Zimmerman Named Tullahoma City School Volunteer of the Year

During Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Bel-Aire Elementary School PTO President Samantha Zimmerman was named the TCS Volunteer of the Year. For her contributions, she received an award from TCS Director of Schools Dr. Catherine Stephens.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Tullahoma Board of Education celebrated eight building-level volunteers for their contributions to the district.

“TCS volunteers generously donate their time, talents, and creativity to support teachers, staff, and students on a routine basis,” said TCS Director of Schools, Dr. Catherine Stephens. “Each of these TCS volunteers exhibits qualities of outstanding contributions to their schools and the district through their exemplary leadership and service. TCS is thankful for each volunteer and their contributions, which cultivate a culture that focuses on students first and, yet, supports and encourages all teachers and staff, too.”

Each TCS campus selected a volunteer who was recognized as their school-level volunteer of the year. Each of those individuals was celebrated and given an award for their contributions. Additionally, one person was selected and honored as the district’s Volunteer of the Year. This annual recognition is closely tied to an award that the Tennessee School Boards Association coordinates. School systems may submit one volunteer to be considered by TSBA for their annual regional awards.

Bel-Aire Elementary School’s Samantha Zimmerman has been named this year’s TCS Volunteer of the Year. She will move forward in the TSBA competition to the regional level.

“I wish we could give this honor to our volunteer group collectively,” Zimmerman said. “It is such an honor and very humbling to be named the Volunteer of the Year both for Bel-Aire and the school district. We have an

abundance of incredible volunteers at the Hive that make all the things happen. Lots of love is poured into our school by so many- I’m just a cog on that wheel helping drive things along.”

As Principal at Bel-Aire, Dr. Clint Epley has seen first-hand what Zimmerman and the rest of the Bel-Aire PTO have done for his staff and students. He can’t thank Zimmerman enough for her contributions as PTO President to making the hive thrive.

“Samantha Zimmerman has been instrumental in continuing what has historically been an excellent culture at Bel-Aire rooted in family and community,” Dr. Epley said. “Her ability to organize, bring people together and utilize the many talents our school volunteers possess is exceptional.  Mrs. Zimmerman is selfless in her approach to volunteering at Bel-Aire, and we’re very thankful for her many contributions.”

While she appreciates Epley’s compliments, she says she works tirelessly to ensure that all Bel-Aire students and staff have what they need to help create a positive learning environment. She also adores getting to be around the students and seeing all of their smiles.

“Seeing what these teachers and staff members do day-in-and-day-out for our students and families just amazes me. They work so hard to make sure our students are well-loved while learning. Volunteering and being at Bel-Aire frequently gives me a bigger appreciation for all they do, but it also gives us PTO members insight into the areas in which they truly need help and support from our PTO group, which is very helpful.

“One of my favorite things about volunteering and being in the school, as cheesy as it may sound, are the hugs. The kids begin to recognize us – even as The Cat in the Hat – as we are there, and they always run up for hugs or high-fives. Some days, I need those hugs as much as they do.”

Seven other individuals were recognized as school-level volunteers during the April Board of Education meeting. Kevin Duke was honored as East Lincoln Elementary School’s Volunteer of the Year. Kayla Hilley was named Jack T. Farrar Elementary School’s Volunteer of the Year. Jamie Trimble was chosen as Robert E. Lee Elementary School’s Volunteer of the Year. Jacqueline Ites was recognized as East Middle School’s Volunteer of the Year. Jennifer Hood was honored as West Middle School’s Volunteer of the Year. Deanna Saunders was named Tullahoma High School’s Volunteer of the Year, and Jay Frank was chosen as Tullahoma Virtual Academy’s Volunteer of the Year.

“I cannot overstate how appreciative we are of the many volunteers across our district who selflessly serve our students across all schools,” Dr. Stephens said. “It is hard to quantify what each of these individuals means not only to their respective schools but to the district as a whole. We could not do this work without them and their dedicated service. I am so thankful for the commitment and service to our students, faculty and staff members.”

Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. News and Sports Director for Rooster 101.5 FM, 93.9 The Duck and Whiskey Country 105.1, and 95.9. He is currently the play-by-play voice of the Coffee County Red Raiders (31 years) on The Rooster 101.5 and can be heard M-F broadcasting our local news. Lucky has done play-by-play for 3,993 (and counting) sports events on Radio & TV. He also served four years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for six years at Grundy County High School.

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