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Meet the Candidates: Robin Dunn for Alderman Tullahoma

1.       Give personal background:

Growing up in Tullahoma, I had the privilege to live in a town that encouraged me to grow, learn and thrive. During high school, I participated in a number of extracurricular activities, including the band program which granted me the opportunity to compete with top students throughout the state through the Governor’s School program. The town’s school system and community fostered a strong sense of self and love of learning. This town is a special town. It’s a town where everyone really does know your name. As parents, we have the opportunity to know our children’s teachers, librarians, and friends’ families. As children, my siblings and I knew we had a community that cared about us and wanted to invest in our futures.

After graduating Tullahoma High School, I went to UTK to pursue a BS in Mathematics. Upon graduation, I taught at an inner-city school in one of the nation’s largest school districts. I then taught in a coal-mining community in Northeast Tennessee for four years. Between these two deeply impoverished districts, I learned that kids are kids, and that everyone desires and deserves love and respect.

I met my husband through a mutual friend and on our first date we realized that we had crossed paths several times over the years as we made our livings in Knoxville. Josh’s zest for life was nothing short of infectious. One afternoon ten years ago we looked at our calendar and we had a conversation: “What are you doing at the end of next month?” “Not much. Why?” “Do you want to run away to Virginia and get married?”

And our life that we have made has been nothing short of amazing ever since.

This town has given me so much that when we were expecting our oldest son, we bought a house around the corner from my parents. Josh and I are so proud to raise three kids here. Oliver (9) and Murray (6) make frequent treks through the woods to visit their grandparents, Win and Dianne Phipps, and little Josie (3) is doing her best to keep up with her older brothers. Most summer nights this trio spends their time chasing fireflies, building Legos, or reading books from the library with my mother-in-law, Gale Dunn. eleven years ago my husband established a lawn care business, Tullahoma Lawn Care.

Excited to give back to this community that helped mold me into the person I am, I became a part of that same school system that I attended as a student, but as a math teacher. My time at THS was memorable to say the least. I was voted Teacher of the Year in 2015 by my colleagues at THS. I worked with my students to teach them the value of giving back to their community. The curriculum I developed for my at-risk students enabled them to host charity fundraisers, develop exhibits that were displayed in the Hands on Science Center and even had them present to the city council. I was also honored to serve as President of the local Education Association.

Inspired in part by my husband’s small business, I founded a business of my own: Student Support Services at Home. I have enjoyed helping students of all ages and abilities grow in mathematics and make significant gains in their ACT scores, but I am most impassioned by seeing them grow as people.  

I am an avid learner and listener wanting to understand and know the needs of the community at large.

2.       Give work background:

  Excited to give back to this community that helped mold me into the person I am, I became a part of that same school system that I attended as a student, but as a math teacher. My time at THS was memorable to say the least. I was voted Teacher of the Year in 2015 by my colleagues at THS. I worked with my students to teach them the value of giving back to their community. The curriculum I developed for my at-risk students enabled them to host charity fundraisers, develop exhibits that were displayed in the Hands on Science Center and even had them present to the city council. I was also honored to serve as President of the local Education Association.

Inspired in part by my husband’s small business, I founded a business of my own: Student Support Services at Home. I have enjoyed helping students of all ages and abilities grow in mathematics and make significant gains in their ACT scores, but I am most impassioned by seeing them grow as people.    

3.       Why did you decide to run?

This will be my second term as alderman, and the journey I have taken for the past three years has given me a tremendous amount of joy.  It has been a wonderful experience being a public servant.

4.       What are the positives about being Mayor or Alderman?

The positives are certainly being able to serve our community — finding needs and addressing them in creative and fulfilling ways.  It has been powerful to see how our community can change in positive ways just by drawing attention to things and forming relationships.  Not every challenge requires a financial solution.  I have made a point to engage in public education of government services, created celebrations to empower citizens to make smarter decisions at home on a variety of topics including storm water, healthy relationships, and waste management. I have striven to be a careful steward of the resources that the People of Tullahoma have invested in our infrastructure, our children, and our economy, and I will continue to do so to the best of my ability.  

5.       Negatives about the job?  

Three years to make a difference sounds like plenty of time until you’re 33 months into the job.  I have many more ideas of how to serve in the works and I want to have an opportunity to contribute.  Education systems across the country are in a state of flux and ours is no different.  Our economy is heavily dependent on the confidence entrepreneurs have in taking the risk and starting their own business.  Our under served populations want a chance to contribute to the workforce and earn an education too, but that is difficult if you don’t have the means of transportation to get there.  I want to address these needs in the coming years as I continue to serve. 


6.       Any changes you would like to make?

Our citizens have told me time and again that they want safer streets and sidewalks so that they can get to work and school.  They want jobs and a robust economy so that they can provide for their families.  They want high quality educations for their children.  I want to help meet those needs creatively and compassionately.


7.       Tell people why they should vote for you:

The people of Tullahoma have said that they want someone who can build relationships as she builds sidewalks.  I want to fully represent the People of Tullahoma and act as a liaison for the hardworking employees of our municipality.  I want to listen to your needs and engage in action to continue to make positive change.

Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. Current news director for On Target News and manager of Rooster 101.5 FM. Knott can be heard on 93.9 The Duck, The Rooster 101.5 and Whiskey Country 105.1 and 95.9. He is currently the play by play voice of the Coffee County Red Raiders on The Rooster 101.5. Lucky has done play-by-play for over 3,455 sports events on Radio & TV. He also served 4 years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for 6 years at Grundy County High School.

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