By Jean Clark
Mary Ann Kotus-Huff, principal of Pleasant Hill Elementary School (PHS), recently welcomed volunteers to the annual Volunteer Tea. It was held in the gaily decorated new all-purpose room of the new annex. Volunteers were treated to sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers and cupcakes.
Kotus-Huff expressed the appreciation of the staff for the tremendous contribution the 70 volunteers make to the school. Organizers Judy Eldridge, Michele Campbell and Jay Wright gave out certificates of appreciation and nifty little pen-lights with several functions.
Classes are winding down now with end-of-the-year events in these last few weeks. Teacher Appreciation Week was held May 5-10, with the PHS administration expressing a huge thank you for all that the teachers do for the students, school and staff. An appreciation meal was held May 9. The PHS Day of Honors was held May 10, with recognition of achievement in all-grades. The Spring Semi-Formal Dance for sixth- through eighth-graders was held May 11, with a field day for pre-k through second graders on May 13.
A science fair for fifth-graders was held May 14, and a Deceptive Dangers program for grades 6-8 on May 15. Survivor Games with many activities, both physical and mental, were held all that week. Everyone was treated to ice cream sundaes as celebration of PHS achievement of Renaissance Model School. Yesterday, May 20, was the last full day of classes culminating in eighth grade graduation in the evening. On May 23, the students will come in to get their report cards and say goodbye to their friends and teachers for the summer. Please be more cautious on the roads as more children will be out and about now.
The Pleasant Hill Town Council recognized teacher of the month, Anita Turner; support staffer of the month, Ann Webb; and students of the month, Laney Barnwell for k-4 and Brianna Kolhepp for 5-8. Turner is a third-grade teacher, and Ann Webb has been at PHS for 36 years and will retire this week. Mayor Al Dwenger and Vice Mayor Diane Savage presented certificates of appreciation and gift cards to all of them.
Town recorder Heather Gunter was not at the May town council meeting for a very special reason. She was receiving her Associate of Applied Sciences from Roane State with dual degrees in business and office management. Kudos to Heather! Maureen McDonald, owner of the Jamaican food truck serving Caribbean food on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the corner of Sycamore and Main Streets, asked for the support of the townspeople. She invited all to stop by for samples of this ethnic cuisine.
Although it had been a mild winter, some serious Pleasant Hill roadwork has been completed or in dire need of repairing. The turning lane provided by TDOT has remedied a dangerous situation for traffic exiting Hwy. 70 W. onto Main St. in Pleasant Hill. The monsoon-like rains experienced recently had undermined the road down Yonside Dr. Fortunately, the situation was corrected quickly and an ordinance passed by the council after the fact to pay for its repair.
Bids have been received to repave a portion of Church St. and the first reading of an ordinance to appropriate funds was passed. A lengthy discussion of the 2013-'14 town budget culminated in the passing of the first reading of that ordinance. Mayor Al Dwenger expressed appreciation for the sprucing up of the flowerbed in front of town hall. Scotty Parks donated soil and Pleasant Hill residents Jackie Dwenger and Margaret Vogel provided elbow grease.