University School Weekly Update

December 5-11, 2021

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We hope everyone was able to enjoy the weekend break! As we prepare for the week ahead, we ask that you please review the information below:
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The University School Holiday Concert will be on Tuesday, December 7th, 2021, at 6:30 p.m., in the ETSU Martin Center for the Arts. This will be a combined concert beginning with the Middle and High School Bands, followed by the Choir and Guitar performances. Come out and enjoy a delightful evening of wonderful music!

Note: This is a location change from the original announcement. Parking and direction information to the ETS Martin Center for the Arts may be found by clicking HERE.

Information Regarding Mask Requirement

In an effort to be in compliance with the Tennessee state law, ETSU released updated information this past week regarding the university's mask requirement. Effective immediately, all mask requirements have been lifted on campus for all students, staff and visitors. While no longer required, we do want to encourage our school community members to continue to be mindful of the unique health situations of others and to maintain healthy safety protocols and precautions when visiting campus.
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HOMECOMING Scheduled for January 7, 2022

This year's homecoming game is scheduled for Friday, January 7th at Brooks Gymnasium. Information for spirit week, which will take place January 4-7th, will be posted and announced at school this week; please be sure to make note of the date and be on the lookout for additional information as it is released.

Student Spotlight

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Elementary School Honoree – Carson Stevenson

Carson is a wonderful kid! He is kind to everyone he meets and goes the extra mile to help out a friend. He notices when a classmate needs help and is always willing to step in and help them out. He is a good friend to all. He works hard everyday and doesn't give up!

Getting to know Carson Stevenson:

  • If you had to work when you graduated high school but you didn’t need the money, what would you choose to do? “I would try to be a baseball player because it is fun.”

  • You can either leave your hometown forever or never leave your hometown. Which do you choose? “Stay. I love my hometown.”

  • Think about your favorite teacher you’ve had so far. What are the characteristics of this teacher? “Nice and funny.”

“Carson is a joy to have in class. He is funny, kind, and a leader in the classroom!” said Mrs. Lester, Carson’s fourth-grade teacher. "He is always willing to help a classmate in need. He has a great personality and wants to make sure everyone feels included! He loves to learn and works hard at any task that comes his way.”

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Middle School Honoree – Felix Duncan

Felix is an 8th grader at University School. He is an excellent student. Felix is also a leader in his sport of Cross Country; always is willing to help out. He has run back after he completed a race to encourage someone still trying to finish. This kindness and consideration for others is a hallmark of Felix. During the Fall Festival, he stayed at a slide to help supervise because he was worried about the little ones getting 'squashed'. Felix is someone that I am privileged enough to have taught, and I cannot wait to see where the world takes him.

Getting to know Felix Duncan:

  • If you had to work when you graduated high school but you didn’t need the money, what would you choose to do? “If I had to work after high school but I didn't need the money, I would probably work at an animal shelter. They are always understaffed and overcrowded and everyone there could use some help.”

  • You can either leave your hometown forever or never leave your hometown. Which do you choose? “I would leave my hometown forever because if I could never leave my hometown, I would be at a disconnect with the world around me. I wouldn't be able to see anything except the things I already know, understand, and have explored.”

  • Think about your favorite teacher you’ve had so far. What are the characteristics of this teacher? “My favorite teachers are not extraordinarily nitpicky about details but have core values that they hold on to. I appreciate teachers who are invested in their work.”

"Felix is a leader in the class and on the course,” said Mrs. Ledbetter, sixth-grade teacher and MS Cross Country coach. “He is steadfast and caring, which are two awesome traits!"

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High School Honoree – Cielo Cox

A UH senior, Cielo was nominated because she has taken the initiative to lead the Green Club in getting started and organized this year. Over fall break, the Green Club planted a fall garden in the club raised bed behind the school.

Getting to know Cielo Cox:

  • If you had to work when you graduated high school but you didn’t need the money, what would you choose to do? “I would love to be a lawyer and do pro bono work for those who need it.”

  • You can either leave your hometown forever or never leave your hometown. Which do you choose? “Definitely leave forever. I want to go out and explore new things.”

  • Think about your favorite teacher you’ve had so far. What are the characteristics of this teacher? “Teachers who have empathy and are able to give students a safe space.”

“Cielo is a kind and thoughtful leader and well respected by her peers,” said Theater and Music teacher and Green Club Faculty Sponsor Allyson Ross.

