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WBHS takes First Place at Academic Festival

Students at William Blount High School competed Thursday and Friday, April 12-13, at the Academic Festival hosted by Roane State Community College in Harriman, Tennessee, an event that recognizes both individual and group talents. The Governors placed 1st in the large-school division.

"It's phenomenal that year after year, among the many teams from all over east and middle Tennessee, our county -
including William Blount and Heritage - continues to excel," said principal Steve Lafon.

This year, 1910 students from 30 high schools, three home school programs, one vocational school, and one private academy participated in the festival. On the first day of competition, the Governors performed vocal and instrumental selections. Tabby Stott placed 1st in vocal solo (Broadway/musical theater) and Miranda Coffey placed 2nd in the same category. Brandi Millsaps placed 2nd in piano solo (pop/jazz/contemporary Christian).

All other competitions occurred on Friday, April 13. Art winners included Jon Stennes (3rd watercolor, 1st printmaking), Chelsey Garner (honorable mention watercolor), Jordan Conley (1st graphic design), William Chambers (2nd graphic design) and Corey Endsley (3rd graphic design). In the biology division, nine students placed, including Brian Bohling (2nd biology exam), Brandi Millsaps (1st vertebrates photo, 2nd microorganisms photo), Heather Lovingood (2nd plants photo), Joe LaCombe (3rd plants photo), Kandace Rimmer (honorable mention plants photo), Megan Woody (1st flowers photo), Jennifer Ledbetter (3rd flowers photo) and Britney Lakes (1st microorganisms photo).

In the business skills division, the team of Stephanie Adams, Megan Woody and Michael Johnson placed 3rd in the Web Quest competition. Chemistry winners included Anthony Bartl (1st essay), Grant Allard (2nd essay), Kaitlin Walker (3rd essay), Michael Harrington (1st essay/demonstration and Tiffany Lawson (2nd essay/demonstration).

Winners in the creative writing category included Miranda Coffey (1st personal narrative, 3rd analytic essay, 2nd 80-word dash), Elise Jones (1st argumentative essay), Laura Tenpenny (2nd analytic essay), Leah McCammon (1st traditional poetry), Haley Stinnett (3rd free verse, 3rd personal narrative), Dallas Fitzgerald (2nd science fiction/fantasy), Chris Millsaps (1st satire), Tim Cooper (2nd satire), Grant Allard (3rd science fiction/fantasy), Van Smith (2nd 40-word dash junior/senior), Nicole Sievers (3rd 40-word dash junior/senior), Kristen Waggoner (1st 40-word dash freshman/sophomore) and Madeline Edwards (1st 80-word dash freshman/sophomore).

"This was our strongest showing in the creative writing division over the many years of attending the festival," said English Department chair Lisa Millsaps. "We beat our previous record by ten points."

Foreign language winners included Rachel Sheldon (1st French III dictation), Laura Tenpenny (3rd French III dictation), Anthony Bartl (1st French II dictation), Katie Crabtree (2nd French II dictation), Kylie Elliott (3rd French II dictation), Michael Harrington (1st French III poetry), Jacob Denton (2nd French III poetry), Samantha Anderson (3rd French III poetry) and Whitney Hower (3rd French I dictation). Samantha Dudley and Michael Burnash placed 1st in Spanish dance.
Other Spanish winners included Neal Grah (3rd Spanish I poetry) and Kendra Gamble and Brandon Pelligrini (2nd Spanish II theatre).

The Governor tied for 3rd place in yearbook, and the WB Gazette took 2nd in newspaper, while staffers Meagan Malone (3rd news story/investigative) and Monica Malone (3rd editorial) placed in individual competitions. Richard Burke took 2nd place in solo acting in the speech and theatre division.

In one of the most entertaining events at the festival, William Blount took 2nd place in the dance team competition. Members of the team are Sarah Young, Chelsea Harmon, LiYin Chin, Chelsey Garner, Taylor Bell, Brittany Jones, Cheyenne Barnes, Jennifer Hodge, Amy Pierce, Brittany Reno and Emily Sharp. Other dance winners included Kristen Palacios (2nd ballet) and Madison Borden and Beau Bushong (1st modern/jazz group).

"It was really exciting to see all of the other dance teams compete. We had a unique dance this year, one that told a story. Being able to place at Roane State once again was especially nice for the six seniors," said senior Emily Sharp.
One new event was added to this year's competition - Military Drill Team. Both the boys' and girls' teams from WBHS placed in the competition. The Angels team (2nd place) includes Candace Lawton, Chauntele Scarlett, Kristina McKnight, Marka Fitzsimmons, Nikki Breeden, Zanna Borden, Katie Carver, Krystal Cook and Katie McNutt. The Omega team (1st place) includes Colton Swicegood, Michael Burnash, Zoey Beason, Kyle Bubel, Michael Popp, Jacob Kagley, Phillip Hudgens, Michael Fritz and Dustin Evans.

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