University School Weekly Update

August 1-7 , 2021

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Greetings University School families, please review the following updates for the upcoming week:

Safety Protocol Updates

As case numbers in the region continue to change, we ask that all students, staff and visitors to our school, please following the COVID safety protocols below:

  • ETSU and University School no longer requires fully vaccinated individuals to wear face coverings on campus. Anyone who has not been vaccinated is strongly encouraged to wear a mask when indoors and in close proximity of others.
  • Physical distancing should be observed to the greatest extent possible.
  • Additional sanitizing will take place daily.
  • Individual sanitizing wipes will be provided for cleaning student work areas.
  • Hand sanitizing and regular handwashing is strongly encouraged.
  • Individuals exhibiting COVID-like symptoms should remain home until cleared to return to school (following current return-to-school algorithm).
  • Anyone who has a fever >100.4, new cough, difficulty breathing or loss of taste or smell, must have a COVID test before returning to school.
  • Anyone having two of the following symptoms, must also have a COVID test before returning to school: chills, congestion/runny nose, sore throat, headache, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and fatigue. This also applies to those who are COVID vaccinated. Regardless of their symptoms or any testing performed, they must be fever-free and symptoms improving for 24 hours prior to return to school.

Please note that the TN Department of Health Return-to-School Algorithm will continue to be followed by the school for the 2021--2022 school year. If there are any updates or revisions made throughout the year, the most current plan will be shared with our families.

Welcome, Dr. Hunter Mullins - Band and General Music Director

We are pleased to welcome our new K-4 General Music and 5-12 Band Director, Dr. Hunter Mullins to the University School family. Hunter Mullins is an active public educator, performer, studio teacher. He was most recently the band director at John Sevier Middle School in Kingsport from 2009-2021. Dr. Mullins earned a Bachelor of Music from East Tennessee State University in 2008, receiving the Frank E. Little award for academic excellence. He went on to obtain a Master of Education in 2009 from Milligan College. Hunter recently defended his dissertation in the area educational leadership at East Tennessee State University.

Dr. Mullins has been an adjunct music faculty member at Milligan University since 2017. His duties at the school include teaching the brass studio, brass methods, and world music. Additionally, Hunter’s growing experience has led to him being sought out as a clinician and festival adjudicator. He served as the clinician for the Smyth County, VA, middle school honor band in 2018 and stage judge for the Virginia District VII concert festival in 2019. Hunter is currently scheduled to be a middle school clinician for the Virginia District VII honor band in 2022.

Other awards accredited to Dr. Mullins include the “Outstanding Teacher Award” from the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts in 2012 and 2014, and the Rosemary Smith “Touching Lives” Remembrance Award in 2019 for the Sevier staff member causing the greatest impact upon students throughout middle school. All of these awards were student nominated and selected.

Performance and studio teaching are high priorities for Hunter. His private studio has produced many all-state players and college scholarship recipients on trombone, euphonium, and tuba. Dr. Mullins has been the 2nd trombonist with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra since 2004 and he regularly performs with a number of other regional ensembles including the Symphony of the Mountains, the Jonesborough Rhythm Express, and various stage bands such as the Benny Wilson Band. Hunter performed as a guest artist at the Tennessee Music Education Association state conference in 2016. Dr. Mullins has been Kingsport’s TubaChristmas coordinator since 2013 as well. His primary teachers include Bill Medearis, Jimmie Self, and David Bubsey. He also studied with Don Hough, Dale Warren, and Brad Kerns. Hunter and his wife, Leslie, have four young daughters, Chloe, Clara, Chyler, and Coda.

Online Free & Reduced Lunch Applications

Currently breakfast and lunch is being provided free of charge (exception would be a-la-carte items) for all students; however, we are asking any family that may qualify to complete the free and reduced lunch application. Below is a link to the Washington County School Food & Nutrition Department. Applications are available in English and Spanish and the funding for the program is driven by qualifying applications.

