tabitha Bird with Byars-Dowdy Elementary School, Jennifer Barrett Jenkins with Carroll-Oakland Elementary School, Heather Campbell with Castle Heights Elementary School, Kristi Brooks with Cedars Preparatory Academy, Sandra L. Edwards with Coles Ferry Elementary School, Sheila Kay Mobley with Elzie D. Patton Elementary School, Toni Ross with Friendship Christian School, Melanie Williams with Gladeville Elementary School, Megan Hamilton with Lakeview Elementary School, Frankie Beth Dunklin with Lebanon High School, Jennifer M. Beavers with MAP Academy, Jon Willis with Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, Emily Partin with Mt. Juliet Elementary School, Amy Bowman with Mt. Juliet High School, Courtney Quisberg with Mt. Juliet Middle School, Lori Boykin with Rutland Elementary School, Stephanie Smith with Sam Houston Elementary School, Melissa Grandstaff with Southside Elementary School, Jessica Moses with Stoner Creek Elementary School, Carly M. Clinard with Tuckers Crossroads School, Rachel Walton with W.A. Wright Elementary School, Chuck Graviss with Walter J. Baird Middle School, Geoff Luckett with Watertown Elementary School, Matthew Hallmark with Watertown High School, Sara Warner with Watertown Middle School, Karissa Rogers with West Elementary School, Keith Heim with West Wilson Middle School, Kristi R. Dragan with Wilson Central High School, Patti Huffman with Wilson County Adult High School and Blake Lewis with Winfree Bryant Middle School.

Many people play a significant role in making the program successful, including members of local businesses and government, school principals, school administrators and the chambers of commerce from Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown.

Community leaders throughout the area are on hand during the awards banquet to show their support and gratitude.

“Some 20 years ago, my friend, W.P. Bone, and I sat down and decided we would make a concerted effort to recognize teachers in our county. The process took us about a year to complete and now, 19 years later, we are still proud of this program and the wonderful teachers it acknowledges as heroes and champions in the classroom,” said McDonald.

The winner will receive a $1,500, and their school will net another $500 for their efforts.

Staff Reports

Schools call sick week

Wilson County Schools officials announced Monday schools would close for the remainder of the week due to illness after the district reached high absentee rates among students and staff.

Jennifer Johnson, Wilson County Schools public information officer, said school officials monitored absentee rates since last week. Johnson said student attendance remained above 90 percent at every school, excluding Lebanon High School.

Johnson also said few teachers and staff had called in sick as of Friday. She said the situation changed dramatically Monday as 138 teachers across the district called in sick, which left 26 classrooms without teachers.

Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright said she felt the only solution was to cancel school until illnesses had time to run their course.

“Obviously, we don’t close school for almost an entire week unless the situation is very serious. The last thing we want is for this to spread to even more students and staff.  Hopefully, these four days off, plus the weekend and the holiday Monday will give everyone time to recuperate and come back well,” Wright said.

All Kid’s Club locations will remain open this week. Johnson said no athletic events were canceled, including the district basketball tournament to take place at Lebanon High School this week.

All year-round staff members with Wilson County Schools will not be impacted by the closures. Those individuals should report to work in accordance with their regular schedule.

Any school-related events such as Valentine’s Day parties will be rescheduled for next week, according to Johnson.

Staff Reports

Nominees announced for Wilson County Teacher of the Year

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News Wilson County Teacher of the Year founders W.P. Bone III (left) and Bob McDonald meet with members of the selection committee as they consider nominees for the award recently at Cumberland University.

Submitted to Mt. Juliet News
Wilson County Teacher of the Year founders W.P. Bone III (left) and Bob McDonald meet with members of the selection committee as they consider nominees for the award recently at Cumberland University.

Organizers of the 19th annual Wilson County Teacher of the Year program announced the nominees for the 2016-17 Wilson County Teacher of the Year.

The overall winner will be honored and named at the annual Teacher of the Year banquet and ceremony April 7 in Baird Chapel on the campus of Cumberland University.

The Teacher of the Year program began nearly 20 years ago under the direction of W.P. Bone III, owner of Wilson County Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, and Bob McDonald, president of CedarStone Bank.

“This program supports education and educators in the communities we serve,” said Bone. “It is fitting that we recognize and congratulate those professionals to whom we entrust the futures of our children.”

Each of the 31 schools in Wilson County nominated and elected its own “teacher of the year” from its faculty; their peers chose the nominees. Those 31 teachers then complete self-evaluation packets, providing the information for the final judging. Past winners of the award meet with those nominees and go over the criteria processing materials, which have proven to be a great learning experience for all those involved, organizers said. An anonymous panel of Cumberland University faculty members then will select the Wilson County Teacher of the Year.

Those selected from across the county as “teachers of the year” in their respective school are Tabitha Bird with Byars-Dowdy Elementary School, Jennifer Barrett Jenkins with Carroll-Oakland Elementary School, Heather Campbell with Castle Heights Elementary School, Kristi Brooks with Cedars Preparatory Academy, Sandra L. Edwards with Coles Ferry Elementary School, Sheila Kay Mobley with Elzie D. Patton Elementary School, Toni Ross with Friendship Christian School, Melanie Williams with Gladeville Elementary School, Megan Hamilton with Lakeview Elementary School, Frankie Beth Dunklin with Lebanon High School, Jennifer M. Beavers with MAP Academy, Jon Willis with Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, Emily Partin with Mt. Juliet Elementary School, Amy Bowman with Mt. Juliet High School, Courtney Quisberg with Mt. Juliet Middle School, Lori Boykin with Rutland Elementary School, Stephanie Smith with Sam Houston Elementary School, Melissa Grandstaff with Southside Elementary School, Jessica Moses with Stoner Creek Elementary School, Carly M. Clinard with Tuckers Crossroads School, Rachel Walton with W.A. Wright Elementary School, Chuck Graviss with Walter J. Baird Middle School, Geoff Luckett with Watertown Elementary School, Matthew Hallmark with Watertown High School, Sara Warner with Watertown Middle School, Karissa Rogers with West Elementary School, Keith Heim with West Wilson Middle School, Kristi R. Dragan with Wilson Central High School, Patti Huffman with Wilson County Adult High School and Blake Lewis with Winfree Bryant Middle School.