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Congratulations to UH Cross-Country and Track student-athlete Isabelle Johnson for signing to continue her academic and athletic career at Tusculum University.

Isabelle has been a standout runner throughout her high school career, consistently qualifying for the Tennessee State Championships in both cross country and track & field, having multiple podium-finishes during her time at University School. She is a four-time State Championship qualifier in cross country and a two-time State Championship qualifier in track & field. In addition, Isabelle won the 2019 Region 1 Small School Championship. “Isabelle gives her all at every race,” said University School Cross-Country Coach Kim Summey. “I am proud of her efforts and excited to see her accomplishments as she continues her running career at the next level.”

Staff Spotlight

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University School is excited to welcome Mr. Jarad Turpen as a part-time K-8 Counselor. Mr. Turpen will also continue his role as our Niswonger CARE Advisor.

Welcome to the Buc Family, Mr. Turpen!

2022 PAEMST Awards Nominations Open

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K–12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching.

Anyone—principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public—may nominate exceptional STEM teachers who are currently teaching grades K-6 for the 2022 award year. Teachers may also apply directly here.

Presidential Awardees receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States; a trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities; and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. They also join a network of award-winning teachers from across the country. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on the behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The nomination deadline is January 7, 2022, and the application deadline is February 6, 2022 for elementary teachers (grades K-6). Secondary teachers (grades 7-12) will be eligible to apply during a future cycle.

With questions, please contact Tennessee PAEMST coordinator, Janelle Brown.

University School Foundation Meeting

The University School Foundation meets on the first Monday of each month during the school year. This year's meetings have an in-person or remote attendance option for those interested in attending. The December meeting will take place this Monday, December 6th at 3:30 in Rm. 118 (Dr. Barnett's room) or you may attend via Zoom (see information below).

University School Foundation Meeting

Time: Dec 6, 2021 03:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada). Recurring every month on the First Monday

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 926 6785 8546

Passcode: 355443

Yearbook Pictures Needed

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The yearbook staff needs your help. We need pictures of the following:

  • Outside activities (hobbies or family outings)
  • Students with their pets
  • Vacation photos (from this summer till now)
  • Out of school sports participation
  • Holiday activities
  • Sibling pictures (of those who attend US)

If you could email them to me at If you have any questions, please let me know.

Signing Up for Publix Partners

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1. Go to

2. Click on “Club Publix”.

3. - If you don’t have an account – Fill in the required information and click “Join Now”. - If you have an account – Click “Log In”.

4. Click on your name (top right corner) to take you to your profile.

5. On the far-right side of the tool bar, click on “My Publix Partner”.

Note: You must have selected a store and provided an address for this option to appear.

6. Enter your schools name, city or zip code in the search field.

Free Workshops and Classes to Support ACT Readiness and Postsecondary Success

Nashville, TN—Today, the Tennessee Department of Education and University of Tennessee at Martin (UT Martin) announced all Tennessee high school students and teachers have access to free, virtual workshops, office hours, and classes on how to succeed on the ACT, one of the most important college entrance exams offered to high school students across the country.

The ACT is a comprehensive college entrance exam covering a wide range of subjects that assess students' mathematical skills, grammar usage, and reading comprehension.

Beginning this summer, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education, UT Martin is providing the ACT Success Tactics Workshops and Mastery Classes for free via Zoom to all Tennessee high school teachers and students, designed for rising 11th and 12th graders, to gain knowledge and skills to prepare for and be successful on the ACT.

“We are excited to partner with UT Martin to focus on ACT readiness and college and career success for all Tennessee high school students,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “These workshops and classes are tremendous free resources that will help better prepare our students for postsecondary success while equipping our teachers with tools for focused classroom instruction on college readiness and career pathways.”

Beginning June 1 and continuing through the fall of 2022, the series of workshops, office hours, and classes are being held via Zoom for free and accessible here to register.

For all Tennessee high school students:

  • The ACT Success Tactics Workshop is designed to help students develop new strategies for how to manage exam questions, receive a detailed plan for practice opportunities to improve performance, learn crucial time-saving tips, and familiarize themselves more generally with higher education.
  • The virtual office hours are offered in 1-hour increments and provide students with the opportunity to do a deeper dive into areas where additional assistance is needed.
  • The ACT Mastery Classes are available upon completion of the Success Tactics Workshop for a deeper dive into a certain section of the exam where additional assistance is needed.