Senior College Fair

On September 2, our seniors will have the opportunity to go to the Tri-Cities College Fair at Freedom Hall Civic Center where there will be the opportunity to visit with up to 40 colleges, military recruiters, and a few employers. Cost of the trip is $3 payable in the Counseling Office.

Permission Forms for both trips can be found on the Class 2022 Counseling Canvas page.

More details about the College Fair coming soon!

Morning Mile

Morning Mile started on Thursday July 29th, 2021, from 7:30 to 7:50 a.m. It will be every Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Students can come to the outside track any time between 7:30 and 7:50 a.m. Start your day off with some exercise.

What is The Morning Mile?

To aide in the fitness and health of our students, University School is participating with the Morning Mile Program to get kids up and moving before school. Staff, students and their parents are encouraged to run or walk from 7:30-7:50 on the side yard of the school. Come join us Tuesdays and Thursdays. This event also takes place only on days that the weather permits.

Club Levels/personal goal settings are calculated from achievements or miles walked/ran between the 7:30 - 7:50 a.m. time frame, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, when University School faculty/staff are present to supervise and count. Club levels are posted on the Morning Mile Webpage.

Parents are welcome to come help with lap counts (marks). Several volunteers are needed!

High School Club Expo

Our annual club expo is scheduled for noon-1:00 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5th (during lunch & study hall). High School students will not report to study hall that day, instead they will have an hour to mingle and check out information on Clubs. Tables will be set up on the front lawn for available clubs.

Please note that there are new Club & Organization Application forms on the website club page and in the office if a student would like to start a new club; applications must be signed by and turned in to Dr. Partin. Also, all clubs must have a faculty/staff sponsor.

Sign up and get involved!

Save the Date(s)

Parent Teacher Conferences - Scheduled for Friday, August 13th

No School - Friday, August 20th (Teacher In-service Day)

Fall Festival - Friday, October 15th

No School - Friday, October 22nd (Teacher Professional Development Day)

Responsible Use Form - All Grades Please Complete

All University School Students are required to complete a Responsible Use Agreement, please review and complete the appropriate Responsible Use Agreement Form for each U-School student attending during the 2021-2022 school year.

K-5 User Agreement

6-12 User Agreement

Family Literacy Nights & Other Opportunities for Tennessee Families

Spread the Word: Free Decodables for Families:

Parents of K–2 students, don’t forget to order your free, decodable books! As you’ll learn in the family literacy nights, these books are designed to help children sound out words and build their reading skills.

To date, more than 45,000 Tennessee families have ordered these free decodables, and we want them to reach all families!

Tune Into Teaching Tennessee

This summer, PBS stations across Tennessee are airing professionally developed content for children based on our materials, to support summer learning.

Family Literacy Nights:

  • Focus on the Future: Supporting Your Child’s Reading Success
    • Hosted by The Salvation Army
    • Thursday, July 15 @ 6:00 PM CT | REGISTER HERE
  • The Keys to Research-Aligned Reading Instruction
    • Hosted by the Tennessee Branch of the International Dyslexia Association
    • Thursday, July 29 @ 7:00 PM CT | REGISTER HERE

A special thank you to these community leaders for hosting family literacy nights. I’m inspired to see the collective, statewide passion for supporting children’s literacy and empowering families.

Giving Back Opportunities

Want to Give Back to University School?

The University School Foundation would like to let you know some EASY ways your family can raise money for our amazing students, teachers, and school!

Amazon Smile

  • Support University School of Johnson City and Washington County
  • When making Amazon purchases, please LOG IN through Amazon Smile first: Amazon will DONATE 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchase to the charitable organization of your choice. Underneath the price it will say “Eligible for amazonsmile donation.” When you check out you will see “Supporting: University School of Johnson City and Washington County.”

Box Tops (new easy app!)

  • If you visit you will find a bunch of excellent information on how to help raise funds for our school.
  • You can download the Box Tops for Education App (apple store and google play).
  • This will allow you to scan your receipts.
  • It will find participating products and INSTANTLY add Box Tops to our School’s earnings!
  • Download App: Enter email, create password, agree to terms; Search school but using JOHNSON CITY, TN and choose University School; Start Scanning!

