Mr. T Cedar Hill Teacher of the Year

Each year the faculty of Cedar Hill School votes for teacher of the year. This year they voted for Tommy Davis, also known as Mr. T.

Tommy graduated from Elkton High School and is married to Jamie Davis, first grade teacher at Cedar Hill. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Davis retired from General Motors. During his last ten years working at GM, he taught part time at night at Calhoun Community College.  He taught photography, computer graphics, and general art.

In 2002 Mr. T was voted instructor of the year at Calhoun. He has a double masters in art. He received his masters from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, OH and his Associate and bachelor's degrees from Athens State University and Calhoun Community College.  He has been teaching at Cedar Hill for thirteen years.

When he retired from GM the art position became available at Cedar Hill and he wanted to teach art to younger students. "The younger ones are more excited about art and creating projects, Davis said. Teaching art helps build a child's confidence. Each piece of art is unique and different and means something personal to the artist as well as the viewer."

Teaching every student every year, Davis teaches pottery, glass fusing, print making, and painting.  His first, second, and fifth graders make pottery. His fifth graders do intaglio printing, where the design is cut, scratched, or etched into the printing surface. Third graders draw on foam. Students also do Japanese fish printing, known as gyotaku. Some students draw images on plastic and then transfer the image to paper.

City of Ardmore Approves Work on State Line Road

The Ardmore City Council met in regular session Thursday, December 5, 2019. Attending were Mayor Magnusson, Aldermen Smith, VanManen, Hargrove, Emerson, Crabtree, and Sherman.  Also present were Paul Manke, Mason Daniel, Margie Johnson, and Sherry Funkhouser.

Mayor Magnusson opened the meeting with prayer and Alderman Sherman led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Alderman Hargrove made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 7th regular meeting. Alderman Crabtree second and vote was unanimous. Alderman Sherman made a motion to approve the minutes of a special called meeting held November 27th. Alderman Emerson second and vote was unanimous.  Alderman Emerson made a motion to approve November expenditures. Alderman VanManen second and vote was unanimous.

The special called meeting held November 27 was to discuss Mayor Magnusson being approached by a representative of WAFF, Channel 48 about partnering with them to bring military greetings to their viewers.  Mary explained to the council the greetings will be aired 50 times throughout the month of December with 100,000 sponsored digital ads which could be used throughout the year for different events for a cost of $1950.00. Alderman Hargrove made a motion to approve the greetings. Alderman Emerson second. After discussion, Aldermen Smith, Hargrove, Emerson, Crabtree and Sherman voted for the motion. Alderman VanManen opposed.  The motion carried.

The council had obtained a bid for repair work on Stateline Road. The bid from R.J. Watkins and Company was for $21,000.00.  Mayor Magnusson discussed the matter with Mayor Shannon. Shannon sent a proposal to Mayor Magnusson allowing $8,000.00 to cover expenses. $4,000.00 to be paid by the town and $4000.00 to be paid by the city. The town presented a bid for $5800.00 form Craig Quillin.  This includes digging a footing, constructing wing wall, including rebar and pouring concrete bottom under bridge on both lanes.  After much discussion, Alderman Crabtree made a motion to accept the bid from Craig Quillin and the proposal from the town.  Alderman Emerson second and vote was unanimous.

Resolution No. R-19-12-05, a resolution asking the Giles County Commission to authorize the Giles County Highway Department to perform work in the city of Ardmore during the fiscal year 2020 was passed. The resolution is necessary for the City to be able to request the county work on projects inside the city. Alderman Hargrove made a motion to approve the resolution and Alderman Sherman second and vote was unanimous.

Mayor Magnusson stated he received a letter from Mediacom stating their rates will go up $10.00 per month starting December 22nd.

Mayor Magnusson informed the council there are 3 old riding lawn mowers in the city garage that don't run and are beyond repair.  He asked for permission from the council to scrap all three.  Alderman VanManen made a motion scrap the mowers.  Alderman Emerson second and vote was unanimous.

Alderman Crabtree stated the concrete tile on Union Hill Road in front of the church is falling apart and needs to be repaired after the first of the year.

Alderman Sherman stated he would like to have a light placed in front of the annex building to shine on the flag.

Sherry Funkhouser is still having problems with dogs running loose in her neighborhood on Austin Street. Mayor Magnusson stated he is seeking legal advice as to how to update the city dog ordinances.

Mayor Magnusson explained the expenses at the city park.  There was faulty wiring that had to be brought up to code in the restrooms Magnusson reported and that a light was placed at the parking lot of the walking track.  Johnny Hatchett, a licensed electrician performed the work.

