published Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Reporter's Notebook: Interview reveals lighter side of Weston Wamp


by Chris Carroll

by Cliff Hightower
Weston Wamp
Contributed photo
Weston Wamp Contributed photo
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Girlfriends, burgers and Coldplay were among the topics local alternative weekly The Pulse posed to Chattanooga's youngest-ever congressional candidate last week.

Weston Wamp, 24, is the Republican son of eight-term congressman Zach Wamp and is challenging his father's successor, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.

After some political questions, an anonymous Pulse interviewer said: "Several females in our office think you're, well, hot, and are inclined to vote for you based solely on your dimples and hard body. Do you have a serious girlfriend or are you playing the field?"

"That's flattering, but I'm realizing that running for Congress doesn't leave a lot of time for a personal life," Wamp responded.

Then came this: "The McRib: Pork waste on a bun or saucy riblets of seasonal McGoodness?"

"I'll go with a Big Mac," Wamp said.

Later, the interviewer brought up the ever-polarizing band Coldplay.

"I drive a Ford F-150, you think I listen to Coldplay?" Wamp said.

CAN SHE SING?

The City Council was prepared to see a presentation Tuesday about the city's new health and wellness center.

But there was a snag. For several minutes, council analyst Randy Burns could not get the presentation running.

Councilman Peter Murphy offered up a joke.

"This is supposed to be the musical portion of the program where someone sings," he said, "but unfortunately Mrs. Ladd would not sing."

Pam Ladd immediately quipped back.

"Just because I'm the fat lady doesn't mean I can sing," she said.

TEACHER RECOGNITION

Ten Hamilton County teachers received the rigorous National Board Certification in December, bringing the number of local teachers with the designation to 32.

The certification is awarded by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and is the highest credential in the teaching profession. The voluntary process includes a performance-based assessment that can take between one and three years. Teachers are tested on subject knowledge and submit a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, recordings and an analysis of classroom teaching.

Teachers with the certification receive an extra $4,000 annually, per the district's current teacher contract.

The 10 local teachers achieving certification were: Brinn Dalton, Hixson High School; Karen Fogo, Normal Park Museum Magnet Upper School; Jennifer Greever, Normal Park Museum Magnet Upper School; Autumn Hart, Lookout Mountain Elementary; Steven Hinkle, Big Ridge Elementary; Tammy Johnson, McConnell Elementary; Virginia Kidd, Hixson High School; Charity Langley, Apison Elementary; Tara Tharp, Signal Mountain Middle/High School; Jeana Turner, central office.

School board panel to discuss rezoning, building

The facilities committee of the Hamilton County Board of Education will meet at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the school district's service center at 2501 Dodds Ave.

Board and committee Chairman Mike Evatt said the body will discuss rezoning and future building projects.

The full school board meets Thursday in a regular session at 5:30 p.m. at the district's central office, 3074 Hickory Valley Road.

about Kevin Hardy...

Kevin rejoined the Times Free Press in August 2011 as the Southeast Tennessee K-12 education reporter. He worked as an intern in 2009, covering the communities of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Collegedale and Lookout Mountain, Tenn. A native Kansan, Kevin graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism and sociology from the University of Kansas. After graduating, he worked as an education reporter in Hutchinson, Kan., for a year before coming back to Chattanooga. Honors include a ...

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