Many people play a significant role in making the program successful, including members of local businesses and government, school principals, school administrators and the chambers of commerce from Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown.

Community leaders throughout the area are on hand during the awards banquet to show their support and gratitude.

“Some 20 years ago, my friend, W.P. Bone, and I sat down and decided we would make a concerted effort to recognize teachers in our county. The process took us about a year to complete and now, 19 years later, we are still proud of this program and the wonderful teachers it acknowledges as heroes and champions in the classroom,” said McDonald.

The winner will receive a $1,500, and their school will net another $500 for their efforts.

Staff Reports

Date set for Mt. Juliet Middle School PTO race

The Mt. Juliet Middle School parent-teacher organization announced plans for the group’s largest annual fundraiser.

The sixth annual Mt. Juliet Middle School PTO 5K Fun Run/Walk will take place March 4 at Charlie Daniels Park. The Fun Run will start at 8 a.m., and 5K will start at 8:30 a.m.

Each year, the PTO was able to buy many classroom items for teachers and staff with funds raised through past events.

Runners may register through active.com. The early bird special runs until Feb. 13, and rates are $15 for the fun run and walk and $25 for the 5K. After Feb. 13, rates will increase to $20 for the fun run and walk and $30 for the 5K.

People can register by Feb. 20 to guarantee a race T-shirt. Students will receive a $5 discount for the 5K.

Three sponsorship packages are also available for people interested in supporting the event. Gold sponsorships are $400, black sponsorships are $250 and white sponsorships are $150.

Participants may pick up their packets, which will include a T-shirt, bib and other information March 3 from 2:30-7 p.m. in the Mt. Juliet Middle School cafeteria. If a person cannot pick up their packet at that time, the PTO will have them at the on-site registration on race day, but those people are urged to arrive by 7:15 a.m.

Runners registering on race day are advised to arrive earlier than 7:15 a.m.

Proceeds from the event will go to support the needs of teachers and students at Mt. Juliet Middle School. This year, the Mt. Juliet Middle PTO was able to provide iPads, Apple TVs, projectors, books, repairs and supplies to students and faculty.

For more information, contact the Mt. Juliet PTO at mjmspto@gmail.com.

Staff Reports

Schools boot corporal punishment

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News Wilson County Schools Director Donna Wright shakes hands with Kenneth Dillard, who received an honorary diploma from Lebanon High School class of 1957. Dillard, who served as junior class president, attended Lebanon High from 1953-56 until he entered the United States Navy and served three years.

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Wilson County Schools Director Donna Wright shakes hands with Kenneth Dillard, who received an honorary diploma from Lebanon High School class of 1957. Dillard, who served as junior class president, attended Lebanon High from 1953-56 until he entered the United States Navy and served three years.

The Wilson County school board voted Monday to remove language in its code of conduct relative to corporal punishment after discussion on the issue in two meetings.

The group voted 5-2, with board members Bill Robinson and Larry Tomlinson as the “no” votes, to formally remove corporal punishment as a possible consequence after school leaders said the punishment hasn’t been practiced in several years.

Director Donna Wright recommended last week the district amend current language on corporal punishment from the code of conduct, which sparked discussion on the necessity of the practice.

“At one time a paddling worked, but for many kids, we’re seeing some behaviors that might not exist because we don’t know what’s happening at home. We don’t know what kids are facing. We’re committed to helping work through some behavior with kids,” Wright said Monday.

“When we do that, so everybody might know this, if we take out corporal punishment, then the next step could be suspension. If we suspend somebody, then a parent might have to miss two or three days of work. It’s kind of the lesser of two evils. It’s kind of tough issue to remove it, but I still think it’s the right thing,” board member Wayne McNeese said.

Robinson said he believed the language could have a place in the code, especially since it’s not a mandatory punishment.

“There is not consequence that says a child has to take a paddling in our current code of conduct. My only concern is – not that I’m in favor of corporal punishment – but there is an option if a situation, such as [McNeese] mentioned, comes up,” Robinson said.

Robinson said an example would be if a student does something that warrants suspension but the parent is in a financial situation where missing work would harm the family.

Wright said school leaders do everything they can to avoid out-of-school suspension, especially in the younger grades.

Board member Tom Sottek questioned last week how the district would protect itself if corporal punishment were administered and teachers or staff didn’t receive proper training, if any.

Wright said state law allows local school districts to determine if they want to allow corporal punishment in schools and Wilson County is one of a handful that still had language allowing it as a form on punishment.

Wright said she doesn’t remember any instances of corporal punishment being administered since she’s taken over as school director three years ago. Deputy director Mickey Hall said the last instance he remembers happened about 15 years ago at West Elementary.

The group also agreed to a possible solution to the ongoing liquor-by-the-drink tax litigation situation with the City of Mt. Juliet. The board formally rejected the city’s latest offer in December, but agreed to the terms of the latest offer after a 30-minute closed door session with Wilson County attorney Mike Jennings.

Jennings said he believed the offer to be a “fair proposal,” but did not announce the specifics of the offer.

“They owe us the money. We don’t like doing this, but they’ve owed us money for over 10 years now,” McNeese said last year. 

In 2013, it was revealed many municipalities in Tennessee were not paying their portion of their liquor-by-the-drink tax to public schools systems in which those cities operated due to an oversight. Wilson County Schools and the Lebanon Special School District were among the school districts in Tennessee that were owed back money by cities.

The Wilson County Board of Education filed the lawsuit in Wilson County chancery court in 2014 after failing to reach an agreement with the city about paying liquor-by-the-drink back taxes collected until 2013. Mt. Juliet owes an estimated $372,000, according to Mickey Hall, Wilson County deputy director. 

A court date for the lawsuit is set for March, but Jennings said that would not occur if the Mt. Juliet Commission agrees to the offer during its meeting next Monday.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Two new principals named

Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright hired Stoner Creek Elementary School principal Christine Miller to lead Springdale Elementary School, the district’s newest elementary school, which will open in Mt. Juliet at the beginning of the next school year.    

