University School Weekly Update

May 3-7, 2021

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Alumnus creates endowment to support University School

JOHNSON CITY – (April 29, 2021) An alumnus of University School and East Tennessee State University has announced the creation of an endowment to support his alma mater as one of the top K-12 schools in the state and nation.

The A. Richard Wilson University School Endowment will provide resources for University School to supplement public funds in support of capital improvements, technology upgrades and maintenance, staff and faculty professional development, and for scholarships for graduates attending ETSU.

Wilson credits the University School’s faculty with laying the foundation for his success in life and business. Keeping the University School among the top programs in the state and providing opportunities for faculty and students motivated him to establish this endowment.

“I went to school there along with my brothers and my sister, and the faculty at the University School when we were there were all just excellent. It was an incredibly special place to grow up and learn, and I want to make sure it stays that way well into the future,” Wilson said.

“I’m giving back to an institution that helped me become who I am, and it feels good knowing that it’s helping young people continue to succeed.”

Wilson, who resides in Houston, Texas, is a member of the University School Class of 1959 and graduated from ETSU in 1963. While a student at University School, he was a member of the baseball, basketball and track teams and was named “Best All-Around Athlete.” During his undergraduate career at ETSU, he played baseball, was president of the freshman class and was elected vice president and later president of the Student Government Association. Wilson was also active in a number of campus and community organizations.

He co-chaired the University Status Committee at the time the college achieved university status in 1963. That same year he received the Wall Street Journal Economics Award.

A member of the ROTC, Wilson served in the U.S. Army as captain and officer-in-charge (OIC) for the state of Mississippi from 1964-66 and was later accepted at Harvard Business School, graduating in 1969.

He served as Vice President for Alodex Corporation (Memphis) where he coordinated a planned $400 million commercial complex in Chicago. Wilson later co-founded a venture capital firm called New South Investment Company and was an initial investor of Federal Express Corporation.

Wilson was active in politics, serving as Chief Election Inspector for Memphis/Shelby County from 1972 until 1978 and serving as the campaign coordinator for Tennessee Congressman Bill Jenkins in 1996.

Upon moving to Houston, he became vice president of Harry R. Jones Company and later senior investment broker with the Home Company, where he developed procedures for marking large income-producing properties and has marketed some $1 billion in real estate during his time in Houston.

In 1988, Wilson created The Property Group, a real estate investment and development firm and currently serves as President and CEO. Between 2005-2020, he worked with corporations and investors to develop 1,500 apartment units and luxury condo units.

Wilson says he hopes his endowment will encourage other alumni to give back to the University School and ETSU.

“It’s important to give back,” he said. “It’s an investment in our legacy and East Tennessee’s future through the students who come through the University School and ETSU.”

For more information, contact Ben Weakley, director of development for Clemmer College, at or 423-439-7974.

New Fifth Grade Class & Elementary Teacher Placements

In preparation for the addition of our new fifth grade class, we have extended the application deadline for any current and incoming University School student who will have a sibling enrolling next school year and who has not already applied for admission for the 2021-2022 school year. We ask that all applications be submitted by Monday, May 3, 2021.

As we make preparations for the new class, the following teacher changes will also occur:

  • Kindergarten - Mrs. Howe
  • First Grade - TBD
  • Second Grade - Mrs. Doran
  • Third Grade - Dr. Barnett
  • Fourth Grade - Mrs. Lester
  • Fifth Grade - Mrs. Lowery & Mrs. Lamb

Students accepted for the new class will be notified this week to set up a time for the interview process to determine final admission.

