White returns to Lynchburg; this time as Raider head football coach

MOORE COUNTY — Moore County High School’s new coach is their former coach.

Director of Schools Chad Moorehead announced this week that former Raider assistant coach Kris White would be returning to Moore County to lead the 2020 team … but this time as their head coach.

“We are very excited to have Coach White back,” Director Moorehead told The Times. “Coach White has been a part of multiple state championship teams and we expect that he will continue to build on the strong football tradition in Moore County.”

Kris, who is a native of Murfreesboro, is married to Moore County native Holly Dickey White, an outstanding coach in her own right. She left an MCHS coaching position in 2009 after leading the Raiderettes to a state runner-up finish.

Kris graduated from Riverdale High School and then attended Middle Tennessee State University. He played as a student athlete at both schools. He started his coaching career at Riverdale High School before heading to Moore County. He left the Raiders in 2009 to take an assistant position with Oakland High School. He is leaving his current position at Knoxville Catholic High School to return to Moore County.

This will be his first head coaching position. In addition to his wife, Holly, he’ll be returning to Moore County with his two sons: Kaden age 18 (an incoming high school senior) and Dawson, age 15 (an incoming freshman).•

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Summer extended school program will open on June 1

MOORE COUNTY — Moore County Schools officials announced today that Moore County Extended School Program (ESP) will open on June 1 and will remain open weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“This summer;s program will be considered as emergency childcare so to speak,” said ESP Director Karen Blankenship. “We want to help those parents that are working and need childcare.”

Summer ESP will follow all CDC guidelines for sanitation, group size, social distancing, etc. Summer groups will also not take field trips nor have guest speakers as usual.

“The program will look very different,” Blankenship says. “But we will still provide lots of fun activities for the children.”

Limited spots are available and your child must be a Moore County resident to attend. ESP provides breakfast, snacks, and lunch. Residents can pick up registration packets on Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. All applications will need to be turned in by Friday, May 29 at noon to be considered for the summer program. There is a $25 per child application fee, which will be used for supplies.

For more information, call 931-759-7388. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Dobbs resigns as Raider head football coach

MOORE COUNTY — This week MCHS joined eight other Tennessee high schools who are now on the hunt for a new head football. Jason Dobbs announced he’s leaving Lynchburg to return Murfreesboro.

Dobbs coached the Moore County varsity team for the past four year and led the Raiders to a 22-21 overall record. His Raider teams also made it to the TSSAA Class 1-A playoffs in 2017 and 2018. Last year Moore County finished with a 5-5 overall record and barely missed a playoff opportunity with an ugly season-ending game at Mount Pleasant. {Click here to read our coverage of that game.}

Dobbs is leaving Moore County to join coaching buddy, Oakland Head Coach Kevin Creasy. Dobbs will join Oakland as an assistant coach. Dobbs and Creasy coached together at Trousdale County from 2005-09. Dobbs also coached at Riverdale for six seasons.

When we reached out for comment, Moore County Director of Schools Chad Moorehead said, “We hate that Coach Dobbs is leaving. I have confidence that the high school administration will find a coach that will continue to build on a strong football tradition for our school. I wish Coach Dobbs and his sons well on their football careers. Moore County will be following them closely because once you are a Raider, you are always a Raider.”

According to Director Moorehead, the search for Coach Dobb’s replacement is underway.

According to the website TN High School Football, seven other schools are currently also looking for a head coach: Austin East, Fayette Ware, Sycamore, Whites Creek, The Webb School, West Grene, and Whitwell. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Motlow now offers at-home college aptitude testing

Belinda Champion
Belinda Champion

MOORE COUNTY — For obvious health reason, pandemics are awful, no-good things. But sometimes, they lead to innovations. This is the case with Motlow College’s Belinda Champion who recently launched at-home college placement testing.

Motlow accepts achievement test results such as the ACT and SAT. As an alternative to those measures, it also offers placement testing using the Accuplacer, a tool to help college advisors match course planning to a student’s skills and ambitions.

