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Great Leadership + Great Community = Great School!

As we enter a new school year, the Bearden community finds itself welcoming a new leader at Bearden for the first time in ten years. My family feels so blessed that our oldest daughter began Bearden the same year that Dr. John Bartlett became principal. We were not certain what that meant then, but now we know we could not have asked for a better leader at Bearden while our three daughters were there. Dr. Bartlett consistently improved Bearden throughout his tenure, making it one of the top 20 schools in Tennessee and nationally ranked as a school of excellence. Thank you for all your tireless and consistent leadership, Dr. B!


Now as our youngest daughter enters her senior year, Bearden once again welcomes new leadership as Jason Myers begins his role as Bearden’s next principal.

We are excited to see how he will continue to build on the solid foundation in place at Bearden High School. He has 

already shared that he is committed to supporting Bearden’s teachers in every way he can to ensure they have the resources needed to deliver our students the great education they deserve. The Bearden Foundation, with the support of the Bearden community, stands ready to assist in that endeavor. Thank you to every supporter of the Bearden High School Foundation who helps make it possible to provide

that support for the ultimate benefit of the students at Bearden. Bearden has the best alumni and most supportive community, and because of that, I fully expect that the best is yet to come for the next generation of students to walk the halls of Bearden High School.


By Buddy Pelot, BHS Foundation President

Bearden HS Class of 1982

Foundation president Heins stepping

down after 10 years

As the Booster Club for the school, the Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for dozens of activities for students; supported faculty and staff with grants for training; supported improvements to athletic and academic facilities and awarded scholarships to deserving kids to pursue their dreams. Every dollar raised helpedprovide a positive learning experience for students at Bearden and will for years to come.

I want to thank everyone in the Bearden community who has supported the Foundation over the years. Most have been parents of current students, but there are many others who have given their time and resources to Bearden High School. Many of our alumni have given generously and continue to do so.

I also want thank everyone who has supported Bearden High School through the various booster clubs and support organizations. It’s extraordinary how supportive the various booster clubs are of the teams and activities. There are so many people who have transported kids, sewn costumes, built props, served concessions, prepared athletic fields, sold ads in programs and organized fundraisers. Bearden would not be the school it is without you.

Lastly, I want to thank Dr. John Bartlett and the Bearden faculty and staff for all they do. There are so many teachers, administrators, guidance counselors and coaches that work so hard for our kids. I’ve heard Dr. Bartlett say so many times, “do what you do with passion and purpose.” This truly exemplifies the culture at Bearden and it is a model for the region.

By Buddy Heins

Bearden HS Class of 1978


BHS musical theatre alumni playing integral role in ‘Footloose’ production

Zoe Evans, Staff Writer

Class of 2016
October 9, 2014


Taylor Kelly returns to his old high school every week day for five hours, and he’s often joined by a few of his old classmates.


Kelly, Conner Harville, and Carin Lagerberg – all BHS alums – are helping Mrs. Leann Dickson and the Bearden musical theatre department with the production of Footloose.


“This is my first year interning here,” Kelly said. “I just graduated in May from Covenant College in Chattanooga, Tenn., and was hired by Mrs. Dickson over the summer to come in and intern under her this semester with both the Stage Tech and Musical Theatre classes.”


Harville helped with a leadership workshop for the class in the beginning of the semester, and he is also assisting in a possible surprise aspect of the production.


“I hope to one day be able to give back to the theatre department the way others have done for me when I was there,” Harville said.


Lagerberg assisted with auditions the first week of class. Kelly helps with anything and everything he can. He has had the opportunity to choreograph, block scenes, build sets, help with costumes, and aid in vocal numbers.


“I hope to do anything and everything I can to further the vision and legacy that Mrs. Dickson has created in the BHS Theatre department over the years,” Kelly said. “I studied a combination of theatre and music in college, so I am hoping to bring whatever fresh insight I can in those areas.”


For all of the alumni, being at Bearden brought back memories.


“Being in the musical theatre and stage tech classes was my favorite experience in high school by far,” Lagerberg said. “Not only did I learn so much about theatre, but I learned about myself as a person and learned life skills that I was able to take with me to college.”


For Harville, returning to Bearden means reminiscing about the Big River production with Kelly and Lagerberg and working with Mrs. Dickson again.


