University School Weekly Update

January 3-9, 2022

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Happy New Year and Welcome back to all of our University School families! We hope everyone was able to enjoy the holiday break and are looking forward to wonderful 2022! As we prepare for the students to return, we ask that you please review the following information for the coming week:

Monday, January 3rd is a Teacher In-service Day - Students return on Tuesday, January 4th

University School Students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 20, 2021) – Three University School students have been officially recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). Two of the students, Lillian Elder and Zoe Trainor, have been named Commended Students in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. The third student, Shazib Siddiqui, has been named as a Semifinalist.

Roughly 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their academic promise. Although they will not continue to the 2022 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2022 competition by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“I was happy to hear that I am a Commended Student,” said Elder. “My mother is a psychologist who dedicates her time to helping others, and I really look up to her. In the future, I hope to double major in sociology and computer science. I would love to be a librarian.”

“It's exciting knowing I got so far in the process,” said Trainor. “I'm very interested in psychology and anthropology. I would love to become a therapist, or otherwise engage in serving my community, but I’m taking time to figure out what it is I’m most passionate about.”

Shazib Siddiqui

Recognized as a Semifinalist by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Approximately 16,000 students throughout the nation have been named as Semifinalists. These exceptionally academically talented high school seniors have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million. About 95% of Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will receive a National Merit Scholarship, earning the coveted Merit Scholar® title.

“Being a Semifinalist was not something I was expecting,” said Siddiqui. “It's amazing. I look up to my family, and am working on following in their footsteps. I’m considering a career in medicine, maybe microbiology and chemistry. The most important thing to me is that I am able to help people.”

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

For more information about the National Merit Scholarship, visit

For more information about University School students that applied to the National Merit Scholarship Program, contact Aleeta Shaw at or 423-439-6939.

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This year's homecoming game is scheduled for Friday, January 7th, 2022, at Brooks Gymnasium.

Activities for the day and week will include:

  • Homecoming Court as well as King & Queen will be recognized between the varsity girls & varsity boys games (around 7:30 PM)
  • Pep rally for current students, 2:05pm-2:55pm in Brooks Gym

Spirit week will take place January 4-7th as follows:

  • Mon – no school
  • Tues – Superhero Day
  • Wed - Alien Day/Out of this World
  • Thurs – Pajama Day
  • Fri – Show Your School Spirit/Buccaneer/ Blue & Gold Day

Please reach out to Coach Penley with any questions! Go Bucs!

Inclement Weather & Emergency Closure Policy

As we prepare for the changing of the seasons, we ask that our families please review our inclement weather policy. Although we have a partnership with Washington County Schools, we do want to remind our families that we follow a different calendar and inclement weather and emergency closure policy, so please be sure to review the information below:

Inclement Weather & Emergency Closure Policy:

When there is inclement weather:

  • University School will close if Johnson City Schools close for inclement weather.
  • University School will also close for inclement weather if ETSU closes.
  • University School will close if there is need due to an emergency at the school.

We will not make an announcement through the news media due to the fact that saying University School will be closed is confusing to ETSU students. Instead we ask that our students and parents/guardians be aware of the reasons for closure stated above and refer to the University School website and social media sites for updated announcements.

We are aware some students live in areas where the weather may be worse than it is in town. Therefore, if University School is open but road conditions between your home and the school are dangerous, we ask that you please do not put yourself at risk by attempting to drive to school. If this were to occur, please call the school office and inform us of your circumstances. On inclement weather days when Johnson City Schools are not regularly scheduled, announcements will be made through our normal email distribution, website, and social media outlets.

Click here for Link to Johnson City School System Home Page

University School Application Process

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Applications for new students are being accepted beginning January 1st and must be received by February 28th to be included in the lottery for the school year beginning in July.

Kindergarteners must be 5yrs of age by August 15th to apply. Please see Admissions Policy for more information.

Click here to Complete Online Application

Note: It is recommended that you save a copy of the completed application for future reference. Please note that your electronic submission of this form will give us an electronic signature which indicates your acceptance of all terms and conditions of application.

Student Extended Learning Opportunities

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.

Math & Science Help Club

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 the library.

Senior Announcements

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

Weekly Calendar of Events

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

January 3 No School - Faculty In-Service
January 4 First School Day after Winter Break
January 4 Spirit Week, Superhero Day
January 4 HS Girls, Boys Basketball, @Davy Crockett, 5:00,6:30,8:00
January 5 Spirit Week, Alien Day/Out of this World
January 5 Bible Study Club, Warf-Pickel Hall Room 127, 3:15-4:00 p.m.
January 5 Key Club, Room 011, 3:05-3:30 p.m.
January 6 Spirit Week, Pajama Day
January 6 Spelling Bee, Library, 9:00-12:00
January 6 Chick Chat Club, Room 010, 3:15-4:15 p.m.
January 6 College Ready Club, Library, 3:00 p.m.
January 6 Math Help Club, Library, 3:15-4:30 p.m.
January 6 MS Girls, Boys Basketball, @North Greene, 6:00,7:00
January 7 Spirit Week, Blue and Gold Day
January 7 Spirit Week, Pep Rally, 2:05 - 2:55 p.m.
January 7 Homecoming, Training School Night, Brooks Gymnasium

Court Presentation, Approximately 7:30 p.m.
HS Girls, Boys Basketball
, vs Unaka, 5:00,6:30,8:00

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