Alderman VanManen asked if employee bonuses were voted on and approved.  Mayor Magnusson informed him from the minutes of meetings held last year, that they were given and not discussed or voted on, therefore he approved the bonuses.  The town has approved the amounts for their employees, so Mayor Magnusson gave city employees the same bonus, which was the same amount as last year.

Mayor Magnusson stated employees need to be reminded about the employee policy concerning leave. Only approved holiday, vacation, sick, or compensory time can be taken.  Any employee taking time off not in accordance with city policy will not be paid.

There being no further business, Alderman Emerson made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Alderman VanManen second. Vote was unanimous.

Cedar Hill Elementary School Principal Mr. Glenn Garner, left, and Ms. Emily Paschall, assistant principal; right, congratulate Mr. John T. Davis on being named Teacher of the Year.

Davis says supplies for the more than 400 students in his classes cost $6 to $7,000.00 a year. All students included use 40,000 pieces of glass for the entire year, and the school receives no state funding for art supplies.  Davis conducts several fundraisers throughout the year to help with costs of materials.  He has a Mom's jewelry making class in spring and an art show in February.  In addition the school has dances, and a clay camp in the summer provides some money for the supplies. Davis also, writes grant proposals. Davis has received a grant for $750.00 to purchase a print making press.

Each year the Limestone County Commission has an ornament contest and each school in the county presents an ornament made in art class. Cedar Hill's ornament has been chosen to be put on the Christmas tree in the Limestone County Courthouse three of the last four years. This year winning first place.

Mr. T truly enjoys teaching art, but he doesn't just teach art, he teaches the science behind the art as well as the history of art. "Science, art, and history are all connected, and I try to teach every aspect of art. Davis explained. I am teaching elementary art from a college perspective."  Mr. T never uses crayons in his classes, students use oil pastels for painting projects.Claude Monet, Michelangelo, Edward Hopper, Dorothea Lange, Vincent Van Gogh, are a few of histories greatest artists and photographers, all included by Mr. T in art class.

"I want my students to make heirloom art, not refrigerator art, Mr. T concluded.  Art that will be kept for years and treasured."

Two people help him with the prep work for his classes, Rick Robinson and Beverly Browning.  Rick and Beverly both worked with Mr. T at GM.

The art show is in February 2020.  Everyone is encouraged to attend and see the beautiful works of art the Cedar Hill students have created.  Cedar Hill is the only school around this area that teaches glass fusing. Mr. T makes art fun, educational, and interesting.

Cedar Hill Elementary Principal Mr. Glenn Garner, left, and Ms. Emily Paschall, assistant principal, right, congratulate Mrs. Lori Brock upon being named CHES Support Person of the Year for 2019.

Cedar Hill Chooses Support Person of the Year

Each year the faculty and staff at Cedar Hill Elementary School chooses a support person of the year. This year the staff chose Lori Brock.  Lori, a custodian, cleans inside and outside of the school, orders inventory and is a big cheerleader and supporter of the school.

Mrs. Brock is married and has three sons, two have graduated and one is in the 7th grade at Ardmore High School.  She has worked as a custodian for four years and volunteered and was a substitute teacher for fifteen years.

Mrs. Brock worked as a dental assistant before getting married. When she had her first child, she became a stay at home mom.  Her children attended Cedar Hill School, so she volunteered and was a substitute teacher and then a position came open in the cafeteria and she worked there for three years. Then she became one of two custodians.  Lori says to be a substitute teacher you can either be certified to teach or have a high school diploma and pass background screening.

Brock is from the Huntsville area but has lived in Ardmore for 15 years.  Her children attended Cedar Hill and she loves the atmosphere and the small town feel of Ardmore. "The staff, faculty, and students are like one big family and that's what makes it a joy to work at Cedar Hill," Lori said.

Mrs. Brock gives credit to Hope Graham, the other custodian. She says they share all duties and work together very well.  "It's a team effort to take care of the building and grounds," Brock added.

Present at a benefit Toy Drive held Sunday, December 8, 2019, at Last Chance in Ardmore when $5228 in cash donations was collected along with many toys to be used to help needy children in the Ardmore area this Christmas are, from left, Ardmore Police Officer Chad Mitchell, Greg Schrimsher, Connie McNeese, Wanda Hargrove, and Ardmore Police Officer Larry Chapman. (YCS photo by Joe Stagner)

Preparing stew at the Ardmore Fire Department Saturday, December 7, 2019 are from left, Dee Goodman, Tim Toone, Dion Duffey, Mike Ferguson and Cole Phillips. (YCS photo by Joe Stagner)

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