A legend among Hamblen County teachers will be honored at the Boys & Girls Club Foundation of Morristown 17th Annual Steak & Burger Dinner Tuesday, Nov. 19.

West High’s visual and performing arts teacher Suzanne Terry, who has built the school’s speech and debate team into a national powerhouse, will be honored at the banquet at First Presbyterian Church.

The guest speaker will be University of Tennessee baseball coach Tony Vitello.

A private reception will be held at 5 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Club President John Seals said Terry’s impact on students and the community has been immeasurable.

“Mrs. Suzanne Terry has had such a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of youth in our community. She has also played a vital role in the success of many of our club members as well.”

“We are so honored to recognize Mrs. Terry for what she means to this community.”

For years, Terry’s forensics program has won awards at national tournaments at prestigious colleges like Harvard and Yale. Over the years her students have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of scholarships.

Terry said she wants every child to attend her class so she can help.

The 2018-19 team made succesful appearances at tournaments year’s past to places like Lexington, Kentucky and Chicago, as well as local tournaments like Soddy-Daisy High School in Chattanooga.

The team in sent students to the national Speech and Debate Tournament in Dallas, Texas. And it did while Terry was battling breast cancer.

This year’s squad started the year off in typically strong fashion, even earning a top national ranking.

Pedro Reyes, who graduated from West last year and earned a full scholarship to the University of Alabama, said Terry’s program makes a huge difference in her student’s lives.

“As soon as I stepped inside of Mrs. Terry’s classroom, however, I was provided with a loving and accepting space wherein I could channel the virtues I had lacked for so long. I was taught to speak with strength and fervor,” he wrote to the Tribune. “I was encouraged to reach higher than I had ever imagined, applying to colleges that I had never even considered. I was reminded — time after time — that I was competent, capable, and in control of my future.

“Speech and debate taught me the importance of the story of myself, and provided me with the means to take charge of that narrative. My story was writing itself long before I met Mrs. Terry, but she and her program were quick to teach me that my story was not set in stone; if I worked hard enough, I could pave my way towards a bright future and a happy ending.”

There are several options to support the dinner at which the adults are served burgers and the kids eat steak.

Dream Makers

$5,000 and Up

Head Table Seating (6) Adults (2) Club Youths


Framed Portrait w/Speaker

Private Reception w/Speaker

Table Sign

Name in Program

Star Makers

$2,500 and Up

Special Front Row Seating (6) Adult (2) Club Youths

Framed Portrait w/Speaker

Private Reception w/Speaker

Table Sign

Name in Program

Gold Table

$1,500 and Up

Table for (6) Adult (2) Youths

Reception w/Speaker

Table Sign

Name in Program

Silver Table

$1,000 and Up

Table for (6) Adults (2) Club Youths

Table Sign

Name in Program

Bronze Patron



One Dinner Ticket

Name in Program



One Dinner Ticket

Name in Program

Seals said the opportunity to celebrate Terry and hear Vitello speak shouldn’t be missed.

“We are extremely excited to have UT Head Baseball Coach Tony Vitello as our featured guest speaker this year,” said club director John Seals. “With our community’s rich baseball history we are hopeful that folks will want to here Coach Vitello and more importantly support our event.”

For more information, call the Boys & Girls Club of Morristown 586-2331 or Scott Reams at 423-586-9302.