People & Places

United Way Partners with Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee to Provide STEAM Training

Summer STEAM program for Murfreesboro City ESP participants

The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, in partnership with Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, recently provided a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) training for staff members of the Murfreesboro City ESP (extended school program). Girl Scout representatives led the training for ESP staff members for a nine-week STEAM program, with materials and supplies provided by United Way.

The kits included introduction and discovery lessons surrounding coding, LEGO® robotics, engineering, as well as experiential learning opportunities with science concepts such as density, surface area, states of matter, force and electricity.

Children who participate in the Summer STEAM program at the ESP sites will experience real-world, hands on lessons that provide student-led opportunities for discovery and cultivate evaluation and problem-solving skills. The kits will equip students with knowledge of and experience with information and skills needed in today’s workforce.

Kandy Powers, Grants and Academic Programs Coordinator for the Extended School Program of Murfreesboro City Schools, said, “ESP is extremely excited and thankful for a partnership with the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee and the United Way this summer. Our staff members are prepared to facilitate amazing lessons this summer to both boys and girls participating in summer ESP.

MTSU Commission Ceremony

Graduating senior Army ROTC cadets were commissioned Friday, May 5, as it has been one busy semester for all the young men and women preparing for military careers while juggling academic pursuits.

Sixteen cadets were in a formal ceremony including guest speaker Robert Harris, a retired U.S. Army major general.  The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC, program helps cadets with leadership and managerial skills and confidence.

During the spring, Army ROTC cadets completed many tasks, including a trip to Gettysburg, during which seniors were split into groups and assigned research topics on different segments of the battle. A park ranger helped foster discussion and the cadets had to brief their assignments with the entire class.

“The staff ride helped expand their knowledge of military history as well as provided lessons on leadership,” said cadet Matthew West, a senior computer information systems major from Thompson’s Station, Tennessee.

This summer, all junior cadets will attend a month long Advance Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Read To Succeed Honors Volunteers and Supporters

Read To Succeed honored some of its most outstanding volunteers and supporters.  The event took place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Murfreesboro and food was provided by Gondolier restaurant and Rich Products.  Dr. James (Jim) Herman was the recipient of the highest honor of the day, The Jennings & Rebecca Jones Outstanding Contributions to Literacy Award. 

Nancy Duggin described Jim as a “second mile man”.  She said that Dr. Herman is an advocate of literacy for all and is respected across Tennessee and the nation due to his work with literacy.
The Learner of the Year, Betty Jean Kraft, was presented her award by her tutor, Ms. Linda Reasonover.  Ms. Kraft was grateful to her tutor for all she has taught her.  The ESL Learner of the Year, Amada Rosa Báez, wrote and read her comments to the audience in English and thanked her ESL teacher and Read To Succeed for all the help she has received.

Read To Succeed offers classes and programs at no cost to hundreds of learners each year, but these would not be possible without the volunteers that take their time to teach people like Betty Jean Kraft and Amada Rosa Báez.  

The 2017 Appreciation Award Recipients are:
Tutor of the Year – Cara Jones
Learner of the Year – Betty Jean Kraft
ESL Team of the Year – The DEN-New Vision Baptist Church
ESL Learner of the Year – Amada Rosa Báez
School of the Year – Mercury Court Preschool
Family Literacy Volunteer Group of Year – Central Magnet NEHS
Community Partner of the Year – Retta Gardner/Guaranty Trust
Program Partner of the Year – Dr. Terri Tharp-MTSU
Corporate Sponsor of the Year – Rich Products
Board Member of the Year – Janie Becker
Shining Star of the Year – Karis Lane
Outstanding Interns of the Year – Tyler Armstrong and Kendall Jobe
Jennings & Rebecca Jones Outstanding Contributions to Literacy Award –
Dr. James Herman

Middle Tennessee nonprofit Alive Hospice announces 2017 Board of Directors

Rutherford County’s Dr. Warren McPherson, Lynn Lien serving in leadership roles Middle Tennessee nonprofit Alive Hospice has announced its 2017 Board of Directors including officers, committee chairs and six new members as well as several community leaders serving on board committees. Alive’s Board of Directors is chaired by Dr. Warren McPherson of Murfreesboro, a retired neurosurgeon, businessman and community leader. Additionally, Lynn Lien, also of Murfreesboro, serves as chair of the Board’s Community Development Committee.
“Alive Hospice’s mission is one of life and living in the midst of dying. It is a truly universal mission, as we all will someday be touched by the loss of a loved one and our own mortality,” said Alive Hospice President and CEO Anna-Gene O’Neal. “Alive was created to help families not only confront that reality, but to actively plan for it – even embrace it – not just as an inevitable part of life, but as a natural, meaningful part of life. Every member of Alive’s Board of Directors deeply believes in this endeavor, and we are fortunate to have such remarkable community leaders advocating on behalf of that mission and those we serve.”