Miller has worked for the district since 1999, when she was hired as a sixth-grade science teacher at Watertown Elementary School. In 2009, Miller was promoted to assistant principal at West Wilson Middle School, where she spent four years before being named principal at Stoner Creek Elementary School.

Wright said Miller has demonstrated herself to be a strong leader, which will be needed as the district launches the new school.

“We have a lot of major staffing decisions to make between now and August that Christine will be an instrumental part of,” Wright said. “Half of the students who’ll be rezoned to Springdale currently attend Stoner Creek.  It’s just a fantastic fit.”

March 15 will be Miller’s last day at Stoner Creek. Assistant principal Jennifer Yokom-Brown will remain at the school until the end of the year to assist with the transition and a search begins for a new principal at Stoner Creek. At the beginning of the next school year, Yokom-Brown will assume the role of assistant principal at Springdale Elementary School. 

Officials ceremoniously broke ground in November at the new school, which was well under construction at that time at its site on Central Pike.

A portion of students currently zoned for Elzie Patton and Stoner Creek elementary schools will be rezoned to Springdale. The rezoning would only affect these schools, and it will not change zoning for middle or high schools.

The plan would have 537 students who currently attend Stoner Creek and 200 students who currently attend Elzie Patton rezoned to Springdale.

Elzie Patton and Stoner Creek each have an enrollment of about 750, and the rezoning to Springdale is intended to alleviate overcrowding at both schools.

New principal named at Mt. Juliet Middle School

Wright announced last Wednesday she hired Leigh Anne Rainey to be the new principal at Mt. Juliet Middle School.    

Wright said Rainey brings a wealth of experience to her new position. From 1997-2009, she taught several subjects, including AP biology and environmental science. In 2009, Rainey was chosen to be the school intervention and response to intervention specialist for Jonesboro High School in Arkansas, where she was later promoted to assistant principal and executive principal. Rainey is currently wrapping up her duties at Jonesboro High School, in preparation for her family’s move to Middle Tennessee next month.

Rainey will replace Tim Bell, who retired as principal at Mt. Juliet Middle School at the beginning of winter break in December.

“We’re thrilled to have Leigh Anne join us,” Wright said. “A lot of tremendous candidates applied for this position, but after our second round of interviews, Leigh Anne clearly emerged as the person who exemplified the qualities and attributes we felt were paramount as the next leader of Mt. Juliet Middle School.”

Rainey is no stranger to Middle Tennessee. She graduated from Franklin High School in Williamson County, where many of her relatives still live.

“My husband and our three children are very excited about this move,” Rainey said. “Our roots have always been in Tennessee, and we’re so happy to finally see that dream realized”

The district will hold a reception for Rainey on Feb. 20, where she’ll be formally introduced to her staff and members of the community.   

Bell joined Wilson County Schools in 1987, when he taught health and physical education at Mt. Juliet Middle School.

He served as assistant principal, varsity baseball and varsity basketball coach at Mt. Juliet High School. He holds bachelor and master’s degrees from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Staff Reports

School board votes to distribute funds for projects

The Wilson County Board of Education voted Thursday to appropriate excess funds previously earmarked for Carroll-Oakland Elementary School to three other projects in the school system.

Of the almost $400,000 of funding, about $270,800 will go toward a new track at Wilson Central High School, about $63,000 will go toward road improvements leading into Carroll-Oakland Elementary School, and the remaining funds will go toward a field house at West Wilson Middle School.

Because the board voted to move funds previously allotted to one school toward projects at other schools, the Wilson County Commission will need to approve the funding moves.

Director of Schools Donna Wright said the funding toward the Wilson Central track is to compensate for the fact that the project will be more expensive than early projections indicated. Track students have had to travel to Watertown to make use of the Watertown High School track.

The board also approved a volunteer early retirement incentive program.

The program is open to employees who will have 30 years of verified Tennessee Consolidated Retirement Service within Wilson County Schools and the state or who have reached 60 years of age with a minimum of 20 years of service with the Wilson County Schools on or before the date of retirement.

Experience with the Lebanon Special School District may be counted toward the credit.

School system employees may apply for the retirement incentive program through Feb. 10. Wright will approve applicants who meet the requirements of the program.

Wright said the school system has used the program in the past. The retirement incentive program is voluntary, and no attempts are made to bring pressure on any employees to retire.

The board also approved a prescription benefit recommendation for the employee health insurance plan. The recommendation came from consultants the school system uses.

The item was a late addition to the agenda, which irked some of the board members.

“I just think it shouldn’t come up on the day of our meeting, or a day earlier,” board member Bill Robinson said. “Why couldn’t they tell us about this in December?”

Board member Wayne McNeese also said he wanted to see items added to the agenda as far in advance as possible.

Wright said the first she heard about the item was Tuesday, but she thought it was important enough to include on the agenda. She also said she agreed with Robinson and McNeese, and she said she will try to make sure late agenda additions are not a regular occurrence.

The item passed by a 5-1 vote, with a motion by Tom Sottek and a second by Linda Armistead. McNeese was the lone vote against it.

The school board will next meet in a work session Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. at the central office at 351 Stumpy Lane in Lebanon. The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.

By Jake Old

jold@lebanondemocrat.com

Snow causes trouble for schools

Jared Felkins • Mt. Juliet News Students at Watertown High School brave the snow and ice Friday morning to get to class.

Jared Felkins • Mt. Juliet News
Students at Watertown High School brave the snow and ice Friday morning to get to class.

When snow suddenly hit Wilson County on Friday morning, local school systems were left to make tough decisions about whether to close.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory from 6:30 a.m. until midnight. However, many buses for Wilson County Schools and the Lebanon Special School District were already on the roads by the time the advisory was issued.

Lebanon Director of Schools Scott Benson said the district’s director of transportation was on the roads at about 3 a.m., and Benson himself was on the roads at 4 a.m.

“The roads really looked good then, and with the information we had, the forecast seemed like we weren’t going to be in bad shape,” Benson said.

