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Chamber Honors 132 Graduating Tennessee Scholars

May 1, 2017

The Roane County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Roane County Schools, recognized a record 132 graduating seniors as Tennessee Scholars at a breakfast awards ceremony on April 12.

 “For the economic growth and success of our community is our people. Businesses will come to Roane County if we have the people with the skills that businesses need to succeed.  The Tennessee Scholars program gives you a foundation to build upon to create a successful career for yourself as you choose to continue your education and gain marketable skills,” said Allen Lutz, the Education and Workforce Specialist for the Roane Alliance. “Having a prepared workforce that is able to provide skilled, responsible, committed, and professional workers to our existing businesses as well as the next generation of companies that will come to Roane County is critical to our success as a community,”

The students heard about the importance of continuing one’s education from some of Roane County’s top advocates of education: Leah Watkins, Director of Roane County Schools; Chris Whaley, President of Roane State Community College; Roane County Executive, Ron Woody; and Becky Gilbert, Student Recruiter for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Harriman.

Watkins commended the students for becoming Tennessee Scholars, their perseverance to meet and exceed programs requirements, their high attendance, and for having served their community through community service.

Woody, congratulated the students on their accomplishment and service to community. He told the students, “You are our future leaders.  I challenge you to always be learners – things are changing quickly – you must keep learning.” Woody congratulated and shook the hand of each of the Tennessee Scholars.

Whaley, congratulated the new Tennessee Scholars and told them about the “success coaches” at Roane State that will help the students succeed. Whaley also told the students about a book he read about the importance of grit.  “Grit,” said Whaley, “is sticking to your goals when life throws you a curve ball.  Don’t give up on your education!” 

At the ceremony, the seniors received a Tennessee Scholars certificate and medallion from Lutz and Watkins. The Tennessee Scholars wear the medallion at their high school graduation ceremonies. Their high school diploma and transcript will also have the Tennessee Scholar Seal letting potential employers know these students have worked hard and maintained the standards of a Tennessee Scholar.  

To be a Tennessee Scholar, in addition to completing a rigorous course of study, Tennessee Scholar students must maintain an overall "C" average, have 95% or higher attendance, pass end-of-course tests, have no out-of-school suspensions, and complete a minimum of 80 hours of community service during their four years of high school.

“The goal of Tennessee Scholars is to increase the number of students graduating from high school with a rigorous academic course of study, which includes advanced math and science classes, that prepares them for higher education and the workforce,” said Lutz. “Tennessee Scholars is about workforce preparedness, and workforce preparedness is the number one factor businesses consider when looking to locate in a community. If we don’t have a skilled workforce, businesses will not come here.”   

Dina Jackson, Executive Director of the Roane County United Way, received special thanks for the United Way’s financial support of the Tennessee Scholars program. The Scholars program is a part of the United Way’s education efforts which engage students and parents to increase their involvement in setting high educational goals and help them better understand the value of higher education. 

This school year, Jackson has participated in presenting awards to high school sophomores and juniors for staying “on-track” to becoming a Tennessee Scholar Graduate. Other community leaders who have helped recognize our students for staying “on-track” this school year include Tennessee State Representative Kent Calfee and Roane County Commissioners David Bell, Ron Berry and Carolyn Granger.

The Tennessee Scholars is a Chamber led program conducted in partnership with local businesses and Roane County Schools.

The Chamber is a partner in The Roane Alliance - Roane County's economic development organization. The partners who operate under the Alliance umbrella along with the Chamber include the Industrial Development Board, Visitors Bureau, Retire Roane, and Education Matters. To learn more about how the Roane Alliance promotes economic development and seeks increased opportunities for all Roane County citizens, please visit





2016-2017 Tennessee Scholars

(not all students named are pictured)


Harriman High School

Hayden Bingham, Camera Campbell, Hunter Clark, Autumn Daniels, Timothy Dishner, Dakotah Harris, Khristian Kirkland, Joe Pace, Karly Page, Logan Roberts, Ty Sather, Clay Sexton, Nick Staggs, Jakob Walker, Bryley Works, and Dre' Ziegler.


                                                            Midway High School

Miranda Blasingame, Alexis Bosnak, Mary Alice Broucek, Caleb Burton, Christopher Caulfield, Haley Cheatham, Chanda Clarkson, Eula Edgin, Colby Fowler, Julie Houser, Trace Hughes, Amber May, Elishia Pena, Sierra Sharp, Micah Shirran, and Austin Thompson.


Oliver Springs High School

Madison Alexander, Alivia Baker, Morgan Beasley, Adam Carroll, Caitlin Chaston, Sydney Cornett, Lauren Crass, Racheal Crass, Bethany Devaney, Matthew Gaylor, Juliann Hopper, Jacob Humphreys, Jeremiah Johnson, Connor Melhorn, Tyler Melton, Bailey Steele, Allyssa Suttles, Chandler Walls, and Jacob York.


Roane County High School

Rachael Baggett, Damon Baildon, Sharon Benton, Ashlyn Blackburn, Gennaveve Brizendine, Katherine Byrd, Bradley Calbaugh, Charles Coen, Lacey Corbin, Anthony Curry, Christopher Dinkins, Rachel Edmonds, Courtney Farrell, Amanda Finks, Madeline Garren, Samantha Guettner, Ethan Guinn, Meg Hartley, Savannah Holloway, Travis Kennedy, Colt Letner, Ashton Martin, Charlee Martin, Audrey Massey, Collin McCoig, Zachary McCoig, Caroline McDonald, Nathaniel Moore, Naomi Parks, Zackary Pope, Landon Qualls, Allison Ragsdale, Claire Rayburn, Brianna Reinle, Jacob Reynolds, Hallie Riddle, Orrin Ritchie, Hannah Ross, Colton Rue, Parker Russell, Emma Savage, Estreya Schorr, Selena Schorr, James Shillings, Nikolas Smith, Bethany Sparry, Kaitlyn Stiles, Caelan Townsend, Morgan Vann, John Walden, Keegan Walker, Andrea Washam, Maleah Washam, Tara Washam, Lauren Watkins, Kiana Wells, Jacob Whittenbarger, Kaylee Wilson, Sarah Wilson, Bryce Woody, and Darin Wright.


Rockwood High School

James Albertson, Ciara Ferrell, Darcy Ferrell, Abigail Hall, Lexie Hill, Zoie Hill, Taylor Brooke Jones, Stephanie Long, Christina Long, Jarrett McGill, Michaela McGuire, Madison Mioduski, Megan Monday, Khushbu Patel, Eden Poland, Brittani Ridenour, Lexie Taylor, Brooke Tipton, Denise Todd, and Jonathan Watson.