Robotics to Roan Scholars: Kingsport school board honors students

Rick Wagner • Feb 13, 2020 at 6:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Kingsport City Schools leaders sang the praises of students and student groups at the regular school board meeting Tuesday night.

The five-member Board of Education saw a presentation from an elementary school LEGO League team, recognized Black History Oratorical Contest winners and two Roan Scholars getting free tuition at East Tennessee State University, and learned of a LEGO team win that propelled a middle school team to the next level of competition.


The Jackson Elementary LEGO League, lead by fourth grade math teacher Jackilyn Kenner, gave a presentation on the team’s accomplishments and had the team present a real-world problem it tackled on collected water for a rooftop garden. Also, Superintendent Jeff Moorhouse said the Robinson Middle School LEGO League took first place in its class in a state competition in Cookeville and thus will move on to a national competition in Arkansas this year. Also, Washington Elementary’s team took second in its class in Cookeville, Moorhouse said.

“Robotics is going very well in the city of Kingsport,” he noted.


The board also recognized KCS students who made the top 15 in Eastman Chemical Company’s Black History Oratorical Contest Jan. 22. Those in the top five were senior Jacquelin Byers, the third place finisher and daughter of school board member Julie Byers, who made the presentation Tuesday night; and junior Sonali Poobalasingham, the fourth place finisher. KCS students who ranked elsewhere in the top 15 as honorable mentions were juniors Grace Wellman, Cathryn Fetterman, Ethan Murray and Will New; and sophomore Pearson Mills.


In addition, the board recognized D-B EXCEL senior Gavin Bentley and Dobyns-Bennett senior Sally Chikomb for winning two of the eight East Tennessee State University Roan Scholars slots in 2020. They will receive, among other things, four years of free tuition and were among nearly 100 nominees from high schools in 27 counties of Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina.


Moorhouse also said that D-B EXCEL, a grades 9-12 alternative learning school, is one of 235 innovative schools that made the Canopy Project list of a national group and that the Dobyns-Bennett High School game held Saturday to honor the legacy of Douglass High School, the city’s all-black high school before integration in 1967, made national news on ABC television.