Benson decided it would be in the best interest to keep schools open. He made a similar decision Thursday afternoon, when snow was forecast to possibly hit Lebanon. A winter weather advisory was also issued Thursday from noon until midnight.

“Some other school districts went ahead and closed early [Thursday], but we looked at the information we had, and we thought it would be OK to stay open,” Benson said. “Obviously, that was the right call.”

The Lebanon Special School District gets information from the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency about the status of roads and any possible bad weather, Benson said.

By 6:30-7 a.m., Benson said he was sticking with his decision. Once it became obvious the roads were too treacherous for schools to remain open, officials quickly began trying to get children back home safely.

“We made the call at 7:15,” Benson said. “Some buses had already dropped kids off at school, and at some schools we had parents coming to drop kids off, and we were just waving them right on through and telling them that schools were closing. It takes a while for the message to get out to parents, and for the media to pick it up.”

For Wilson County Schools, the same situation presented itself on a larger scale. According to Jennifer Johnson, spokesperson for the school system, Wilson County went through a similar process.

“We considered [closing schools] all through the night and probably up to the 5 a.m. hour,” she said. “[Friday] morning, the weather model indicated it was not going to come as far north as Wilson County, so we sent the buses out at about 5:15. It was not until 6:30, when we had 60 percent of our students at school or on their way to school, that the snow started coming.”

The school system announced schools would close early, with schools that start during the 7 a.m. hour closing at 11:15 a.m., and schools that start during the 8 a.m. hour closing at 12:30 p.m.

One reason that the schools closed later, Johnson said, was to give bus drivers enough time to hit all of their routes, as some buses carry students from multiple schools. Another reason was to give parents notice in case they were not at home.

Officials with the Lebanon Special School District can sympathize with the conundrum of parents who aren’t home to get their children off the school bus.

“We had bus drivers bring kids back to school because they were making sure there was someone at home before letting the child get off the bus,” Benson said. “We made arrangements and made sure every child got home safely.” 

Johnson said she fielded many questions from parents Friday about the decision to close schools at a later time.

“I’ve heard people throw around ‘it’s all about the money,’ but there’s absolutely zero truth to that,” she said. “There’s no money involved. We have snow days set aside already. We staggered the times to help our bus drivers and parents.”

Johnson said Wilson County Schools could have chosen to open late, but at the time, it did not seem like the best decision.

“It’s always easier when you have the benefit of hindsight,” she said. “Weather is a moving target, and we did the best we could with the circumstances in front of us. There are human beings making decisions, and we’re not always going to get it right. If we had it all to do again, we would have closed school completely, no question.”

Buses in Wilson County were able to take students home, except in Watertown, where the roads were worse than in other parts of the county.

Watertown High School principal Jeff Luttrell, who has no involvement in decisions on buses, said he agreed with the plan not to run buses in Watertown on Friday.

“We’ve got a lot more rural roads and higher elevations out here,” Luttrell said. “As a parent, I wouldn’t want my kid on a bus out in this.”

Johnson said no absences would be counted Friday at any Wilson County schools.

“We respect the discretion of parents,” she said. “If parents decided not to send their children to school, regardless of the decision we made, that’s fine.”

By Jake Old

jold@lebanondemocrat.com

School closing details released

Parents of students in Wilson County Schools and Lebanon Special School District received information recently about school closing alerts as winter weather reached Wilson County.

Wilson County Schools tested its inclement weather and emergency alert system Dec. 18 in an attempt to make sure the district’s system has up-to-date information.

Jennifer Johnson, Wilson County Schools public information officer, said any parent or guardian who did not receive a message Sunday should log into their Skyward account, which is the student information system, and update necessary information.

Johnson said the district would first alert parents on the Wilson County Schools Facebook page. She said closings and delays would be posted immediately when decisions are made.

“If parents haven’t received a call but are wondering if a decision has been made, check Facebook,” Johnson said.

The district has 10 inclement weather days built into the calendar.

Lebanon Special School District superintendent Scott Benson said the district would notify parents and guardians via Twitter @LebanonSSD and then follow up with a post on the school’s website at lssd.org.

Benson said the district would also make calls to parents and guardians through the School Messenger system. He said the district has 13 inclement weather days built into the calendar.

“However, we use five as stockpile days, so that leaves us eight to use for inclement weather before having to make any up,” Benson said.

In both districts, if school is not in session or is dismissed early due to inclement weather, all scheduled activities in which students are involved will be postponed or cancelled.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Bell retires as Mt. Juliet principal

Tim Bell

Tim Bell

Mt. Juliet Middle School principal Tim Bell announced his retirement last week as the school entered winter break.

Bell met with Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright last week and informed her of his intention to retire, according to Jennifer Johnson, Wilson County Schools public information officer.

“Because of his long service with the county school system, he is eligible, and Wilson County Schools has already begun searching for his replacement,” Johnson said.

Bell joined Wilson County Schools in 1987, when he taught health and physical education at Mt. Juliet Middle School.

He has served as assistant principal, varsity baseball and varsity basketball coach at Mt. Juliet High School. He holds bachelor and master’s degrees from Trevecca Nazarene University.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Commission approves middle school bonds

The Wilson County Commission approved the issuance of bonds for a future Gladeville-area middle school Monday after discussion among the group and a plea from Wilson County Republican Party leadership.

The commission agreed to move forward with issuing $56.75 million in bonds for a middle school to be located at 8275 Stewarts Ferry Pike in Gladeville. The school system is required to give a portion of the Lebanon Special School District, which would result in about $46 million coming back to the county for the project.

Wilson County Schools director Donna Wright addressed the commission on the bonds and project costs after Ed Lanius and Wilson County GOP chairman Tom Hoffman called for the commission to deny the bond resolution, partially due to the cost of school construction in Williamson and Rutherford counties.

“The reason for this timeout is to find the reasons why building Wilson County schools costs substantially more than Rutherford and Williamson County spend, often using the same construction company, A.G. Anderson, that Wilson County uses,” said Hoffman in a letter to Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto.