“[Mrs. Dickson] is one of the biggest inspirations in my life,” Harville said. “She ignited my creative desire even further.


“She is willing to bounce ideas off of me and visa versa. It is great getting to work in a more colleague-like setting now.”


Kelly and Lagerberg both appreciate working with Mrs. Dickson just as much.


“To say I have enjoyed working with Mrs. Dickson would be a huge understatement,” Kelly said. “There are few people in this world that I respect as much as Mrs. Dickson.


“She was such a source of encouragement and wisdom for me while I was a student at Bearden, but I had no idea that I would have the privilege of working under her four years after graduating from BHS.”


Kelly’s favorite memory of the semester so far was on the first auditions day, when everyone was extremely stressed. They played “Happy” by Pharrell Williams and had a spontaneous dance party to lighten up.


He also enjoys seeing the talent in the students every day.


“Footloose is going really well,” Kelly said. “I cannot speak highly enough about this cast and crew.”

Teachers exploring flip side of using technology inside of classroom

Attempting to find interesting, new ways to present information can be challenging at a time when technology runs rampant and the only thing on a typical teenager’s mind is checking their Instagram or Twitter to see how many likes or favorites their latest social media post has received. 


At Bearden, teachers are seeking to use technology in new ways to engage students in learning by implementing a new teaching style: the flipped classroom. 


The flipped classroom is a concept that takes two learning essentials – lecture and practice – and changes the location where these tasks are performed. In a typical classroom setup, lectures

occur in class while practice is done at home. In the flipped classroom setup, it allows students to experience the lecture portion of class at home while the problem portion of class is addressed in-class. 


“I like being able to have my teacher there when I have questions about a problem,” junior Lauren Leisenring said. “It’s nice that I don’t have to go home all confused after trying to learn something." The concept seems to fit well in the parameters of a math class, as students typically complain of experiencing issues on homework due to a concept in class that may not have been clear, or they forgot how to do the problem after the instruction of the teacher. The flipped classroom allows teachers to work more hand-in-hand with students through such problems. 

“I am able to get around more one-on-one with students in the classroom because I’m not spending my time instructing,” math teacher Mrs. Susan Bothman said. “I’m spending my time assessing that learning, whether that learning is taking place.” 


Technology is a big part of making the flipped classroom possible as it gives students the necessary tools to experience a lecture on a topic at home. The distribution of MacBook Pros to every student has given some teachers the push needed in order to make the switch to the flipped classroom. 

While technology is helpful, and essential to the flipped classroom concept, it also contributes to the difficulties experienced in the process. 

“Even though we have fantastic support staff, sometimes technology just doesn’t work when you need it to,” math teacher Mr. Richard Robinson said. “Java has been really annoying, specifically with [Honors Pre-Calculus], getting it to show discussions.” 

Mr. Robinson has been using the flipped classroom concept in both his Honors Pre-Calculus class as well as his Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry class. These classes include an honors level class and a CP level class, allowing Mr. Robinson to experiment with integrating this teaching style into a variety of class types for students of all levels. 

One observation Mr. Robinson has made is that CP level students seem more open-minded to the concept because honors level students tend to be more familiar and comfortable with a specific class structure that includes a teacher standing in front of a class and showing examples. 

Another concept being tested by Mrs. Bothman is a partial flipped classroom. Her students have enjoyed the flipped classroom experience, but not as an all-the-time experience. To address this, Mrs. Bothman incorporates the flipped classroom once a week while the rest of the week is a regular classroom structure. 

Mackenzie Lee (Class of 2015) is a staff writer for The Bark. Hailey Kraft (Class of 2016) is a staff photographer. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook. For more stories from The Bark, go to

TASC preparations

in full swing after

presentation to board

Elizabeth Gore and Madison Wilkins (Class of 2014) reviewed all of the preparations in their minds and presented their plans for this year’s convention to the board of directors. 

Nerves were high for the co-secretaries of the executive board for TASC, as this presentation typically results in a scrapping of many plans that have been made, but it was a different experience for Gore and Wilkins. 

“Usually they’re pretty harsh and change a lot of ideas, but they were really nice to us, so it was good,” Gore said. 