Aspiring college student can now take the ACCUPLACER test in the privacy and safety of their own homes. It’s a computer testing system that helps determine student academic readiness in reading, sentence skills, and mathematics for college-level work. Test results determine which courses are best suited to the student’s level of preparedness.

For some, college achievement tests like the ACT or SAT can be a psychological barrier to college-going ambitions. Poor achievement scores often demoralize students and derail college dreams. Champion, Director of Disability, Testing, and Counseling Services at Motlow, insists that this is unnecessary.

“Tennessee is a college-enabling state,” said Champion. “We are national leaders in ensuring access to college for everyone. We have already tackled the barriers associated with the cost of college through free-tuition scholarships like TNPromise for high schoolers, and TNReconnect for adult students. Now we are tackling the barriers associated with college entrance tests.”

Champion says if students have prior test scores they don’t like, remember that score is a measure of your performance on that day and is not a measure of your potential for the future.

“There are a lot of reasons why people might have poor placement scores or even no placement scores. I work with a lot of students that have taken achievement tests under very challenging circumstances,” continued Champion. “My staff are experts at helping students rewrite their college placement testing story.”

For the next available test dates and registration, please visit the Motlow State testing website at mscc.edu/testing or call 931-393-1763 or 1-800-654-4877 ext. 1763. The last day to apply for Motlow’s Summer semester is May 18. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Motlow honors society named one of the world’s best

MOORE COUNTY — Excellence and scholarship among two-year college students like those at Motlow State Community College … that what the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honor society is all about. And Motlow’s one of the top in the world, according to their recent convention.

The 2020 International PTK Virtual Catalyst Convention recently recognized the Motlow chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honor society and its leadership as one of the top 100 chapters in the world. The announcement happened at their yearly Catalyst Convention – a yearly event that happen each spring. It draws thousands of scholars from around the world to represent their chapters, their institutions, and their regions. This year the convention was held online due to the pandemic.

“The Catalyst convention was an excellent wrap up to an amazing year,” said Gregg Garrison, associate professor of biology and Motlow PTK advisor and Tennessee PTK regional coordinator. “This was the best award recognition year we have ever had. Although we were disappointed that we could not be at the actual event this year, we were fortunate to still experience the streamed event from the safety of our own homes. Afterward, I hosted a zoom meeting with the Motlow attendees and several other members and advisors from across the state so we could celebrate together. The experience was amazing.”

Fifteen representatives from Motlow PTK attended the virtual event with more than 3,700 representatives from 1,300 chapters in multiple nations.

Members of the Motlow PTK chapter of Phi Theta Kappa also attended the 2020 Tennessee Regional Convention at Dyersburg State Community College, Feb. 21-23, for a weekend of team building and fellowship with other chapters from colleges across the state.

Motlow PTK advisors and students recently attended the annual Regional PTK convention at Dyersburg State Community College. Pictured are (seated left to right) Barry McKinley, Matthew Bobo, Dasha Grayson, and Hannah Green (standing left to right) Gregg Garrison, Dayron Deaton-Owens, Robin Keel, Misty Griffith, Ashley Cain, Jamaya Blackwell, Heather Whittaker, Nick Locke, Keira Pfefferkorn, Madelyn Wood, Sonja Edge, Laura Brown, and Matilde Olea Guevara. {Photo Provided}

“The Regional Convention was also an amazing experience that allowed Motlow PTK members to travel and meet with members from eleven other colleges from across the state,” Garrison added. “Students were able to share ideas about making their chapter stronger, listen to engaging session speakers, be involved with the election process of regional officers, and celebrate with each other during the awards banquet.”

Two Motlow students were elected as Tennessee Regional Officers for the upcoming year, Madelyn Wood, vice president for Middle Tennessee, and Keira Pferrerkorn, secretary for Tennessee. Motlow PTK students received the following awards at the regional convention:Rebekah Randall, First Place, Publication in Creative Non-fiction; First Place, Distinguished Officer Award, and Keira PferrerKorn, First Place, Extemporaneous Speech Competition. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Public Library will offer boat safety exams … by appointment

LYNCHBURG — The Moore County Public Library (MCPL) announced today that they will offer the TWRA Boating Exam test by appointment beginning on May 18.