Wright said figures presented in the opposition’s emails and requests for denial were not accurate or did not represent the whole picture. Wright, who presented figures she said came directly from the Williamson and Rutherford school board’s financial departments, said the figures she received showed that Wilson County’s construction costs were not outrageous and in-line with comparable surrounding counties.

She said additional construction costs in Wilson County could be attributed to the amount of solid rock in the land, which she said has been documented by some commissioners, technology, higher standard of building equipment and materials and the inclusion of athletic facilities and concession stands. She noted that some of the surrounding counties share athletic facilities, which help reduce costs.

Commissioner Frank Bush, who said he believed Lanius received his figures from the Williamson and Rutherford school board financial departments, questioned the possibility of figures being misrepresented by either side or presented in different fashions based on the requests presented to those counties.

Wright maintained the school system did its due diligence and did not misrepresent or inflate construction costs.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know what else to tell you. Unless Williamson County or Rutherford County are falsifying or inflating their numbers, it is what it is. I’ll stand here before you and tell you right now that I have not lied, nor have I misrepresented. I have been as transparent as I know how to be and I’ve answered questions from this body as best I can,” Wright said.

Wilson County Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall said the school, similar in appearance to newer county high schools, would house sixth- through eighth-grade students with a capacity of about 1,500.

Commissioners Bobby Franklin, Jerry McFarland, Bush and John Gentry voted against the resolution, while Commissioners Dan Walker and Chad Barnard were absent.

The commission also voted to use $307,500 from the county’s special purpose school fund to renovate the gymnasium area of the Harding Drive facility for use by the Wilson County Election Commission.

The election commission, under a six-year agreement, would use the space for archive storage that is currently stored in undesirable locations, as well as for training and meetings. 

Wilson County Finance Director Aaron Maynard said it would cost $307,500 to renovate the area to bring it up to standards. The Wilson County school board did not include the section of the old school in its renovation plans. 

Commissioner Sue Vanatta questioned whether there was going to be a county-owned building vacated somewhere that could house the equipment once most of the school departments entered the facility. Commissioner Gary Keith said he has surveyed property and buildings for about two years and hasn’t found anything at the right size at a convenient location. 

Commissioners Franklin, Bush, Gentry, Terry Ashe and Diane Weathers joined Vanatta in opposition of the resolution.

In other business, the commission approved:

• naming a Cainsville Road bridge in honor of Robert J. “Bobby” McGuire Jr.

• a stop loss insurance contract with Cigna

• budget amendments for the Ag Center, Sheriff’s Department and county buildings.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

West Elementary School principal’s list and honor roll

Principal’s List 

Third Grade

Silas Kendall, Danika Chan, Andrew Kistenmaker, Bella Ashe, Chloe Carter, Braiden Cochran, Madison Davenport, Abigail Valentin, Bella Brewer, Ashlyn Duke, Coralyn Joyner, Avery Maynard, Jake Thompson, Trevor Katzenmiller and Bella Free.

Fourth Grade

Sam Gravely, Griffin Graves, Matthew McGahen, Blake Tidwell, Will McGowin, Gabrielle Perry, Caleb Davidson, Grayce Gravely, Nat James, Brooklyn Nguyen, Tyler Travers and Lucas Taylor.

Fifth Grade

Addie Hollis, Cole Hunt, Makaylee Perry, Will Riley, Joy Sloan, Brady Jones, Dale Mueller, Addie Savley, Hailey Smith, Maddy Davis, Sara Miu and Lindsay Niemeyer.

Honor Roll

Third Grade

Taylor Bray, Henry Davenport, Lily Hampton, Cooper Maes, Ezra McMahon, Alexis Middler, Jack Paradise, Emma Scott, Savannah Solomon, Shanah Wilson, Ashley Harris, Madyson Mayo, Meret Meshreky, Andrw Page, Quinn Paré, Gable Pruitt, Joshua Tidwell, Jacob White, Briley Clark, Molly Cook, Shelby Diggs, Greer Gammon, Anna Kate Hardin, Anna Johnson, Keegan Maes, Mason Minchey, Mitchell Solomon, Bryan Valentin, Tyler Bittman, Lindie Farough, Delaney Hawkins, MaKenna Holbert, Shelby Holladay, Evan Lowry, William Payne, Matthew Swallows, Savannah Wilhoite, Brookelynn Aldridge, Lena Russell, John Courtney, Bethany Lafata, Evan Radu, Ava Adams, Zeke Boyd, Connor Dewald, Kyler Gatica, Parker King, Anna Ofenheusle, Adrian Perez, Lily Savage, Carleigh Scott and Emma Tzompanakis.

Fourth Grade

Malina Ballesteros, Connor Basham, Jasmine Green, Camdien Hudson, Daniel Hughes, Lyla Kelley, Gavin Powe, Daevon Vann, Layla Young, Colt Allen, Evan Carr, Edgar Figueroa, Aedan Griffith, Kaili Johnson, Isabella Weier, Connor Wright, Claire Young, Collin Williams, Sienna Hunt, Jake Barnett, Nicholas Chavez, Hayden Davis, Cooper Gettler, Dale Jackson, Riley Schreher, Aalivia Jackson, Dylan Brown, Sophie Casto, Kailyn Cunningham, Izzy Fullford, Jordan Haapala, Avery Haymans, Willie Hoyt, Ava Knott, Crystal Moore, Brody Nordgren, Landen Rotach, Aryanna Shea, Christopher Austin, Eden Bailey, Gracie Cook, Avery Crockett, Tiara Gilbert, Adalyn Joki and Kalani Patton.

Fifth Grade

DeShun Brown, R.J. Esslinger, Lilly Fudge, Reece Haapala, Carly Holladay, Gary Johnson, Ruby Kallaos, Ellie Swallows, Sydney Watwood, Connor Alford, Jayda Judice, Mattie Lafaye, Wren Linde, Ryan Lippincott, Jayden Martin, Leigha Medlin, Noah Ofenheusle, Lily Pennington, Kylie Reynolds, Zoe Vasofsky, Samuel Watts, Amber Beckham, Nathan Cochran
Matthew Girgis, Lily Molthen, Scarlett Boston, Alyson Harvey, Ethan Collier, Carly Parker, Johnny Pfefferle, Jackson Stilts, Sarah Stokes, Andrew Clark, Carson Cole, Kaitlyn Ferguson, Andrew Hardin, Haidyn Hillman, Anneliese Joyner and Logan Winkler.

