Archive for: November 2015

Thankful For Our Community’s Care For Animals

By Monica Brown, Director of Shelter Operations, Young-Williams Animal Center



Although Wiley can’t talk, the lively Border collie shows her gratitude in her own way. Her tail wags continuously and her brown eyes sparkle. If she could talk, Wiley would tell you that this Thanksgiving season she has much for which to be thankful.

Wiley first came to Young-Williams Animal Center as a stray in October of 2014. The 5-year-old collie was extremely malnourished and covered in ticks.  She walked with a bad limp to protect her right front leg which was clearly causing her a great deal of pain. An X-ray showed the leg was broken but with medical care, rest, and rehabilitation, she would be fine.  Read more →

An Important Discussion About Suicide

By Kathryn Rea Smith, PH.D.


On November 5th, I attended the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee’s 18th Annual Fall Psychiatric Symposium. This Symposium is a continuing education event for mental health practitioners in every discipline. The Symposium’s opening session was titled “On the Road to Zero Suicide”. The presenter, Kelly Posner, Ph.D., is the founder of the Center for Suicide Risk Assessment at Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute. As a mental health professional called to assess for suicide risk frequently, I was very interested in what Dr. Posner had to say. Read more →

Talking History with Ernest Freeberg

By Michael K. Smith, Ph.D.



“History teaches you to think,” Dr. Ernest Freeberg told me over coffee at Panera. “History also helps us understand how diverse human experience is, and the study of history can help a student develop a sense of empathy and complexity.” Dr. Freeberg completed an undergraduate English major at Middlebury College in 1980 and then a Ph.D. in History at Emory University in 1992. After teaching at Colby-Sawyer, he came to the University of Tennessee in 2003 and became Head of the History Department in 2013. Our conversation covered his three award winning books and ways to teach and understand history. Read more →

Reading Knoxville: The Age Of Edison

Book by Ernest Freeberg, Reviewed by Michael K. Smith, Ph.D.



“For more than a century Americans have regarded the creation of the incandescent light as the greatest act of invention in the nation’s history, and the light bulb has become our very symbol of a great idea.” Ernest Freeberg in The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America, explores how Edison’s invention was not just the work of a single genius but the result of a “complex social process”. At Menlo Park, Edison “invented a new style of invention, a coordinated program of scientific research and product development that amplified the speed and range of his individual genius by channeling it through the talents and insights of dozens of assistants”. Edison ushered in a new age of technological invention and the fruits of which still influence global society. Read more →

Celebrating Knoxville’s Young Mathematicians

Adam-and-Sam-Nov-2015On October 17th, 2015, we had the chance to attend Mathnasmium’s 5th Annual TriMathalon, hosted for the first time here in Knoxville. The contestants ranged from 43 second to fifth graders all from local Knox County Schools as well as a few private area schools. The competition consisted of three mathematical challenges: The Counting Game, Magic Squares, and Mental Math. It was a welcoming sight to see such gifted minds gather together for a day of friendly math competition, fun games, prizes, and pizza. During our time at TriMathalon, we were able to mingle with some of the winning contestants and Mike O’Hern, the Center Director of Mathnasium of West Knoxville and fellow Knoxville Parent contributor. Read more →

One Way To Break A Tie

By Mike O’Hern, Center Director of Mathnasium of West Knoxville



Last month at our math learning center we hosted the 5th Annual TriMathalon.  What an absolute ball we had.  It’s a math competition, but it’s also just a big, fun event for second through fifth grade kids and their families.  We had games, prizes, and, of course, pizza (I’m not sure one could call a gathering an “event” without pizza).  Like the name implies, the competition is broken into three separate events – The Counting Game, Magic Squares, and Mental Math. Read more →

Being Thankful For Gratitude

By Tracey Matthews Wynter, Supervisor of the Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement Department

Last month I came across a great article about gratitude.  Being that this is what I personally consider the best year of my life, I couldn’t resist reading it.  This month I would like to share a fellow author’s perspective as it is directly related to this month’s topic, “Giving Thanks”, and specifically how gratitude applies to the past, present, and the future. Below are excerpts from the article written by Dr. Harvey B. Simon, editor of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. Read more →

Dear Knox County Schools’ Families

By Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent of Knox County Schools

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 10th annual “Reach Them To Teach Them” event at the historic Tennessee Theatre.  Reach Them To Teach them is an annual event focused on celebrating and recognizing the incredibly important work our teachers do every day.  This event serves all levels of school personnel across East Tennessee through an evening of appreciation and personal challenge for educators.  The idea of the event was conceived in the basement of a West Knoxville church from Knox County Schools middle school teacher, Amy Crawford, who felt a bit weary and began to question if she was really making a difference in the lives of children.  She was inspired by an old cassette recording of Dr. Guy Doud who was sharing his insight as a National Teacher of the Year recipient.  This resulted in a renewed passion for educating children and a relentless vision to inspire fellow teachers. Read more →