Alive Hospice has provided care and services in Rutherford and surrounding counties since 2002. It expanded its services in the area with the Grand Opening and Dedication of The Residence at Alive Hospice Murfreesboro on Thursday, May 25. Alive’s Murfreesboro Residence brings a dedicated inpatient hospice facility to Rutherford County as well as expanded grief support offerings and community education programs. Alive’s Murfreesboro-based team will continue to provide home hospice care in Rutherford, Bedford, Cannon, Coffee and DeKalb counties.

2017 Officers, Alive Hospice Board of Directors:
Dr. Warren McPherson, Chair
(Retired Neurosurgeon, Businessman and Community Leader)

Will Wright, Past Chair
(Premise Health)

Beth Workman, Treasurer/Chair, Finance Committee
(United Derm Partners)

Donna Eskind, Secretary
(Community Leader)

Anna-Gene O’Neal, President & CEO
(Alive Hospice)

Insight Counseling Centersintroduces Murfreesboro Mood

It’s okay to truly experience one’s feelings, and Murfreesboro’s Insight Counseling Center wants to impress that upon everyone.  In this era of having to be “strong” and political correctness, feelings are left by the wayside and hidden, soon to be buried so deeply that showing true emotion is challenging.  Mayor Ernest Burgess teamed with Insight Counseling Centers to present a dozen emotion boards filled with sticker emotions to make sharing feelings easier and to spark conversations and healing.  

The Mood Boards are the brain child of Tyler Cochran and each tiny one inch sticker could tell a story of your day.  One could feel “excited”, “withdrawn”, “exhausted”, “angry”, or all of them at the same time.  There are 12 boards throughout Rutherford County as an introduction to Mental Health Month.  Find one, and begin a conversation, assist someone in need, or find the joy in a discussion with someone new.

Central Magnet Chess Program Competes Nationally

Sixteen members of the Central Magnet Chess Program played in the US Chess SuperNationals VI on May 12-14 at the Opryland Hotel. With 5,577 players from 49 states, it was the largest Chess event in history. Out of this throng of talented competitors, three Central students won individual trophies in their divisions, and two CMS groups earned Team trophies!  

11th grader Eric Ramsay tied for second place in the nation - with tie breaks earning him 3rd place out of 490 players for the K-12 under 1600 division. His team took 36th place, and included Morgan Elrod-Erickson, Joshua Stueckle, Micah Warren, and Edgar Lozano.
9th grader Chandler McCook secured 13th place out of 220 players for the K-12 under 800 division. Other members of Chandler’s team were Meleah Lanier, Eli Barlar, Lizbeth Lozano, and Miguel Beristain. This Central team came in 10th place in the NATION, reported chess coach Igor Zhislin.

Joshua Guaz won 35th place out of 379 players in the K-8 under 750 division. His team came in 24th place and included Charlie Mack, Luke Duran, Nathaniel Carter, Jon Wich, and Matthew Feragola.  

“Central Magnet outperformed every other Tennessee team in each of our divisions,” faculty sponsor Nick Horton said. “We are so proud of all of our players – they rank among the best in the United States and represent Rutherford County Schools with pride and excellence!” This comes on the heels of a strong showing at the Grade Nationals in December, where Central Magnet Chess 9th grade team finished 4th best in the Nation!  Eight individual students placed in the top three in their respective grades and classes.

Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity Receives Grant from Million Dollar Round Table Foundation

The MDRT Foundation has awarded a $2,000 grant to Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity to provide homebuyer education through the Get Ready: Financial Literacy for Homebuyers Program. Through its global grants programs, the MDRT Foundation is committed to building stronger families and communities around the globe. This year, the MDRT Foundation will award over $1 million in MDRT member-endorsed grants to more than 200 charitable organizations worldwide.