Wildcats collect $3,800 in two minutes for fire victims

Wilson Central High School students and faculty used a unique tactic last week to raise money for fire victims in east Tennessee.

The school used the $2,000 in two minutes initiative to help raise more than $3,800 for fellow students affected by last week’s historic wildfire in the Gatlinburg area.

“We got a lot of students and people in our state right now who have been greatly affected. We have students at Gatlinburg-Pittman High School and Pigeon Forge High School who are now without any homes and any possessions,” Wilson Central athletic director and assistant principal Chip Bevis said in a video promoting the event.

The school partnered with the affected school and decided to donate change to students to help start rebuilding their lives.

Buckets were set up in hallways and classrooms throughout the school and students used the two minutes to blitz as much change and cash into the containers as possible.

Bevis, who worked in the Sevier County education system for 12 years, contacted both schools and asked what Wilson Central could do to help. They responded with financial help since donors were already gracious with donated items.

Bevis held a meeting with club sponsors and athletic coaches, and the group formed the idea for the event.

In addition to the $3,817 raised Tuesday during the two-minute event, the school collected an additional $870 in two minutes at Tuesday night’s basketball game. The school also collected another $800 Wednesday morning during first block classrooms.

Principal Travis Mayfield also said he received several donations from parents, faculty and civic groups.

“I think the clear motivation with students was that the wildfires directly affected students that are the same age as us. Whether they followed the news on the television or just scrolled though Twitter we all saw the loss in Gatlinburg, there’s a humbling feeling seeing our entire student body come together and try to monetarily help students,” said Wilson Central student school board representative Preston George.

George said the school also planned another collection Friday.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Schools reject latest lawsuit offer

The Wilson County school board formally rejected the city of Mt. Juliet’s latest liquor lawsuit settlement offer and donated a portion of land used in negotiations to Wilson County.

Board chairman Larry Tomlinson said the Wilson County Urban Types Facility Board voted last week to ask the board to donate three acres of property at the site of a new Mt. Juliet school for use by the county.

The land was previously used in negotiations between the school board and Mt. Juliet for a potential settlement in the ongoing liquor-by-the-drink tax lawsuit.

“With it being county-owned property, if another county agency has an interest in it or a need for it, I think we should allow them to have it,” Tomlinson said.

Board member Wayne McNeese voted against the move after Tomlinson mentioned the county could potentially use the land for a garbage disposal facility, although he said he was not sure of the plans. Board member Linda Armistead joined McNeese in voting against the move.

The board also formally rejected Mt. Juliet’s latest counteroffer regarding the liquor lawsuit as some board members expressed frustration with the situation.

“Something’s got to happen. I think anytime you sue another agency in government, it’s not a good thing, but we’ve been fighting this for two years now,” McNeese said.

“They owe us the money. For some reason they felt like they didn’t want to pay it and if we, the board of education, has worked with them in good faith, but it’s time come up with an applicable agreement,” said Tomlinson, who said he spoke with school board attorney Mike Jennings over the weekend, who recommended the board balk at the latest offer.

Jennings said last month that the Mt. Juliet Commission’s approved offer differed from the offer the Wilson County school board approved and presented to the body. 

In 2013, it was revealed many municipalities in Tennessee were not paying their portion of their liquor-by-the-drink tax to public schools systems in which those cities operated due to an oversight. Wilson County Schools and the Lebanon Special School District were among the school districts in Tennessee that were owed back money by cities.

“They owe us the money. We don’t like doing this, but they’ve owed us money for over 10 years now,” McNeese said.

The Wilson County Board of Education filed the lawsuit in Wilson County chancery court in 2014 after failing to reach an agreement with the city about paying liquor-by-the-drink back taxes collected until 2013. Mt. Juliet owes an estimated $372,000, according to Mickey Hall, Wilson County deputy director.

Hall said a court date for the lawsuit is set for March 2017.

The board also approved rezoning current Elzie Patton and Stoner Creek elementary school zones to create the new Springdale Elementary school zone.

The rezoning would only affect these schools, and it will not change zoning for middle or high schools. 

Wright said children who are going to be in fifth grade next year, when the zoning would go into effect, would have the option to remain at their current school, but transportation to and from school would need to be provided by the child’s parents. 

Younger siblings of those fifth-grade students, however, will not be allowed to stay at the previously zoned school. 

Children in the special education programs at each school do not go through traditional zoning, but are placed at a school based on individual needs, Wright said, so parents of those children should not be concerned about a child moving to another school. 

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Schools give OK to outsource substitutes

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News Wilson County Deputy Director  of Schools Mickey Hall discusses outsourcing substitute teachers with the Wilson County school board Monday. The group voted, 5-2, to use Education Service Solutions for the service after lengthy discussion among the group.

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Wilson County Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall discusses outsourcing substitute teachers with the Wilson County school board Monday. The group voted, 5-2, to use Education Service Solutions for the service after lengthy discussion among the group.

The Wilson County Board of Education approved a contracted service for district substitute teachers Monday although the group split on the issue.

The group voted, 5-2, to award the contract of Education Service Solutions to handle the district’s substitute teacher procedures. Board members Wayne McNeese and Bill Robinson voted against the move.

Johnnie Payton, who has worked as a substitute teacher under a contracted company with the Lebanon Special School District, said she believed the move was necessary with the district’s current and projected growth.

However, she, along with other members, questioned the reliability of Education Service Solutions, a new company, to handle the district’s needs.

McNeese said he didn’t want the district to be a guinea pig and also questioned the effect the move would have on the district’s budget.

Deputy director Mickey Hall said the move would not “adversely” effect the district’s budget or require the district to ask for any more money from the county commission if the number of needed substitutes was similar to previous years.

