Shining bright for education

Maryville City Schools Foundation announces Starlight Award winners

For six years, the Maryville City Schools Foundation has been looking for those in the community who have that “star” quality. Each year they have honored individuals, graduates, families and businesses who have shown dedication to education and service to schools with the annual Starlight Awards.

The award is a distinguished one, and the recipients of the 7th Annual Starlight Awards are holding up the tradition of excellence.

The Maryville City Schools Foundation awards Starlight honors in the categories of distinguished alumni, outstanding young alumni, distinguished service, family partnership and community partnership. Winners are announced today and will be honored at a Starlight Gala on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, at the Capitol Theatre.

The Maryville City Schools Foundation has presented annual awards to honor outstanding alumni and supporters of Maryville City Schools since 2003. The Starlight Awards recipients for this year are:

Distinguished Alumni:

Joe Dawson and Glenn Reynolds

The Distinguished Alumni Award is granted to Maryville High School graduates who have made outstanding contributions to their professions or chosen fields of endeavor, or for distinguished service to their community, state or nation.

Joseph Dawson is a graduate of Maryville High School and Maryville College. Dawson is the administrator of Blount Memorial Hospital where he has held the position for 24 years. During that time, he has been instrumental in the development of an outstanding community hospital. He has built relationships with public, government and community leaders; improved the scope of hospital services and facilities; strengthened relationships and recruitment efforts with physicians and employees; and been deemed a state and national leader in the health care arena.

Dawson is deeply rooted in Blount County, and he demonstrates to others his personal commitment to service through leadership and involvement with many non-profits. One of his colleague’s describes Dawson by saying, “Joe has been a leader, starting with his early days in Blount County and continuing today. He has been very unselfish with his time and his talents and has made numerous organizations better through his service. Our community is richer for the leadership and service he has provided for our community and hospital.”

Glenn Reynolds is a graduate of Maryville High School and Yale Law School. Reynolds is currently the Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Reynolds is also the founder of Instapundit, the largest and longest publishing political weblog.

In addition to his position as a law professor, Reynolds is the author of four books, a contributor to Pajamas Media on Pajamas TV and host of Instavision - a weekly program focused on politics, science and culture. He also writes a column for Popular Mechanics and The Washington Examiner as well as writes regularly for Forbes.

Reynolds is an expert in space and technology law. His opinions have appeared in many law publications including the Columbia Law Review as well as the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology. Reynolds also enjoys music. He produces, writes and performs with a number of bands including Mobius Dick, The Nebraska Guitar Militia and the Defenders of the Faith.

Outstanding Young Alumni:

Kevin Painter

Outstanding Young Alumni is granted to Maryville High School graduates, age 35 or younger when nominated, for significant accomplishments in their professions or chosen fields of endeavor or for distinguished human service to their community, state or nation.

Kevin Painter graduated from Maryville City Schools and has proven to be a successful business leader who gives back to the community. Kevin Painter co-founded LeConte Wealth Management as an independent financial firm in 2007 with one other business partner. Within two and a half years and during an economic recession, Kevin and his partner brought in new clients and assets under management for clients. Kevin proactively works with clients to help establish and maintain long-term financial goals.

Out of more than 1,200 Commonwealth financial advisers in the United States, Kevin ranked sixth in the Top 10 Club nationally for highest-producing Commonwealth financial network advisers for Preferred Portfolio Services (PPS) assets under management in June 2009. The PPS ranking includes new clients and new assets brought to the firm in that month.

Kevin’s community involvement is extensive and includes a variety of positions, such as previous board member of the Maryville City Schools Foundation; numerous activities and leadership positions with the United Way of Blount County; and engaged involvement with the Clayton Center for the Arts, including chair of the Executive Committee.

Outstanding Community

Partnership: Blount Memorial Hospital Foundation

Outstanding Community Partnership is granted to a business that serves as a sustaining partner through financially supporting the Maryville City Schools and youth programs in the community.

Blount Memorial Hospital Foundation has a long-standing relationship with Maryville City Schools through Blount Memorial Hospital. The Blount Memorial Foundation and Community Outreach joined with community partners on a tennis event featuring John McEnroe and James Blake, with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for not only the Maryville City Schools Foundation, but also the foundations of Alcoa and Blount County.

More recently, the Foundation funded the 21st Century Classroom for health occupations at Maryville High School. Knowing that this particular classroom was farther down the priority list, the Foundation chose to go ahead and fund the equipment for health occupations since this particular curriculum is so vital in helping the hospital meet the demands for qualified health professionals. The Foundation has also funded grants and support to purchase equipment, technology, textbooks and other resources to enhance the science and health curriculums.

In 2008, the Blount Memorial Foundation and the hospital’s Community Outreach departments joined together to coordinate and secure resources to promote a healthier community. Staff from the Foundation and Community Outreach routinely works with coordinated school health coordinators for each of the school systems to reduce teen pregnancy rates, address underage alcohol consumption and substance abuse among school-age children and teens, and implement health and wellness programs that will help to reduce the onset of childhood obesity in our county.

Outstanding Distinguished

Service: Dr. Mike Dalton

Outstanding Distinguished Service is granted to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service and dedication to education in the City of Maryville. This award can be presented to alumni or non-alumni of Maryville High School.

Dr. Mike Dalton embodies Maryville City Schools. He worked for the school system for more than 20 years, having spent most of that time as the director of schools. The strategic plan for the school system includes the words…inspire, engage and invest. Dalton exemplifies all three words. He inspired many during his years as a math teacher and director of schools. He always kept the focus on each individual child and the teacher at the front of the classroom.

Dalton engaged his teachers and principals in creating a vision for the system and an investment for the future. Maryville City Schools will continue to reap the benefits of his wisdom.

Family Partnership Award:

Joe and Becky Swann

Family Partnership Award is granted to a family or individual who exemplifies dedication to education in every aspect of his or her life. Awardees deserve recognition for their spirit of giving, not only financially but also through their involvement with the students of Maryville City Schools.

Joe and Becky Swann are supporters of the Maryville City Schools and the Maryville City Schools Foundation. Both are graduates of the Maryville City Schools System as are their children. As mayor and as a Maryville councilman, Joe Swann has kept the Maryville City Schools high on his list of priorities, supporting programs, lobbying for increased funding and promoting the schools to industry and businesses considering a location in East Tennessee. Becky Swann was the first executive director of the Maryville City Schools Foundation.

Both Joe and Becky worked with the founding Maryville City Schools Foundation board members to gather community support for the creation of an education foundation. Becky has worked tirelessly to support the foundation’s efforts on behalf of all the children in Maryville. The Swann’s are often involved in educating community members about the work of Maryville City Schools Foundation.

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