Representing the MDRT Foundation, Chase Sinquefield, presented this grant to Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity on April 22, 2017 at the Ribbon Cutting for their new ReStore.

Get Ready:  Financial Literacy for Homebuyers provides education to improve the credit history, savings and financial stability of families who want to apply for Habitat’s program.  “This type of program is essential for creating stable future homeowners and we are pleased to be able to offer it to our community,” said Terri Shultz, Executive Director of the Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity.

Spring Soirée honoring Education

John Floyd, the honoree of the fundraising dinner in February and friend of Bledsoe’s, attended the souirée, along with, from left: Karen Sledge, Debbie and Michael Jeans, April Bledsoe, Beth Hackett, Stace Hackett, Thomas Bledsoe, Sadie Fowler, (Floyd), Katie and Colby Jubenville, Ben and Maggie Parsley, and Brook and David LaRoche.

John Floyd, the honoree of the fundraising dinner in February and friend of Bledsoe’s, attended the souirée, along with, from left: Karen Sledge, Debbie and Michael Jeans, April Bledsoe, Beth Hackett, Stace Hackett, Thomas Bledsoe, Sadie Fowler, (Floyd), Katie and Colby Jubenville, Ben and Maggie Parsley, and Brook and David LaRoche.

Brook and David LaRoche hosted a Spring Souirée at their Murfreesboro home, along with co-hosts Maggie and Ben Parsley, honoring the City Schools Foundation. Back in February, during the 10th annual Excellence in Education Celebration fundraising dinner at the Stones River Country Club, a raffle was given away with the recipient receiving a dinner for a group of friends at the LaRoche’s home. Thomas Bledsoe of Murfreesboro won the raffle and invited a variety of friends to the souirée, which turned out to be an evening of wine tasting, good food provided by Five Senses, and catching up with old and new friends alike.

Clary, James fill key roles at new First National branch

Two customer-oriented banking veterans have joined First National Bank of Middle Tennessee to fill key roles in the bank’s new branch at 3427 Memorial which will open this spring.
Colleen Clary will serve as branch manager at the new facility directly across from VA Hospital, and Patty James will be client service representative.  “As we grow the First National Bank of Middle Tennessee footprint in the Murfreesboro/Rutherford County market, we are excited to announce the addition of two well- known, experienced banking professionals to the staff of our new branch who are champions at providing community banking the way it used to be,” Brian Wilcox, executive vice president who oversees Rutherford County operations for First National Bank, said.

The new, 5,400-sqaure-foot branch will have 8-10 employees, offering depository products, safe deposit boxes, commercial lending, mortgage lending and consumer lending.
Clary and James will be joined by FNB Mortgage loan officers Bill Fuson and Karen Milligan who will relocate from current Murfreesboro locations, and Kim Stice, a loan officer, currently working from the bank’s branch at 1708 Gateway Boulevard.

Clary brings more than 10 years of management/banking experience to First National, serving as a financial advisor in her most recent position. “I am ecstatic to be part of such a wonderful organization and to play a part in the opening of our second location here in Rutherford County. I look forward to working with our customers by providing them with exceptional customer service with our friendly staff and smiling faces. We look forward to serving you, to help you to achieve all of your financial goals,” she said. Clary is a girls’ fast pitch softball coach and has participated in community events, including Relay for Life, Breast Cancer Awareness and March of Dimes. She is a native of DeKalb County where she still currently resides with her husband David and three children, Brayden, Kobbe and Kyleigh

James has 30 years of banking experience within the local community, having worked in bookkeeping, teller department, consumer lending and client service area opening personal and business accounts, certificate of deposit and IRA accounts..   “I am very happy to be a part of the growth we are experiencing in Rutherford County and with First National Bank. I enjoy working with community banks. They have a sincere family atmosphere with  their employees and customers,” she said. James has worked with Junior League, United Way, Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Advocacy Center, St. Thomas Ambassadors and Read to Succeed. She is a member of Third Baptist Church. She and husband, David James, have three children: daughters: Lauren Pearson and Kathy James Todd, and son: Scott James.

Adamsplace Recent Recipient For Four Awards Of Excellence

The Town of Smyrna celebrated the opening of the new Smyrna Outdoor Activity Center.

The Town of Smyrna celebrated the opening of the new Smyrna Outdoor Activity Center.