Hall said the move would allow substitutes to keep the same pay rate and not see any changes to their routines.

Deputy director Mary Ann Sparks said the move would be necessary for the district to meet the need to free up a person in the human resources department, and due to Affordable Care Act changes, future limitations would be placed on substitutes, which would create a complex system to maintain days worked and more.

She said the company has the capability to increase the number of substitute teachers available for the district. Robinson said rather than take a risk with a new company, he would consider hiring another person for the human resources department. He also highlighted the lack of company leaders that had an educational background.

Hall said Education Service Solutions performed the best based on criteria and noted that some veteran companies refused to submit certain information, which lowered their overall score.

Board member Linda Armistead did not pull her motion to accept the bid in order to allow district leaders time to get more information at the suggestion of chairman Larry Tomlinson, noting she believed the district did its due diligence already.

Hall said Education Service Solutions agreed to a 95 percent fill rate for district teacher absences. Sparks said the district currently averages about a 93-94 percent fill rate.

The company would conduct all background checks, but Sparks said the district also conducts DCS background checks, drug tests, abuse/sex registry checks and required the company to do the same.

Teachers will be able to request specific substitutes and teachers and principals have the ability to block certain substitutes, if necessary.

Hall said the district has a 60-day opt out clause if the service is not satisfactory.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

Wilson County Schools break ground on new central office

Xavier Smith • Lebanon Democrat Wilson County Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall speaks Monday with schools and county leaders, along with Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School students, about the school’s renovation progress and future. The school system broke ground on the Harding Drive central office renovation and toured four schools currently under renovation throughout the county.

Xavier Smith • Lebanon Democrat
Wilson County Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall speaks Monday with schools and county leaders, along with Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School students, about the school’s renovation progress and future. The school system broke ground on the Harding Drive central office renovation and toured four schools currently under renovation throughout the county.

Wilson County education and government leaders officially broke ground on the system’s future central office Monday and toured four Wilson County schools currently under renovation.

“It took us a while to get here but we finally made it. Along with the other renovations we got going on at the other schools that we’ll be visiting today, this is just another piece of the puzzle, and we’re happy to see it come to fruition,” said Wilson County school board chairman Larry Tomlinson.

The Wilson County Commission recently approved a $20 million renovation of the Harding Drive facility, which will bring nearly every department within the Wilson County school system under one roof for the first time. 

One of those departments is the Wilson County Adult High School, which currently calls a nearby building home. The school will join all but transportation and technology departments in the old Lebanon High School building.

“We are equally ecstatic. This is a place I called home for 33 years. It’s seems surreal that I’ll be coming back, but I’m coming back for the Adult High School as the Adult High School principal,” said Adult High School principal Mary Ashby.

“We’re thankful to our county commissioners, school board, [Director of Schools] Dr. [Donna] Wright and for everyone who had the vision to bring this building into the spectacular place that’s going to be for all of Wilson County.”

School board member Johnie Payton didn’t spend 33 years in the old Lebanon High School, but she was one of 13 African-American students who integrated the school in 1963.

Payton said she remembered how the building looked at the time and was thankful it would be used as the central office.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, former Lebanon High School head boys’ basketball coach, said he believed using the building as a central office would add to the building’s rich history.

“I think to put this place back in business is good for the history side of it,” said Hutto, who said the renovation had another positive aspect. “This side of town now is seeing a lot of action when you talk about this high school here becoming a central office, you got the Expo Center just across the way and Cumberland University is possibly talking about working with the old McFarland hospital. This will help revitalize this side of the town and this side of the county, which is important for us.”

The group also toured four county schools currently under renovation – Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School, Southside Elementary School, Gladeville Elementary School and Watertown Elementary School.

Southside Elementary School’s newer gym will be converted into a band room and two science labs, while the older gym will become an auditorium. A new 800-seat gym will also be added to the school, along with new locker rooms and two new classrooms.

Watertown Elementary School will get a new 800-student dining room and kitchen area that would serve as a central point for a connector between the two current buildings. The existing gym will be expanded to full-size.

Tuckers Crossroads renovations include a two-story wing addition, which includes seven classrooms, two computer labs, a science lab and a sports dressing room. 

Gladeville Elementary School will receive a six-classroom addition in the school’s rear, along with a gym.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com

School zoning changes coming

Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright led a meeting at Elzie Patton Elementary School in Mt. Juliet regarding a proposed rezoning plan for Springdale Elementary School, which is expected to open in August.

A portion of students currently zoned for Elzie Patton and Stoner Creek elementary schools will be rezoned to Springdale. The rezoning would only affect these schools, and it will not change zoning for middle or high schools.

The plan would have 537 students who currently attend Stoner Creek and 200 students who currently attend Elzie Patton rezoned to Springdale.

Elzie Patton and Stoner Creek each have an enrollment of about 750, and the rezoning to Springdale is intended to alleviate overcrowding at both schools.

If the rezoning plan is approved by the Wilson County Board of Education, the enrollment numbers would be 544 at Elzie Patton, 407 at Stoner Creek and 537 at Springdale.

“We have a lot of growth taking place in Wilson County,” Wright said. “We’re trying to be prepared for continued growth.”

At the meeting, maps were displayed that show exact areas in Mt. Juliet that would be affected. Parents were invited to ask questions of Wright and Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall.

Some parents were concerned about transitioning their children into a new school.

Wright said children who are going to be in fifth grade next year, when the zoning would go into effect, would have the option to remain at their current school, but transportation to and from school would need to be provided by the child’s parents.

Younger siblings of those fifth-grade students, however, will not be allowed to stay at the previously zoned school.

Children in the special education programs at each school do not go through traditional zoning, but are placed at a school based on individual needs, Wright said, so parents of those children should not be concerned about a child moving to another school.

A complete list of how each affected neighborhood will be zoned is available at wcschools.com. The website also has maps of each zoning area.

By Jake Old

jold@lebanondemocrat.com

Four Mt. Juliet High School students receive American FFA degrees

Submitted to The Democrat The National FFA Organization recognized four Mt. Juliet High School students with FFA degrees. Pictured are Loren Campbell (left) and Justin Douglass. Not pictured are Katie Bruce and Hannah Halliburton.

