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David Willier, RN, spoke recently at the May Cravath Wharton Association in Pleasant Hill about men in nursing.

David Willier, RN, is a local success story in many ways. Willier received his RN degree from Roane State Community College after working his way through the three-year nursing program first as a single parent of seven children and then the father of a blended family of 11 children. Three of those children are now themselves in college, and his wife, Stacia, has entered the nursing program.

Willier was the recipient of the Wharton Association Joseph Bogle Scholarship while in training, which is why the association invited him to their semi-annual meeting. He narrated a PowerPoint program about the history and significance of men in the nursing field. Although in early history, male nurses were primary caregivers, by 1930 men constituted fewer than one percent of RNs in the U.S. It actually wasn’t until 1982 that men were allowed to enter nursing school. In the 1980s and 1990s, a shortage of nurses with the accompanying rise in nurses’ wage, as well as a change in gender attitude, brought many men into the profession. Today, close to 10 percent of nurses are male.

After graduation Willier served the Wharton Homes in Pleasant Hill and still works there part-time. Willier is presently involved with Zinnia Wellness, an employee owned medical staffing and management company specializing in private duty for both skilled and unskilled health care workers. Approximately 20 percent of the staff are male.

This winter the Cumberland County School’s technology department will be piloting a new and free texting program. This program will be used primarily to notify parents and students of school closings as soon as they happen. If you would like to be instantly notified of school closings simply text @snowbir to (901) 457-0180. Students must have their parents’ permission before texting and subscribing to this number. Be aware that you may receive a text before 6 a.m. if you subscribe to this number. This system will not replace the automated calling service, School Messenger. You will still receive your calls from this program.

Obviously, some Pleasant Hill Elementary School programs have had to be rescheduled due to the icy weather shutdown. STAR screening will be extended to Jan. 31. Report cards went home on Friday, Jan. 17. Parent/teacher conferences will be Tuesday, Jan. 21, from 3:15 to 6:15 p.m., followed by academic rallies on Wednesday, Jan. 22, grades 1-4 at 1 p.m. and grades 5-8 at 1:30 p.m. Open library is held every Tuesday from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. Come and cheer the PHS Volleyball team when they play Wilson on Thursday, Jan. 23, starting at 6 p.m. Don’t miss the PTO Reverse Beauty Pageant at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24.

Pleasant Hill Mayor Al Dwenger has urged drivers to exercise caution on roads when they are covered with ice and snow. Although the town maintenance workers can clear snow with truck and blade, it tends to level out a small amount of snow on the roads, which gets packed and can turn to ice. Salt is ineffective when the temperature is low. The best solution is sun and high temperature.

The town council is still seeking a grant to help pay for a town-wide siren warning system, although it is not certain that they will proceed with installing one depending on remaining cost. Work continues on the town hall bathroom and kitchenette remodeling.

Mayor Dwenger has announced that he will not seek re-election as mayor and invites interested persons to pick up an application at the Cumberland Election Commission, 2 S Main St., Room 105, in Crossville, 484-4919. The "officer in charge" at the Pleasant Hill Post Office is Edith Lesh from Crossville. She has been a rural mail carrier for 15 years and lives with her husband on a small farm with horses, dogs, cats and chickens. She has applied for the job permanently and probably her official title will soon change to that of postmaster.


This week in Pleasant Hill:

•Thursday, Jan. 23 — Will Rabert  presents a monologue as the Rev. Dr. John Burnett, the Methodist Episcopal minister who founded a free school in Tennessee at 10 a.m. in Fletcher House Dining Room and 1 p.m. in Wharton Homes.

•Saturday, Jan. 25 — The Grab at 1944 West Main St. will hold its monthly $1/bag sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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