1509 John Exum Pkwy. - Johnson City, TN 37604
Phone: (423) 232-2190

1509 John Exum Pkwy.
Johnson City, TN 37604
Phone: (423) 232-2190
Fax: (423) 434-5570

Clayton Jones

Up STREAM: Science Hill students printing 3D paddleboats  

The sight of smiling Science Hill students testing their 3D printed rubber band powered paddleboats is encouraging. But the cooler undercurrent are the skills that the Science Hill students are learning in their Architecture, Engineering and Design class that are helping them speed away from their peers as they enter college.

Chad Robinson teaches Criminal Justice class

Criminal Justice one of many interesting classes offered at Science Hill

Each day is a new adventure, especially when you look through the eyes of law enforcement agencies. That is the new perspective for students that are enrolled in Chad Robinson’s Criminal Justice classes at Science Hill. 

Battle of the Build

Science Hill construction students hope to bring home top prize

A group of Science Hill construction students were all smiles when they dropped off their latest project at the Mini-Dome on Thursday evening tin compete in the Johnson City Home and Garden Show’s Battle of the Build.

Science Hill teacher Jackie Smith

Science Hill freshman honors biology teacher Jackie Smith uses her energy in the classroom to try and help students fall in love with science.

Note: This is the first of three installments over the next three weeks to honor the three teachers that were named Johnson City Schools Teacher of the Year for the elementary, middle and high school levels. Science Hill freshman biology teacher Jackie Smith is our high school level Johnson City Schools Teacher of the Year. Our 6-8 grade level winner is Indian Trail teacher Misty Davis. The elementary level PK-4 is South Side kindergarten teacher Jamie Mains. They will be honored at our Board of Education meeting on Monday, February 5.  


Science Hill set to offer AP Capstone Diploma Program

Starting next school year, Science Hill High School will become one of approximately 1,500 schools worldwide – and 17 in Tennessee – to implement the Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone diploma program.

The AP Capstone is a College Board program that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. It cultivates curious, independent and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions. This is an optional diploma or certificate for interested AP Students.

“The Board of Education prioritized having a well-respected, rigorous diploma option for our students at Science Hill High School for those students who wish to concentrate in varying areas of academic content while in high school,” Johnson City School’s Supervisor of Secondary and Instructional Technology Dr. David Timbs said. “The AP Capstone Diploma offered by the College Board appears to be a great fit for us because it complements our already strong AP program and allows us to build out our AP offerings to expand student choice beginning in the 2018-19 school year.”

Currently there are 14 AP Classes offered at Science Hill with plans of adding six more classes in 2018-2019, three more classes in 2019-2020 and four more classes in 2020-2021, for 27 AP classes for Science Hill students to choose. While students in many districts pay for their AP Exams, an action taken by the Johnson City Board of Education before the 2016-2017 school year, allows the BOE to cover any fees for students that take AP tests.

Studies show that students who take AP courses and exams in high school are much more likely to graduate from college in four years instead of five. Adding the AP Capstone diploma program will allow even more options for students at Science Hill, according to Principal Todd Barnett.

“Science Hill is honored to have been selected to implement the AP Capstone Diploma Program in 2018. By offering this program to our current AP students as well as students who are considering AP for the first time, we will provide an opportunity for a broad and diverse student population to deeply develop skills for college and beyond,” Barnett said. “In Capstone courses, our teachers have more leeway with curriculum choices so their students can access more challenging coursework by tapping into personal interests while strengthening their reading and writing skills.”

Students who earn scores of three or higher on AP Seminar and AP Research assessments and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will earn the AP Capstone Diploma. This signifies their outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Students who earn scores of three or higher on both AP Seminar and AP Research assessments only (but not on four additional AP Exams) will earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

The AP Seminar course, typically taken in 11th grade, equips students with the ability to look at academic or real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Through a variety of materials—articles to research studies to foundational and philosophical texts—students tackle complex questions; understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints; interpret and synthesize information; and construct, communicate, and defend evidence-based arguments. Teachers have flexibility to cover local, regional, national, and global topics relevant to their students, around themes such as education, innovation, sustainability, and technology. Students are assessed through a team project and presentation, an individual project and presentation, and an end-of-course written exam. By tapping into students’ personal interests, AP Capstone gives students from a wide range of backgrounds an entry point into stimulating coursework.