Any Tennessee resident born after January 1, 1989 must show a TWRA-issued wallet Boating Safety Education Certificate as proof of successful completion of the TWRA Boating Safety exam to drive a boat on public waters. The certification is not required if there is an adult (18 years old or older) on board to take immediate control of the vessel.  However this adult, if born after January 1, 1989, must have the boating education certification. 

According to the library, the test takes around two hours to complete and appointments will be available on on Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in either a 10 a.m. or 12 p.m. time slot.

By law, all boating students must pass a proctored exam administered by an approved TWRA representative. Boating study guides are available at MCPL or online by clicking here and go to the Tennessee section.

For more information, visit the TWRA’s Boating Education website. To set up an appointment to take the exam, call the public library at 931-759-7285. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Motlow instructor wins science grant

Omar Tantawi, Motlow Mechatronics Instructor {Photo Provided}

Regionally, there’s a shortage of qualified, well-trained robotics technicians. Thanks to a recent $108,000 National Science Foundation Grant, Motlow College and Principal Investigator Omar Tantawi plan to change that. The award is the second federal grant that Motlow’s Mechatronics department has received in the last two years, bringing the total federal funds granted to more than $650,000.

The money will fund train-the-trainer workshops on intelligent industrial robotics at Motlow’s Smyrna campus and will fund a collaborative robot unit.

“We are very pleased to work with other community colleges and universities to offer this robotics training to support our high-technology industries,” said Fred Rascoe, dean of career and technical programs. “I am very excited to be a part of a wonderful consortium of educators and technology experts in robotics. The delivery of this training is exactly what industry needs to continue its delivery of products and processes in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”

Motlow’s lasered in on becoming a leading institution in mechatronics and robotics on both the state and the national levels as well as leading the charge in regional workforce development.

The project is a diverse collaboration of four academic institutions: Motlow, UT Chattanooga, Chattanooga State, and Lawson State. It impacts major manufacturers in the eastern and central regions of Tennessee and Alabama through training for high-demand skills to sustain the development of the regions’ manufacturing industry.

Work within the project includes developing intelligent robotics curricular modules, train-the-trainer workshops for educators, identifying skill sets needed for handling next-generation robotics, developing a knowledge base of next-generation robotics for secondary and post-secondary educators, and providing awareness of next-generation robotics. Peer-reviewed publications are expected by the end of the project.

School Board meets Monday … virtually

LYNCHBURG — The Moore County School Board will resume business on Monday night but not as usual. April’s regular session meeting will be held online. To listen, click here.

On the agenda for the April 27 meeting, the Board will review policies based on TSBA recommendations, as well as vote on as Board resolution to suspend some policies due to COVID-19.

Director Moorehead will present a request from the annual Bike to Jack and Back fund-raising ride to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The group requested the use of the LES campus for camping during their October 17-18 event. October’s set to be a busy month for Lynchburg. The second annual Lynchburg Music Fest will take place at a yet undisclosed location on Oct. 2-3 and the Jack Daniel World Championship Invitational BBQ will take place in Wiseman Park on a new date this year, Oct. 10. The Oak Barrel Half Marathon – which normally takes place in April – will happen on October 24.

Director Moorehead will present a letter of resignation from varsity boys head basketball coach Heath Hardin. He will also discuss with the Board how refunds for this year’s senior trip – which was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns – will be allocated. Varsity cheer sponsor Erin Rutledge will also request permission for the 2020-21 squad to attend cheer camp at Tennessee Tech University.

Driector Moorehead will give a report on the construction progress at MCHS, graduation plans, prom, and the LES Gym floor replacement.

To view a full agenda, click here. The online meeting is available to the public beginning at 6 p.m. For more information, visit the Moore County Schools website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Get a “Career in a Year” with Motlow’s new program

LYNCHBURG — Education is the pathway towards more success but not all high-paying careers require a two or four-year degree. That’s the idea behind Motlow College’s new Career in a Year program. They developed it to help local students determined to build a new profession in a short period of time.

