LHMS recognized by the state

School staff and administrators gathered Tuesday morning to celebrate Lincoln Heights Middle School winning a reward school recognition. From left to right: CTE Supervisor Chuck Carter, LHMS Bookkeeper Gail Manning, Special Services Supervisor Mandy Lloyd, Assistant Director Buddy Smith, Assistant Principal Jaime Greene, Data Coach Gail Rice,  Board Member Clyde Kinder, 2020 Coordinator Brenda Dean, Principal Joe Ely, Counselor Lana Ferguson, Director Hugh Clement, Teachers Tyson Jones, Melanie Coffey, Beth Weatherall, Custoidan Jeananne Trent, teachers Kendall Bryant and Lydia Hutsell and Federal Programs Supervisor Kim Fox.

Lincoln Heights Middle School celebrated Tuesday morning receiving the distinction as the only Hamblen County school to be designated by the state as a reward school for growth.

“We’ve changed the tests, but we haven’t changed the expectations of the students,” said Joseph Ely, principal of Lincoln Heights Middle School.

The distinction comes after TNReady scores came out last week for third through eighth graders.

The reward schools program recognizes schools for performance, progress or both. Lincoln Heights won its reward school status in the progress category.

Other schools that gained reward school status in the Lakeway Area include Bean Sation and Dandridge elementary schools, state records show.

Buddy Smith, assistant director of Hamblen County schools, said it’s a good achievement.

“They are a top 5 percent school in the state,” he said.

Ely said the credit belonged to the staff.

“It was a great effort by our great group of teachers,” he said. “They knew it was a goal.”

Lincoln Heights was the last Hamblen County school to achieve reward school status three years ago. Ely said the goal is to now reach rewards status in both progress and performance. But, he said as long as the school keeps progressing then eventually it will also hit the performance category.

“It will come on its own,” he said.

Then after that, they have other goals and this one is a national one.

“We want to be the first middle school to be a blue ribbon school,” he said.