Mark Cate to leave Maryville College

By Lance Coleman
Blount Today

In June, Mark Cate will "graduate" Maryville College and join the business world.

Cate, current vice president of advancement and finance at Maryville College, will leave the school on June 30. Cate, who has been with the college 16 years, will join the firm of Lawler-Wood.

Cate started with the school when he was 25 as a residence director and met his wife Cathy during the interview process. The couple has two daughters, Bailey, 9 and Abbie, 6.

Cathy Cate said their daughters have grown up around the administration, students, culture and traditions of the college. "We plan to stay involved in the life of Maryville College and in the civic arts center," she said. "It’s exciting."

Mark Cate said his emotions were bittersweet because his career grew during his time with the college. As he moved up through ranks, Cate says he found the college gave him various opportunities to grow, he said. "I wouldn’t have this opportunity with Lawler-Wood if it weren’t for opportunities the college gave me. I feel like I’ve graduated."

Cate said he would strive to take the values and traditions he learned while working at Maryville College and apply them in the business world.

The Cates plan to stay in Maryville, where Cathy Cate is executive director of Leadership Blount County.

Lawler-Wood L.L.C., which was retained in April of 2005 to manage the Phase II projects of the Civic Arts Center, is a provider of commercial development, property management and housing services. The company was founded in 1975 in Knoxville by Pat Wood and Rodney Lawler.

Blount County budget committee recommends 5-cent property tax hike
The Blount County Budget Committee will send a budget to county commission that is less than what both the Blount County Sheriff’s office and the Blount County school system requested. Accompanying the proposed budget is a recommended 5-cent property tax increase.

The committee met on Monday, May 7, and recommended the 5-cent property tax increase. The committee members voted unanimously to approve a $39 million general fund budget. It would require the county’s property tax rate jump from $2.18 to 2.23 per $100 of assessed value. State law mandates that the full commission approve a new budget by July 1.

Adding up to about $1 million in the budget is the committee’s recommendation for a maximum 5 percent performance-based raise for county employees.

While the budget does include increased funding for the sheriff’s office, it falls short of the $2.6 million Sheriff James Berrong requested to fund pay increases for deputies.

The budget committee also recommended allowing the sheriff access to other funds to address salary issues. The committee recommended he be able to use a $550,000 increase in unbudgeted federal funds the office is paid for housing federal inmates. The committee also recommended the sheriff be able to use funds from vacant positions in his department to fund salary increases.

The budget committee members proposed that the 2007-2008 Blount County Schools budget be capped $5.4 million shy of their $79.2 million budget request. The system’s current budget is $72.5 million.

While the commission’s next meeting is on May 18, it is expected that the commissioners will vote on the new budget during the June meeting.

Kirk is recognized as a top middle school principal
Alcoa Middle School principal Jim Kirk and 17 other principals from across the state were recognized May 7 for being the best in Tennessee at advancing students academically. Kirk was placed second in the Middle School Eastern Tennessee district. He wasn’t able to be at the event, and his wife accepted the award on his behalf.

Each of the principals’ schools has been recognized as being exceptionally effective in lifting the achievement of students as measured by Tennessee’s value-added accountability system. The awards were presented by the Education Consumers Foundation at a ceremony in the State Capitol.

"Educating our children is the most important thing we do," said Gov. Phil Bredesen. "The principals and teachers of these schools are doing an excellent job in helping their students learn, and in raising standards and expectations. Their record of performance attests to the hard work and dedication."

Tennessee’s value-added assessment system measures achievement gain in a way that permits schools to be compared regardless of the makeup of the student body. Schools whose students make the greatest annual gains in achievement earn the highest value-added scores.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Lana Seivers represented Governor Bredesen during the ceremony.

"It’s a distinct pleasure to honor the educators and schools that are doing such an excellent job of advancing the knowledge and skills of their students," said Seivers. "Tennessee is the only state to have an assessment system that permits educators to gain a truly accurate picture of how their efforts are impacting students."

The 18 winners were selected from Tennessee’s over 1300 public elementary and middle schools. Awards based on 3-year value-added gains in Reading/Language Arts and Math were given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in grades 4-6 and grades 6-8 within each of Tennessee’s three regions -- East, Middle, and West.

Because the awards were given in recognition of high quality leadership, only schools where the principal has served for five or more years were considered.

"The leadership shown by the principals at these 18 schools is remarkable, and it illustrates what can be accomplished regardless of the wealth or poverty of the student body," said Education Consumers Foundation President Dr. J. E.

Stone. "With TVAAS, people are able to see exactly what each school contributes to the success of its students, not just the test score averages that are so heavily influenced by demographic and socioeconomic differences. These are the schools that do the best job of helping students ‘be all they can be,’ regardless of their strengths and weaknesses, their advantages and disadvantages."

Additional information about the winners, including their "recipe for success" and school performance charts showing how they compare to other schools around the state are available at

The winning principals received a certificate and a cash award: $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place, and $1,000 for third place. The Education Consumers Foundation is a nonprofit consumer organization.

Downtown Association to hold open house
On June 4, the Maryville Downtown Association will hold an open house for non-members at Preservation Plaza’s Top of the Plaza facility.

Association president Roger Young, a vice president with First Tennessee Bank, said the event will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. with light hors d’oeuvres.

"We’re inviting all existing members and anyone interested in the Downtown Association to come and join us," he said.
The association’s goal is to bring more individuals and businesses to the downtown area.

NALC letter carriers hold food drive on Saturday
On Saturday, May 12, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities across America will deliver much more than mail. They also will collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers participating in the 15th annual National Association of Letter Carriers National Food Drive.

Letter carriers will collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in Post Offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters.

All food collected in Blount County will go to Food Pantry Blount County, Chilhowee Baptist Association and Open Pantry. The food collected will stay in Blount County.

Area residents wishing to donate food to the needy are encouraged to place food donations in or near their mailbox on the Morning of Saturday May 12. Letter carriers will collect donations while servicing their routes.

Evening with Lee Humphrey is Saturday
Former Maryville Rebel and University of Florida basketball star Lee Humphrey will speak and welcome challenges to a game of H-O-R-S-E at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Maryville High School gym.

Humphrey will talk about setting goals, his faith and winning NCAA championships.

Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. A shoot-around with the sharp-shooting guard starts at 7 p.m. Participants can challenge him
to a game of H-O-R-S-E.

The atmosphere will be informal, and there is no charge for admission.

Citizens for Blount County’s Future to hold meeting
Citizens for Blount County’s Future will hold their monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 15, at the Blount County Public Library in the Dorothy Herron Room A.

Special guest will be Blount County commissioner Wendy Pitts-Reeves.

For more information, contact Linda King at 865-681-0662.

© 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!