Submitted to The Democrat
The National FFA Organization recognized four Mt. Juliet High School students with FFA degrees. Pictured are Loren Campbell (left) and Justin Douglass. Not pictured are Katie Bruce and Hannah Halliburton.

The National FFA Organization recognized four Mt. Juliet High School students with American Future Farmers of America degrees for their work with the high school’s FFA program.

Katie Bruce, Loren Campbell, Justin Douglass and Hannah Halliburton were awarded degrees Oct. 22 at the 89th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis.

To be eligible, FFA members must have earned and productively invested $10,000 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agricultural enterprise. Recipients must also complete 50 hours of community service and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and civic involvement.

Each recipient of the American FFA Degree receives a gold American FFA Degree key, certificate and matted frame after the student is recognized on stage at the national convention.

The National FFA Organization honors FFA members who show the utmost dedication to the organization through their desire to develop their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the United State, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Staff Reports

Mt. Juliet Christian art students create something memorable

Colleen Creamer • Mt. Juliet News Mt. Juliet Christian Academy art student Anna Miller holds a photo of a Columbian boy (inset) she drew as part of the Memory Project. Miller and two other art students in Brenda York’s class are taking part in the project to share with children in another part of the world.

Colleen Creamer • Mt. Juliet News
Mt. Juliet Christian Academy art student Anna Miller holds a photo of a Columbian boy (inset) she drew as part of the Memory Project. Miller and two other art students in Brenda York’s class are taking part in the project to share with children in another part of the world.

For a few children in a struggling orphanage in Colombia, their small world is about to get a little brighter thanks to a Mt. Juliet Christian Academy art teacher and three of her students.

Mt. Juliet Christian art teacher Brenda York and her students, Anna Miller, Talley Drescher and Cody Nalley, are partaking in the Memory Project a charitable nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create portraits for youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, violence and extreme poverty.

York heard about the project from the Tennessee Arts Academy. She was looking for something just like the Memory Project.

“I wanted my kids to be able to use their talents to do some kind of outreach,” said York. “This was started because these kids are orphans, and they have nothing. We had gotten a list of projects, and this was on there.”

Memory Project staffers receive photos of children and teens from global charities operating residential homes, schools and care centers in a number of different countries each year. Since 2004, they have created more than 90,000 portraits for children in 42 countries.

When shown the photos of he children whose portraits they would draw, they were taken aback, said York of her students’ reaction to photos of the children, all 3 years old.

“They were kind of stunned because the looks on the children’s faces as they were photographed was so despairing,” York said. “As artists, they were able to change these photos a little … they have nothing that has any linkage to family.”

The Memory Project’s mission statement is two-fold, to help the children feel valued, to know that people care about their well being, as well as act as meaningful pieces of personal history.  For the art students, the Memory Project wants to provide an opportunity to “creatively practice kindness and global awareness.”

Students only got a picture but no other information, only the country in which they lived, York said.

“We don’t obviously get names to protect the identity of the children,” York said

York said the staff member who received the portraits was excited about the results when he saw the level of portraiture at which her students perform.

“They were really particular about choosing students who could do a likeness,” York said. “These guys worked so hard and so diligently.”

The Memory Project staff will bring the portraits to the Colombian children in early December; they will videotape the children’s responses, as they do always for the benefit of the art students.

In turn, the children are presented photos of the students who painted or sketched their portraits.

“I thought it was cool that I was going to get to draw something that they could maybe keep their entire life and to know that somebody cared enough to draw them,” said Drescher, a senior at Mt. Juliet Christian Academy.

To see some previous videos and to find out more about the project, visit memoryproject.org.

By Colleen Creamer

Special to Mt. Juliet News

New school moves forward

The Wilson County Education and Budget committees agreed Thursday to move forward with the issuance of bonds for the future Gladeville-area middle school.

The Wilson County Board of Education received an update on the Gladeville-area middle school project during last week’s work session.

Wilson County Deputy Director of Schools Mickey Hall presented renderings of the future middle school and highlighted possible alterations. The school will be built at 8275 Stewarts Ferry Pike in Gladeville.

Hall said the school would house sixth- through eighth-grade students with a capacity of about 1,500. He said the school would be a combination of several schools, but would resemble the new high schools, but on a smaller scale.

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright displays rendering of the future Gladeville-area middle school during Thursday’s Wilson County Budget Committee meeting. The county’s Budget and Education committees agreed to move forward with the issuance of bonds for the project.

Xavier Smith • Mt. Juliet News
Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright displays rendering of the future Gladeville-area middle school during Thursday’s Wilson County Budget Committee meeting. The county’s Budget and Education committees agreed to move forward with the issuance of bonds for the project.

He said one of the most notable differences from high school designs would be two spiral staircases in the school’s main hall, instead of just one near the school’s entrance and a hidden staircase further down the hallway. Hall said the change would ease some management issues, as well as lower the overall square footage.

“Basically, the way you see the building right now with three alternatives is about 186,000 square feet,” Hall said.

Hall said the Wilson County Commission’s decision to use 9 cents instead of the proposed 15 cents of this year’s property tax increase for the project influenced the decision to have alternate designs.

“If the whole building project comes in at a higher number than the 9 cents, it’s not because we missed it. It’s because we went from 15 cents down to 9 cents,” said Hall, who said alternative designs included the elimination of some classrooms, athletic facilities, club spaces and more.

Hall and the commissioners expressed the desire to make sure the Gladeville middle school students had access to the same facilities as other county middle schools.

Hall said the school would alleviate crowding issues at West Wilson and Mt. Juliet middle schools.

“If I had the building today, Mt. Juliet would go 1,136, West Wilson would go to 1,060 and Gladeville would be 988,” Hall said.

Hall said the goal is to turn over the plans to the design team and have the project out to bid in February with construction starting in May. Construction would last two years before school doors open.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said due to the Veterans Day holiday, the bond resolution would likely not appear before the full commission until December.

By Xavier Smith

xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com