TASC is a weekend-long convention for SGA members statewide to come together and learn how to improve their own student governments. The meeting consisted of a presentation of the ideas for this year’s convention as well as a tour of the school. While the meeting usually results in several suggestions from the board of directors and changes to the plans of the convention, the board was mostly impressed with the work that has been done so far. 

“They changed the schedule a little just to add in a couple of things, but for the most part they said it was one of the best things they’ve seen,” Wilkins said. 

Some of the plans that were presented include the goal to make TASC more like Camp, which is an activity that SGAs from across the state participate in during the summer. 

Attendance numbers from TASC are lower than those for Camp, so in an effort to bring more numbers to TASC, a Camp atmosphere will be implemented through the use of “counties”, which are small groups that will work together and perform activities together for the entirety of the weekend, as well as an outing at Dollywood, which was chosen in order to accentuate the theme of “Tennessee Traditions”. 

Attendance numbers look promising as 300 people have already registered to attend, which is approaching last year’s attendance of 391, and the registration site for the event has yet to be published. A variety of businesses, such as Chick-fil-A and Academy Sports & Outdoors, have made donations to help in the departments of food and door prizes, as has the University of Tennessee, who is supplying the materials for goody bags that each participant will receive. The contents of the goody bags include pens and hardback books telling the history of the University. 

“Academy was probably my favorite to work with because they were nice and worked quickly,” hospitality committee chair and junior Erin Dolvin said. Wilkins had a different opinion, proclaiming UT as her favorite contributor because they encompass the convention’s theme to a “T”. 

Mr. Cody Martin (Sponsor and Member of the Class of 2004) also filled in the board about the secret guest speaker, but he’s not letting anybody else in on the details quite yet. 

With their plans to make TASC more like Camp, Gore and Wilkins hope for big numbers at this year’s convention, and they hope to make this the best convention yet. With all of the progress from planning and a successful presentation to the board of directors, it looks like their dreams just might come true. 

Mackenzie Lee (Class of 2015) is a staff writer for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK and like The Bark(Bearden High School) on Facebook. For more stories from The Bark, go to

BHS teachers prepare for the 1:1 Technology Initiative, Fall 2013



There are many exciting changes on the horizon for Bearden High School students and teachers. This summer each teacher received a MacBook Pro laptop, and each student will receive his or her own MacBook Pro this fall. The computers are meant to change the way students learn by having them collaborate, research, and create their own knowledge. The possibilities of what students can accomplish and do are limitless, and they will only be discovered as teachers and students experiment and grow in their learning together. Still, teachers have invested significant amounts of time during summer and after school for additional training to be prepared for the technology in the classrooms. As the grant continues to progress, we hope to have more updates for our alumni. 

This article was written by Rachel Harmon, BHS TPaCK Coach 
Rachel is also married to Wes Harmon, a 2006 graduate of 

Mrs. Harmon, TPaCK Coach, training teachers on their new MacBook Pro Laptops.

Bearden surprises Warlick

by retiring her jersey 

Before the Bearden crowd could chant “Let’s go Bulldogs” at Friday night’s game against Catholic, they started a different cheer. They were chanting “Holly Warlick.” 


The new coach of the Tennessee women’s basketball team was invited to lead the senior night ceremonies of her alma mater. Unknown to Warlick, though, the Bearden faculty had more planned for her than just hosting duties.


After the seniors were recognized, Warlick was led to the 50-yard line, where she was presented with her framed No. 22 Bearden basketball jersey, which Bearden was retiring.


“I’m stunned, but I’m honored because everybody that knows me knows I went to Bearden High School,” Warlick said. “I’m very proud of it, and I make sure everybody knows it.” 


Warlick was joined on the field by her family and friends, including current and former UT players, who all came to show their support of the new Lady Vol coach, and to honor her legacy at Bearden. 


“It really turned out a great night and an opportunity to really honor her and what she’s meant to Bearden,” BHS girls basketball coach Justin Underwood said, “because I don’ think enough of the public really knew that Holly went to Bearden and what she meant to the basketball program.”


