Two Cleveland State Students Named to Phi Theta Kappa All-Tennessee Academic Team

Friday, February 28, 2014
Mark Partain, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and Rachel Ann Burgess
Mark Partain, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and Rachel Ann Burgess

Cleveland State Community College had two students named to the 2014 Phi Theta Kappa All-Tennessee Academic Team. Rachel Ann Burgess and Mark Partain were two of 26 of the state’s highest achieving college students recently honored and presented with a medallion at a special ceremony at the Doubletree Downtown Hotel in Nashville.

Many of this year’s 26 nominees were accompanied by their local state senators and representatives. The honorees include students pursuing a variety of degrees and careers, including aerospace engineering, nursing, law, chemistry, communications and business. Most intend to transfer to four-year universities to continue their educations.

The All-Tennessee Academic Team is comprised of students nominated by their colleges to be considered for the All-USA Academic Team, sponsored by USA Today and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society. Each of the state’s 13 community colleges selects two outstanding students to recognize for their academic achievement, leadership and service to the community.

Miranda Cagle, CSCC’s PTK Advisor, said, “The All-State Academic Teams are a really excellent way that we identify students who are exceptional, not just in their academic success but also as individuals, and as community members.  Often the recipients are first-generation college students, or may be working parents or military returning to school.  They aren't just judged on their grades -- they have to show involvement on and off campus, and that they have taken on leadership roles, too.  It's wonderful as a professor to honor students that we see are going above and beyond to improve their lives and futures.  And it opens the door to a lot of state scholarship funds that are reserved for All-Tennessee nominees.”


“Each year, it’s a privilege to recognize the hard work, dedication and commitment these students have exhibited at their colleges,” John Morgan, Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, said. “They’ve not only achieved a high degree of success in the classroom, but they’ve made significant contributions to their communities through their volunteer efforts and leadership skills.”

Rachel Ann Burgess had a daughter at 17. Her new role as a mother changed her plans from attending a major university to first enrolling at Cleveland State Community College. A Phi Theta Kappa member and active community volunteer, she holds a 3.8 GPA and will graduate with an honors diploma in May 2014. She plans to earn a Business degree at Lee University and aspires to be self-employed in her own specialty cakes business.  

After work and military service hindered his academic career at Cleveland State Community College 20 years ago, Mark Partain’s experiences on a professional oversight board fueled an interest in studying law and he reenrolled. He has since maintained a 4.0 GPA and will graduate with an honors distinction. He is active in Phi Theta Kappa, as well as the Honor’s Program, International Club and Travel Abroad Program and continues to volunteer in his community. He eventually plans to earn his Law degree, but meanwhile counts his children and 21-year marriage as his greatest accomplishments.

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than two million members and 1,200 chapters in the U.S. and beyond. Students must have a 3.5 grade point average to qualify for membership.  


Alexander Says Betsy DeVos Is On Our Children’s Side

At Tuesday’s Senate education committee hearing on the nomination of Betsy DeVos to lead the U.S. Department of Education, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said, “Betsy DeVos is on our children’s side.  On charter schools and school choice, she is in the mainstream of those trying to help children succeed and her critics are outside of it.” Alexander, who was ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Schools Activities For The Week Of Jan. 17

Week of Jan. 17 Stuart Elementary Character Ed Breakfast will be Wednesday. Representatives demonstrating Self Discipline will be honored at the breakfast. For more information contact Richelle Shelton, 423-476-8246, rshelton@clevelandschools.org.       Cleveland High School invites you to Open House on Thursday, 5-8 p.m. Students and their families ... (click for more)

Sheriff Deputies-Involved In Shooting After Pursuit Tuesday Night In Soddy Daisy

An officer-involved shooting took place in Soddy Daisy on Tuesday night following "an ongoing pursuit which originated earlier in the evening.". The shooting incident happened around 7 p.m. The chase started shortly after 5 p.m. Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputies were involved in the shooting. The Sheriff's Office said m ultiple law enforcement agencies ... (click for more)

City Council Told Cost Has Soared For Moving Sewer Line Off Tubman Industrial Site

City Council members were told on Tuesday that the cost has soared for moving a sewer line completely off the Harriet Tubman industrial site. Bill Payne, city engineer, said it initially was around $1.5 million, but is now pegged at over $4 million. Councilman Chris Anderson, who heads the council's economic development committee, said the assertion brought "stunned looks" ... (click for more)

Beyond Freedom Of Speech - And Response

Yes, most people know about the First Amendment to our Constitution, "The right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted government restriction."  I being a "deplorable" draw the line when people block traffic, try to disrupt, and even stop an activity through malice and disregard for others. Case being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Else $3 Can Mean

Orchard Knob Middle School, located on North Highland Park Avenue in Chattanooga, led every other secondary school in the state of Tennessee last year with 6.8 percent of its students expelled. So as people are working feverishly to keep the school from being taken over by the state’s Department of Education, allow me to pose a question. Last Friday during the last period of ... (click for more)