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University School Foundation Updates

  1. We are still accepting corporate sponsors for our color splash Fun Run event May 20th.Please contact us as soon as possible if you would like to include your company's logo on our t-shirt and other promotional materials.
  2. Registration - Please register your child for our Fun Run. We are encouraging students to raise money digitally from family and friends. We will have prizes for our kiddos who raise at least $100 and a big prize for our top fundraiser. We also have prizes for anyone who registers. Registration is Free. Classes with the highest registration rate will also receive a special treat. Video showing how to register:
  3. Volunteers - we will need many parent and student volunteers for our upcoming event. you can sign up here:
  4. Spring President's letter (recap and more fun run info - see below).
  5. Teacher Appreciation Week - parents are not required to purchase anything this year. The Foundation is providing flowers, candy, fruit, lunch and breakfast. We do ask that your child draw a picture or write a thank-you note on Thursday and wear your teacher's favorite color on Friday.
  6. The Foundation is doing some Spring Cleaning! We are cleaning out the closet to get ready for new gear for next year. Now is your chance to score a bargain on all of your U School apparel gear! Quantities and supplies are limited (cash/check only).

Teacher Appreciation Week

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US Foundation President's Spring Letter

Dear University School Alumni and Parents,

My name is Christine Hutchinson and I have the honor of being the University School Foundation President for 2020 - 2021. A lot has changed since my letter in the Fall. One thing that has not changed, however, is the excellence of University School which has once again been named as one of the top schools in the region and the state of Tennessee by US News and World Report.

As many of you know, the Foundation typically holds multiple annual events including a fall festival, a spring gala, family engagement nights, and this year two Virtual Town Halls. The purpose of these events is to come together as a school community to support the students, teachers, and staff of University School.

While it is easy to see our Foundation in action by highlighting events like those above, it may be difficult to see the day-to-day impact that the Foundation has on University School and our children. I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of those items to help you understand the importance of your continued support.

Last Fall you all helped us raise approximately $10,000 from our Fall Mask Bash. Because of your generosity, the Foundation was able to support our school with the following needs:

  • Touchless Hand Sanitizing Stations
  • Upgrades to the Gym Facilities
  • COVID safe indoor activities for elementary students
  • Middle school STEM kits • Outdoor enhancements
  • Financial oversight for the athletic boosters
  • Teacher appreciation events
  • And so much more!

Like many charitable organizations, the Foundation has had to adapt to our changing environment. That meant that we were unable to hold as many fun family engagement events or other in person events this year. Even though University School has been mostly virtual this year, that did not stop our students from excelling. Our athletes have been named to All-State teams, our students have won spelling bees, science fairs, and math competitions at regional and state levels, and our teachers have presented their research at National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Annual Conference.

The Foundation believes that this excellence in the face of adversity deserves to be celebrated. In a year that has been anything but, we would like to end the year with a day of much deserved FUN! The Foundation is pleased to announce that we will be hosting the Blue & Gold fun run and end of school celebration. Our goal is to end the year on a high note and raise $5,000 in order to support the growing needs of our school.

Want to get involved? Volunteer, Become a Corporate Sponsor for the Blue & Gold Fun Run or Register your child for the run – it’s free (here’s how). We are encouraging our students to raise money digitally from family and friends. We have fun prizes available for our students who do register and raise money. Every little bit helps! You can also contribute your tax-deductible donation to University school directly on our fun run website . Parents, want to join us? We are looking for new Board Members and also have committee opportunities that do not require you attend any meetings. Your support and participation with this event will ensure that the Foundation continues to meet the needs of University School now and in the future.

University School is one of the premier schools in the state of Tennessee. Because of you, I know we can carry on this proud tradition. Thank you for your continuing support

With Gratitude,

Christine Hutchinson

Foundation President 2020-2021

Foundation Spirit Wear Fire Sale

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SWDC & AP Exams

University School will be administering the State-wide Dual Credit (SWDC) and Advanced Placement (AP) exams this week. All students should have received testing updates and information from their teachers regarding the logistics and times of the tests. Federal and State Law states that every student be administered the same State Board approved standardized tests required of public school students in accordance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 and T.C.A. § 49-1-602 pertaining to district and school accountability.

Please do not schedule appointments on testing days and encourage your child to do well on the tests and help them at home by doing the following:

  • Discuss the tests with your child. Talking about the tests will help ease your child’s worries and show him/her that you are interested.