Office Depot

  • Office Depot offers credits equal to 5% of the total purchase on qualifying purchases so that the school can earn credits for free supplies!
  • All you need is the University School ID: 70092925 at check out (online or in stores)


  • Kroger offers the Kroger Community Rewards program, which donates annually to participating organizations based on the percentage of spending as it relates to the total spending associated with all participating Kroger Community Rewards organizations
  • Visit
  • Once logged into their Kroger account; search for University School Foundation either by name or XT962
  • Click Enroll.
  • If you do not have a Kroger Card, you will need to create an account which requires some basic information to get a Kroger rewards card.

Food City

  • Food City offers “School Bucks” and at the end of every year they will donate a percentage of the amount spent by University School shoppers.
  • Starting after 8/3 (once all Washington Co. schools start), when you use your Food City Card at check out, you’ll just need to state that you want your card/donations to go to University School.
  • This only needs to be done one time, and from then on your card will be associated with University School.
  • No form, registration, or code
  • If you do not have a Food City card, you will need to create an account which requires some basic information to get a Food City rewards card.



  • Publix offers “Publix Partners” and at the end of every quarter they will donate a percentage of the amount spent by University School shoppers.
  • Sign up for Club Publix. Then log into your account and select University School in your account settings. Then simply enter your phone number at checkout.
  • This only needs to be done one time, and from then on your card will be associated with University School.
  • Based on a minimum of $250 per quarter, University School will receive a check. If University School doesn’t earn $250 in a quarter, any funds accrued will be carried over to the next quarter.
  • If you are not a member of Club Publix, you can join at the following link:

Student Athlete Information

All students who plan on participating in athletics must have a current physical, concussion, and cardiac arrest forms on file with the school before they can participate in University School athletic programs. These forms can be found on the University School sports page or picked up in the office.

University High Golf Team Tryouts

Open to all high school students: UH golf team will be holding tryouts August 3rd and 5th from 3:30-5:30 at Pine Oaks Golf Course. Students must have a current physical, SCA and concussion forms on file with the school office in order to participate (forms available on Athletics Webpage). Please note that golfers must provide their own clubs and transportation to-and-from all matches and practices. See or email Coach Penley ( with any questions.


Cheer Clinics will be held in the University School Gym

August 2nd and 3rd

From 5:30pm to 7pm

Tryouts will be on August 4th at 5:30pm

Attendance at the clinics will be required. Students must have a physical, cardiac, and concussion forms on file before attending.

Any questions, please contact Pam Baines at

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University School Cheerleaders will host a fundraiser, Pizza Plus Spirit Night, on Tuesday, August 10th, 2021, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., at Pizza Plus, in Jonesborough, TN.

Our cheerleaders will be working the event by bringing drinks and clearing plates for tips plus 10% of sales. Come out for some great food and support those who cheer our athletes on! Go, Bucs, Go! Pizza! Pizza!

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The University High Boy's Basketball Golf Fundraiser will be Saturday, August 14th, 2021, at Pine Oaks Golf Course in Johnson City, TN. Start time is 8:00 a.m. Registration 8:30 a.m. Shot-Gun Start. The cost is $200 per team of 4 ($50 per player). Tournament will be flighted after completion of round. Each team will be able to purchase 1 mulligan per player (4 per team $20). East team will be allowed to purchase 4 red tees for $20 per team ($5 per player). Putting contest is $5 for 3 putts. Prizes will be awarded for each flight winner and putting contest winner. Food will be available for purchase.
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University School Apparel Sale

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Welcome University School Families! Please check out the University School Foundation Back-to-School sale items by clicking on the link below:

You'll find a great selection of Nike, North Face, and Arctic apparel, water bottles and tumblers, ball caps, backpacks, and car magnets. All sales will be available for pickup at school (pickup dates vary based upon order date) and benefit the University School Foundation which supports faculty and students. These are great items to show your school spirit or to stash away for gifts for special events throughout the year.

If you have any questions, please contact Stacey Wild via email at or via text at 423-943-7791. Show your school spirit, and thanks for your support!

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