Pinnacle Awards honor Sullivan County school employees

Rick Wagner • May 15, 2019 at 10:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County School’s Sixth Annual Pinnacle Awards Tuesday evening honored 34 school system employees for the 2018-19 academic year.

The annual event, started under the tenure of former Director of Schools Jubal Yennie, took place at Northeast State Community College’s Performing Arts Center. It marks the last Pinnacle event for Director Evelyn Rafalowski, who is set to retire June 30 after a 42-year career in the system, including four as director.

Honored as Employees of the Year were Elementary School Teacher of the Year Brandy Nothnagel of Indian Springs; Middle School Teacher of the Year Ryan Lovelace of Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee; High School Teacher of the Year Mary Jernigan of Sullivan South, Principal of the Year Lesley Fleenor of Holston Elementary (all four were announced in February); and Supervisor of the Year Elementary Supervisor of Instruction and Curriculum Robin McClellan.

In addition, those who received the Heart Award for directly and positively impacting the lives of student and/or staff were Blountville Elementary nurse Teirsa Ball, district attendance and safety officer Jeret Ratliff, Holston Valley Middle nurse Ashley Hamm, Central High nurse Madison Hart and Central High HOSA — Future Health Professionals teacher Emily Robinette. 

Winners of the Pinnacle Awards included Central Office secretary Amy Grizzel; Central High culinary arts teacher Angel Welch; Bluff City Elementary bookkeeper Angie Lowe; East High English teacher Casey Martin; Bluff City Middle instructional assistant Cynthia Deel; Central Office Nurse Supervisor Diane Copas; Central Office Finance Supervisor Ingrid Deloach; Sullivan Gardens K-8 Assistant Principal Jamie Whitinger; Central Heights Elementary interventionist Jennifer Rhymer; North Middle Assistant Principal Jeremy Harris; Holston Middle/Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee band director Jonathan Nichols; and systemwide special education zone coordinator Julie Ashbrook.

Others honored with a Pinnacle Award were district accountant Julie Johnson; director of schools administrative assistant Kristi King; systemwide English as a second language teacher Kristy Altizer; Indian Springs Elementary English teacher and administrative assistant Kerry Lancaster; Holston Valley Middle School Principal Kim Harvey; maintenance secretary Linda Musser; Holston Valley Middle math, science and robotics teachers Margaret Trent; East High Spanish teacher Matthew Harrison; East special education teacher Michael Sheffield; district accountant Rebecca Cecil; East High health occupations teacher Teresa Cassell; systemwide English as a second language teacher Todd Lichtenwalner; Sullivan Gardens K-8 English and performing arts teacher Trevor Rumsey; and district accountant Vanessa Phillips.

Honored for a perfect audit was Miller Perry Elementary bookkeeper Lisa Cowan.

For perfect health inspections and cafeteria excellence, those honored were 

— Blountville Elementary/Middle Cafeteria: Manager Eva Mann and Vickie Brown, Kimberly Davison, Marlena Leonard, Karen Milhorn, Lisa Morrison and Karen Pope.

— Central Heights Elementary:  Manager Angela Taylor and Lori Bowers and Sarah Farmer.

— Colonial Heights Middle: Manager Tina Ford  and Regina Simpson and Gloria Dively.

— Holston Elementary/Middle Schools and Innovation Academy: Manager Rita Frazier and Tiffany Edwards, Marsha Roberts, Patricia Sharpe, Teresa Vance and Jennifer Roberts.

— Indian Springs Elementary: Manager Rebecca Nelms and Kimberly Hall and Jennifer Turner.

— Ketron Elementary: Manager Angela Jerrett and Brittany Glover, Emma Pogue, Amanda Browning, Teresa Forrester, Lisa Herron, Lesia Jobe and Christie Simpson.

— Miller Perry Elementary: Manager Tammy McCracken and Rose Mary Ford, Linda Cupp and Stephanie Doggett.

— Rock Springs Elementary: Manager Rebecca Jaynes and Shelly Covey, Arlene White and Lisa Gilliam.

— And Sullivan Gardens K-8: Manager Darlene Garrett and Michelle Bombailey, Robin Peters, Connie Bachman and Ashley Eidson.

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