National HealthCare Corporation, one of the nation’s leading operators of senior care services, presented AdamsPlace of Murfreesboro with four Awards of Excellence at this year’s Annual Management Conference:  Center of Excellence Award, the Five-Star Certified Center Award, the Administrator’s Roundtable Award and the Honor Club Legends Award.

The Five-Star Certification of Excellence, one of the most prestigious internal awards, recognizes the outstanding services provided by the staff, and publicly recognizes AdamsPlace as one of NHC’s best. AdamsPlace has received this award for 16 years.

The Center of Excellence award is given to NHC centers that meet the highest standards in patient support, safety, rehabilitation and nursing care, employee turnover and financial performance.

Buckley Winfree, administrator at AdamsPlace, accepted these awards for his team.
“It is a privilege to work with such a dedicated team of people who truly impact the lives of our patients and all AdamsPlace residents,” said Winfree. “The level of compassion behind the care is important, and our team prides themselves on the attention they pay to each individual need of our patients.”

In addition, NHC honored AdamsPlace with the Administrator’s Roundtable Award, given to the director of centers continually ranked in the top 10%, and the Honor Club Legends Award for the best overall operational performance.

Adamsplace Names Clark To New Position

AdamsPlace has named Ann Clark as the Executive Director of Assisted Living for the campus, according to Buckley Winfree, administrator.

Clark has served as the Marketing Director for Assisted Living since joining AdamsPlace in 2011.  In this new position, she will oversee the campus expansion and opening of the new Memory Care Center at AdamsPlace as well as play a larger leadership role with the overall operations.

In making the announcement, Winfree stated, “Ann has been instrumental in the success of our Assisted Living operation, from new resident communication to community relations and ongoing resident service.  She has helped make this a welcoming environment for our residents and their families while effectively managing the center for our company.  This new position reflects that performance, and I am confident she will guide us to even more success in the future.”

Clark has over 20 years of experience in the marketing and operation of assisted living communities.  A native of Murfreesboro, she is a graduate of MTSU.

Seven Named To Murfreesboro Soccer Club Board Of Director As Programming Grows

Seven Murfreesboro-area residents have been named to the Murfreesboro Soccer Club (MSC) Board of Directors, joining 14 board members already in place.  The new board members are Melissa Alford, Sharon Colbert-Sanders, George Conlin, Ralph Krisher, Clint Teasley, Stephen Vorhees and Kathlene Young.  Each will serve a three-year term on the nonprofit board and will have specific responsibilities during their board tenure.  

“We’re very excited to welcome these committed community leaders to the Murfreesboro Soccer Club Board,” said MSC President Bryan Kleparek.  “Our work continues to grow as we add new services and new programming for the community.  In addition to expanding our recreational soccer and competitive soccer programs, this year we launched TOPSoccer, a free program for children with special needs.  Our board is a working board, and each member is assigned to a specific task or area of responsibility.”

The seven join the current MSC Board Members Bryan Kleparek, President; Troy Robinson Vice President, Events Chair; Alan Vendur, Personnel; Dennis Buckley Secretary, Adults, Rec U19; Mike Cowles Treasurer, Sponsorships; Art Fuller, Referees; Jason Morrison, Select Chair; Becky Smith, TOPSoccer Chair; Carlos Cornel Rec, Personnel; Thomas Parkerson, Rec U7-U10; Max Moss; Paul Parkerson, Fields Chair; George Tucker, Rec U6; and Brian Yochum Rec Chair, Rec U-5.

United Way’s Stuff The Bus Collection Drive To Prepare Students For School

The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties is set to collect items for Back to School kits for kids kindergarten through fifth grade beginning June 13, 2017, through July 25, 2017.  For participating corporate and community collection sites, a Stuff the Bus kick-off will be held on June 13th at the United Way office at 8 a.m.  

This year, the United Way is looking to increase corporate and community collection sites to reach its goal of supporting 5,000 children within Cannon County, Murfreesboro City and Rutherford County schools. Focusing on one of the United Way’s priority community issues, helping children and youth succeed, United Way will work to collect resources that students need to encourage school readiness.

Stuff the Bus collection items include:

  • Backpacks
  • Composition Notebooks
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Scissors (Fiskars)
  • Glue Sticks (Elmer’s)
  • Colored Pencils
  • Crayons (Crayola)