Class Notes: Gov. Lee recognized as charter school champion by national group, and more education news

Gov. Bill Lee answers questions from the media during a visit to Gestamp Inc. on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Chattanooga, Tenn. This was Gov. Lee's first visit to Chattanoga as Governor of Tennessee.

Gov. Lee recognized as charter school champion by national group

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee was presented with the 2019 Champion for Charters Award during Friday's annual Tennessee Charter School Center Conference in Nashville.

The award is a national recognition of local, state, and federal policymakers who are making a difference for students by supporting high-quality public charter schools, according to a news release.

"Tennessee is privileged to have a National Charter School Champion leading our state," said Maya Bugg, CEO of the Tennessee Charter School Center, in a statement. "We have over 115 charter schools across the state serving almost 40,000 students; these public charter schools are continually meeting or exceeding state academic standards. We are thankful our Governor is committed to our vision of providing all of Tennessee's students with access to a high-quality education."

During his first year in office, Lee championed legislation that launched education savings accounts, or school vouchers, for students in two of the state's largest metropolitan areas: Nashville and Memphis. The governor also established a new Public Charter School Commission for the state in 2019.

Lee University's School of Nursing to hold mass casualty drill

Lee University students and faculty will participate in a mass casualty emergency response drill on Wednesday.

"The drill is intended to help students learn how to provide an immediate response to treating a variety of medical conditions and minister to family and survivors experiencing psychological trauma," according to a news release.

It will mimic a response drill related to an intentional mass casualty incident involving the detonation of a bomb with multiple injuries and will include personnel from the university's nursing school, participants in Lee's athletic training program, journalism and theater departments, psychology department and the religion school.

"We provide this exercise so that students from various departments across campus can engage in a 'mock community response' to a disaster within a controlled simulation," said Brenda Jones, assistant professor of nursing, in a statement. "The students have the opportunity to participate in a 'real-life' scenario guided by faculty and community professionals."

Chattanooga Prep adds two new board members

Hamilton County School's only all-boys public charter school, Chattanooga Preparatory School, has elected two new members to its board of directors.

One of the new members is Wonjen Bagley, who is the co-founder of the Bridge Scholars of Chattanooga and a lecturer in social work at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Aaron Webb, chief operating officer of Morning Pointe Senior Living, was also elected. Webb works with the company's owners to develop strategic business initiatives in assisted living and memory care.

Chattanooga Prep, founded by local philanthropists Ted and Kelly Alling, opened its doors in August 2018 and currently serves students in grades sixth and seventh. Applications for the 2020-21 school year are also now open.

STEM School Chattanooga to reopen Monday

Students at STEM School Chattanooga, Hamilton County's premiere STEM-themed magnet high school, were out of class Friday because of a water problem at Chattanooga State Community College.

"The college has cancelled all activities in the CETAS building today due to a water problem," according to a press release from Hamilton County Schools.

STEM School is located in the CETAS building on the Chattanooga State campus, but classes are expected to resume Monday.

If you have news about local schools you'd like included in Class Notes, email Meghan Mangrum at