Adult learners age 25 and older can use the Tennessee Reconnect scholarship to attend Motlow tuition-free as receive certification in one of seven programs: mechatronics, paramedic, supply chain management, emergency medical technicians, emergency medical technician advanced, early childhood education technical, and customer service.

“The Career in a Year concept supports individuals who are looking to explore, create, or build a new profession in a short period of time,” said Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs Melody Edmonds. “We offer a variety of one-year certificate programs that can provide the right path for any of these motivations.”

For more information about the Motlow Career in a Year program go to mscc.edu/careerinayear or contact the MotlowAdmissions Office at (931) 393-1520 or email admissions@mscc.edu. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Motlow receives nearly $1 million state grant

LYNCHBURG — It’s meant to encourage more high school kids to enroll in college after high school, specifically vocational programs that keep the pipeline of well-trained candidates for local high tech jobs. Earlier this week, the state announced that Motlow College – along with several partners – would be awarded $949,410 through the Governor’s Investment in Vocational Education (GIVE) program for a Teaching Innovative Learning Technologies (TILT) project. Motlow says the project reflects its commitment to continue building pathways between secondary and post secondary education.

“Our primary goal through the GIVE grant is to foster and strengthen long-term regional partnerships between Motlow, industry, workforce development agencies, and K-12 school systems,” said Fred Rascoe, dean of career and technical programs and project lead. “We are excited to continue developing advanced learning programs for middle school and high school students that facilitate students’ progression to a post secondary school such as Motlow.”

That project will positively impact 300 students over the 30-month grant period in reaching Drive to 55 goals through the creation and expansion of pathways between secondary and post secondary institutions. The mechatronics program in Fayetteville will be expanded by the addition of the robotics concentration. The Robotics concentration instructs in industrial robotic safety, operation, maintenance, end-effector design and application, and robot integration into a mechatronics system.

Motlow GIVE Grant team
The Motlow GIVE Grant team included (front row, left to right) Interim Dean of Students Debra Smith, Lincoln County CTE Director Susan Welch, Director of Grants Tammy O’Dell, and Career and Technical Programs Coordinator Ingrid Rascoe as well as (back row, from left to right) VP of External Affairs Terri Bryson, Emerging Technology Liaison Donald Choate, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jeff Horner, Executive Director of Automation and Robotics Training Center Larry Flatt, Warren County Director of Schools Bobby Cox, Career and Technical Programs Dean Fred Rascoe, VP of Finance and Administration Hilda Tunstill, and Asst. Vice President for Academic Affairs Melody Edmonds. {Photo Provided}

It will also create a computer coding program for partner school districts beginning at the middle school level, teaching students Swift coding, and a high school program for students to obtain certification in Python coding.

Partnering with Motlow for the project are Fayetteville City Schools, Lincoln, and Warren County Schools, FRANKE, Hamilton-Ryker TalentGro, VideoBomb, Fayetteville-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, Fayetteville-Lincoln County Industrial Development Board, and the McMinnville-Warren County Industrial Development Board.

“Teaching coding, programming, and development demonstrates to the students the importance of logical thinking, organization, and improves problem solving skills,” said Donald Choate, Motlow emerging technology liaison and trainer. “Our cultural and economic landscape is changing as we have become a high-tech society and culture. We want to give our students the skills necessary for a successful high-tech future.”

The Motlow partnership grant was one of 28 that will receive their total of $25 million in state funding. The program prioritizes K-12, post secondary, and industry alignment across rural Tennessee to develop work-based learning and apprenticeship programs that reflect local industries’ workforce needs and enhances career and technical education statewide.

According to the college, the development of the GIVE-TILT project was prepared and written by Tammy O’Dell, grant writer and coordinator, Fred Rascoe, principal investigator, and Donald Choate, co-principal investigator.  Motlow grant team members include Terri Bryson, Melody Edmonds, Larry Flatt, Tammy Foust, Jeff Horner, Teal Lynch, Tammy O’Dell, Sally Pack, Kathy Parker, Debra Smith, and Hilda Tunstill. • 

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}