Deborah Smith, principal at Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts, wins national arts award
Deborah Smith, principal at Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts, received the Jeffrey Lawrence Award from the Arts Schools Network during its annual conference in New York City.
The Lawrence Award is named for the former head of the Professional Children's School in New York and is presented to the head of an ASN member school who exemplifies excellence in arts education and training. During Smith's 13-year tenure, she has helped transform CCA from "a fledgling magnet school to a school of distinction. As a result of her efforts, the school has received national recognition for academic and artistic excellence," ASN said in a news release.
Smith's honor was one of 10 awards presented during the conference. Additionally, her school was one of two winners of the Arts Integration Award. Center for Creative Arts received the honor for "demonstrated excellence in creating curriculums that incorporate the arts with academic subjects."
• Baylor School senior Darby Schumacher is the winner of a $10,000 scholarship from Nordstrom. The Nordstrom scholarship program gives 80 scholarships valued at $2,500 for four years to students across the country. The money may be applied to the college of the student's choice.
At Baylor, Schumacher is a member of Round Table literary discussion group, the Student Council and the cross-country team. She is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist; a regional, national and international science award winner and was named Miss Metropolitan 2014.
• Two Athens, Tenn., high school seniors were named Wendy's High School Heisman Award finalists for Tennessee. They are Denzell Boyd of McMinn Central High School and William Rymer of McMinn County High School.
The High School Heisman Award recognizes student-athletes who excel academically and demonstrate community leadership.
• Te'ara Jones, a senior at Chattanooga State Middle College of Chattanooga, has been nominated to attend the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Washington, D.C., in February. The three-day program is an honors program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields.
• Alex Gontarek, a student at Silverdale Baptist Academy, has been selected for membership in the National Society of High School Scholars. The society recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and community involvement.
Pierce new headmaster at Knoxville school
Ruston M. Pierce has been named headmaster at Concord Christian School, a private Christian academy for grades K-12 associated with Concord First Baptist Church in Knoxville.
Pierce is a graduate of McCallie School, received a bachelor's degree in English from King College and a master's degree in educational leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University.
He has 13 years experience in education. He taught and coached at Silverdale Baptist Academy and Grace Baptist Academy and, most recently, was director of dual enrollment at Bryan College and headmaster of Rhea County Academy in Dayton, Tenn.
He and wife Aimee have four children.
Students named to STEM council
Thirty-two high school students were selected for the inaugural Southeast Tennessee Science Technology Engineering and Math Student Council, which launched Nov. 9 with an event at Chattanooga State Community College. The student council is sponsored by the Southeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub.
Hamilton County school representatives are Mohamed Sylla, DeCaira Hubbard, Destin Williams, Jackie Hwang, Benjamin Lynn, Spencer Slaughter, Angelina Francisco, Te'ara Jones, Jiboey Abraham, Akila Washington, Nicki Backus, Story Deweese, Adam Rankin, Christian Cyrul and Gus White.
Also on the council are Carina Stout, Ben Gruber, Rachel Mersch, Preston Miller, Mackenzie Weigert, Marketta Collins, Bailey Crittenden, Emily Duncan, Dylan Grant, Price Gray, Katherine Stiffler and Ashton Hal.
Members living outside of Chattanooga are Lucy Harrill of Englewood, Garrett Cox of Jasper, Madisen Buckner of Athens, and Michael Spitler and Christy Spitler, both of Maryville.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...