Senior Yearbook Ads

Dear Parents of UH Seniors,

The University School Yearbook Staff is preparing for the 2021/2022 yearbook. If you would like to purchase a Senior Ad, you can do so now. This is a chance to congratulate the seniors; if you are not familiar with the tradition of Senior Ads, you need only look as far as any Buccaneer yearbook.

A journalism student will create your ad, then we will allow you a chance to proof it and make any changes you wish. On your contract, you may indicate a color scheme for the ad, and we will try to incorporate it. You may submit anywhere from 7 to 20 pictures but be mindful that we are not always able to fit them all on a page. You may also create your own senior’s ad. It must be in a jpeg format (at least a 300 resolution).

If you are interested in purchasing space in this year’s yearbook, please complete the attached contract as well as submit payment, pictures, and a message by March 4, 2022. After that date, we will not accept any more senior ads.

This year, we have two ways to pay for your child’s senior ad. We will accept cash or checks made out to University School, or you may pay through the online yearbook payment system on the school website. It is located on the main school page in the University School Payment System box. You indicate the size of senior ad you wish to purchase and complete the process. The direct link is:

The staff is looking forward to working with you and creating wonderful ads for you to enjoy! If you have any questions of problems, please let us know! My email address is and the school’s phone number is 423.439.4333


Evelyn Hammonds

Yearbook Advisor

Math & Science Tutoring Available

If you need help with math or science in high school or middle school, there is a new Science and Math Help Club. The meetings are on Mondays and Thursdays from 3:15 - 5:00 p.m., in Learning Cottage 2 (Mrs. Sim's room).

Weekly Calendar of Events

View Events for Entire School Year | Printable Calendar: This Year or Next Year | Schedule Change Policy


December 6 Math Help Club, Library, 3:15-4:30 p.m.
December 6 MS Girls, Boys Basketball, @Hunter, 5:00,6:00,7:00

December 7 MS and HS Band and Choral Concert, ETSU Martin Center @ 6:30 PM
December 7 HS Girls, Boys Basketball, vs KACHEA, 5:00,6:30,8:00
December 8 Bible Study Club, Warf-Pickel Hall Room 127, 3:15-4:00 p.m.
December 8 Green Club, Room 010, 3:15-4:15 p.m.
December 8 Chess and Gaming Clubs, Room 214, 3:00 p.m.
December 9 JAM - Junior Appalachian Musicians, 3:15-4:30 p.m.
December 9 Chick Chat Club, Room 010, 3:15-4:15 p.m.
December 9 College Ready Club, Library, 3:00 p.m.
December 9 Math Help Club, Library, 3:15-4:30 p.m.
December 9 MS Girls, Boys Basketball, vs Cloudland, 5:00,6:00,7:00
December 9 HS Girls, Boys Basketball, @North Greene, 5:00,6:30,8:00
December 10 Half Day of School - 11:30 a.m. Early Dismissal
BREAK December 11 - January 3 No School - Winter Break
BREAK December 13 No School - Administrative Day
BREAK December 13 MS Girls, Boys Basketball, @Little Milligan, 6:00,7:00
BREAK December 14 HS Girls, Boys Basketball, vs Chuckey Doak, 5:00,6:30,8:00
BREAK December 16 MS Girls, Boys Basketball, vs Keenburg, 6:00,7:00
BREAK December 17 MS Boys Basketball Tournament (JBMS) V Boys
BREAK December 17 HS Girls, Boys Basketball, vs Happy Valley, 5:00,6:30,8:00

BREAK December 18 HS Girls, Boys Basketball, vs Jellico, 3:00,4:30,6:00
BREAK December 18 MS Boys Basketball Tournament (JBMS) V Boys
BREAK December 19 MS Boys Basketball Tournament (JBMS) V Boys
BREAK December 20 MS Boys Basketball Tournament (JBMS) V Boys
BREAK December 21 MS Boys Basketball Tournament (JBMS) V Boys
BREAK December 22 MS Boys Basketball Tournament (JBMS) V Boys
BREAK December 23 MS Boys Basketball Tournament (JBMS) V Boys
BREAK December 27 HS Girls, Boys Basketball, Charleston Tournament (varsity only)
BREAK December 28 HS Girls, Boys Basketball, Charleston Tournament (varsity only)
BREAK December 29 HS Girls, Boys Basketball, Charleston Tournament (varsity only)
BREAK December 30 HS Girls, Boys Basketball, Charleston Tournament (varsity only)


BREAK January 3 No School - Faculty In-Service
January 4 First School Day after Winter Break

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