Coach Underwood, a former member of the Lady Vols practice team, said that Bearden has tried to retire Warlick’s jersey in the past. What prevented them from doing so, was Warlick herself. “Two years ago, I went over to her practice and asked Coach Warlick if she’d be willing to come back to have us retire her jersey, and as humble as she is, she kind of brushed it off,” Coach Underwood said.

But Bearden still wanted to hold this ceremony. They realized that, with Warlick’s humility and busy schedule, they only had one option: surprise her.


“When basketball season started, she got too busy with the Lady Vols, so we realized that the only way we could do it is if we surprised her,” Coach Underwood said. Although Warlick may not have requested the honor, she nonetheless enjoyed the unexpected Friday night excitement. “What a great night,” she said. “That was awesome.”


Aidan Sears (Class of 2013) is the sports editor for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark(Bearden High School) on Facebook.


Bertelkamp Center to help

student-athletes with academics

Group Picture - Left to right: Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett-Class of 1982, County Commissioner Ed Shouse, School Board Vice Chair Karen Carson, Superintendent James McIntyre, Bert Bertelkamp-Class of 1976, Lori Bertelkamp McKelvy-Class of 1977 and Bearden Principal Dr. John Bartlett.

The creation of the Bertelkamp Center for Academic Excellence was announced in a ceremony at Bearden High School on Wednesday.


Bert Bertelkamp, the benefactor, was a basketball player at Bearden, graduating in 1976. His jersey was retired before a Bearden game in February. His center will offer tutoring and ACT prep for student-athletes struggling with their grades. All student-athletes with a “D” or an “F” in any class, after each grading period, will be required to attend academic assistance sessions.


The sessions will run Monday through Thursday from 7-8 a.m. in the learning center. After a student enters the program, he or she must attend all sessions until weekly progress reports demonstrate that the student has attained a “C” in the appropriate subjects.

If an athlete fails to show up to a required session, he or she will be considered ineligible to play in an athletic contest that week.


The Bertelkamp family will donate $10,000 for the 2011-12 academic year. “It is $10,000, but the first year is kind of an experiment,” said Bertelkamp, a former Tennessee basketball player and current color analyst for Vol Network broadcasts. “If it does help, we could do more. You can count on us to support [the program].”


The Bertelkamp family had the original idea to do a scholarship of some type for Bearden students. Bearden principal Dr. John Bartlett and athletics director Mr. Scott Witt hashed out the details of the plan. Their idea was to have a place at Bearden to give academic assistance to student athletes like the Thornton Center at the University of Tennessee. “I liked the idea right off the bat,” Bertelkamp said. “I could have tweaked it, but [Dr. Bartlett and Mr. Witt] are the professionals.”


While the idea for the center is to help out struggling student-athletes, it will be made available for any Bearden student.

“We will have tutors in the center for almost any subject,” Dr. Bartlett said. “If a kid doesn’t play sports, I’m not going to deny that kid tutoring. If a kid needs tutoring and we can get them plugged in from 7-8 in the morning, then that’s what we’ll do.” Bertelkamp would have liked to have seen a program like this when he was a Bearden student. “It would have been helpful,” Bertelkamp said. “I could’ve used the help on the ACT and SAT, just learning how to take them.”


This is an asset of the program that shows a lot of promise. The help with classes, though, is what Bearden’s coaches are excited about.

“We’re hoping that if they fall behind, they will get tutoring,” Bearden boys basketball coach Mark Blevins said. “Not just for eligibility reasons, but for their graduation.” While volleyball coach Jennifer Allen hopes not to have too many of her athletes in the center, she is happy to have the resource available. “You do have the one or two kids,” Coach Allen said. “It keeps you up on how they’re doing. This gives them another opportunity.”


Bearden is the first school in Knox County to implement such a center for their students. “We want [our athletes] to have the best education humanly possible,” Mr. Witt said. “We want to be a leader in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Southeast.” According to Karen Carson, the vice chair of the Knox County School Board, the center also serves as a statement to the community. “What’s important is getting people in our community to realize that both athletics and academics are important,” Carson said, “and that Bearden promotes both.”


Jacob Steimer, BHS Class of 2012, was a Journalism student for the The Bark under the direction of Teacher, Tim Vacek. His article was nationally recognized and published on the My High School Journal website. For more articles and up-to-date news about Bearden High School, please visit The Bark.


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