  • Make sure your child goes to bed early and gets plenty of rest. Students’ minds and bodies need to be ready for a full day of trying their best.

  • Make sure your child eats a good breakfast. It is difficult for students to think and do their best if their stomach is empty.

  • Arrive at school on time. Being late may cause your child to feel rushed and nervous. Arriving on time will help your child feel relaxed and ready to do his/her best.

  • Send your child to school with words of encouragement. Hearing, “You can do it!” or “I have confidence in you!” from you means a lot to your child.

UH Lady Bucs Basketball Fundraiser

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Printable Flyer

Support our UH Lady Bucs Basketball team by coming out on Tuesday, May4th, from 10:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., to Petro's. Enjoy some great food while supporting a great group of athletes.

Note! You must present the flyer for our team to get 30% of sales.
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Premiered on Friday, April 30th, at 7:00 p.m.

The link to Bucs Rock! a Music and Dance Showcase is

This was a collaboration between ETSU Theater and Dance and our K-5 students. They danced on the front lawn and were videoed. Cannot wait to see our talented Jr. Bucs (Must admit, peeked out the window while they were performing! Absolutely wonderful)


Dear University School Seniors and families,

As we are getting close to the end of the year, we would like to highlight all of our 2020 graduates by doing a Senior Spotlight each day during the month of May. In order to do this, we need a little assistance from each of graduating students. Each day 2-3 of you will be recognized on our webpage and social media sites. Please send Mrs. Erwin (our Webmaster) the information below:

  • Name (first and last):
  • College or Career Path Plans:
  • Favorite University School Moment:
  • A photo of you (please make sure that if it was taken by a professional photographer that you have permission for us to post it online and via social media platforms)

Please send the photo and the information to Mrs. Erwin:

Teacher Spotlights

On Friday, April 23rd, 2021, Ms. Amanda Milhorn and Ms. Lisa Reis presented for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Annual Conference. Their presentation was titled "Speaking, Reading, and Writing about Math."

The presentation focused on the NCTM Process Standard, Communication, the importance for all learners to be able to speak, read, and write about mathematics. The Burst session provided strategies for teaching math vocabulary, for reading and understanding word problems, and for articulating math ideas (verbally and written).

Cheer Tryouts for 2021-2022 School Year

Cheer tryout clinics will be held on May 11th 12th, and 18th from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Any rising 9th -12th grader wishing to tryout for the cheer squad will need to attend the clinics in order to learn the cheer, chant, and dance that will be required for tryouts. Attendance during clinics is required in order to try out.

Tryouts will be held on Wednesday May 19th at 3:30pm.

Physical Forms, cardiac arrest forms and concussion forms must be up to date before attending clinics.

Any questions, please contact Pam Baines at

Quarter 4 Operational Calendar

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Weekly Calendar of Events & Activities

Monday 5/3/21

Tennis rescheduled due to weather

Tuesday 5/4/21

High School Soccer vs. Chuckey-Doak @ Winged Deer 7:00

High School Baseball vs Elizabethton @ Twins Field 5:00

High School Softball – Away @ Sullivan South 5:00

Middle School Baseball – Home - Conference Tournament vs. TBD @ Indian Trail 4:30

Tennis (Co-Op; Rain Delay Makeup) @ Sullivan South 3:30

Wednesday 5/5/21

High School Baseball – Home vs Providence @ Broyles 5:00

Tennis (Co-Op with Unicoi) @ TN High 3:30

Thursday 5/6/21

High School Soccer – vs. Sullivan South @ Winged Deer 7:00

Tennis (Co-Op with Unicoi) @ Volunteer 3:30

Friday 5/7/21

Track – Times-News Relays @ Dobyns-Bennett TBD

Saturday 5/8/21

Track – Times-News Relays @ Dobyns-Bennett TBD

Middle School Baseball - Sectional Tournament vs. TBD @ Ridgeview TBD

High School Baseball – District Tournament vs. Sullivan North @ David Crockett 3:30

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