In the subsequent AP Research course, students design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of individual interest, documenting their process with a portfolio. Students build on skills developed in the AP Seminar course by learning how to understand research methodology; employ ethical research practices; and collect, analyze, and synthesize information to build, present, and defend an argument.

For more information about the program, contact the Science Hill Counselors at 423-232-2190. A brochure will also be available for students or parents that are interested in the program.

Capstone Class

Science Hill students Brayden Dmytrik, Brookelyn Bennett, Caleb Taylor, teacher Debbie Mottern, Jemimah Ndune, Jacob Spangler, Marlo Banton and Gracesyn Rush all enjoyed their time last semester in Mottern’s Capstone Scholars class at Science Hill.


Clothing Closet caps off successful second year of unique class at Science Hill

A clothing closet was icing on the cake for a class full of community service projects that came out of Debbie Mottern’s second year of her Capstone Scholars class at Science Hill High School.

Sarah Miller and Rachel Lemkin’s clothing closet, which will help students in need of clothing at Science Hill, was just one of eight projects that included fundraisers for the Melting Pot, animal shelter and more.

The class, which is modeled after a college freshman seminar class, is open to students that have met their requirements for graduation and carry a 3.0 GPA or higher.

“I have tried to make it as useful to them as possible, whether they are going on to college or into the workplace, but more focus has been on college with this group,” Mottern said. “I try to model it after a freshman seminar class that incoming freshman would take at a college or university.”

Last semester, students worked on book studies, wrote papers and even developed a thesis, all with the idea of making their academic transition to college easier.

“We have this class for students that are looking for a class that will be useful, instead of enrolling in a class they’ve already had; or being a student worker for a period,” Mottern said. “I try to make this as much as college real-life as possible.”

Senior Marlo Banton had a goal of raising $1,000 for the Melting Pot – a local soup kitchen for the underprivileged - with a spaghetti dinner. She was able to meet that goal and more at she raised well-over $3,000.

“I chose that because I have always gone to Munsey and I recognize the importance that the Melting Pot has on our downtown community,” Banton said. “They not only build relationships, but they provide physical things that the homeless need like food, blankets and toiletries.”

During the dinner, Banton had presenters describe what exactly the Melting Pot did for the community and people were given the opportunity to donate time or money toward their cause.

Senior Gracesyn Rush, who has her postgraduate-eye on the healthcare field, picked a project that was dear to her as she followed an open-heart coordinator at the hospital in order to make an informational PowerPoint for what patients can expect after a procedure.

“My grandfather had heart surgery and he wasn’t informed a lot of about the necessary measures to take care of your stitching and everything like that,” she said. “So I just felt like it was really important.”

Fellow senior Jemimah Ndune proposed a peer support group as a solution to Science Hill athletes that might fail a drug test during their time at the school.

Two other senior students, Brayden Dmytrik and Brookelyn Bennett, decided to focus their efforts on helping animals at the local animal shelter. Dmytrik made a public push for people to adopt from their local shelter instead of getting dogs from breeders. One way he brought awareness to the issue is by filling a calendar with photos of animals with all proceeds going to the animal shelter. Bennett brought more awareness to the rising pit bull population at local shelters, which included two at the Washington County / Johnson City Animal Shelter that have been over there a year.

Senior Jacob Spangler’s project had him volunteer by serving food to the homeless at The Melting Pot. Spangler said that he signed up for the Cornerstone class after he heard good reports from classmates about how the class would prepare him for college.

“I wanted to know a lot about how to get ready for college so I won’t be worried as I start,” Spangler said.

Senior Caleb Taylor enjoyed the class so much that he took it a second time after enrolling as a junior. This year, he created a business plan and website for ticket sales and ticket exchange that he said the community could use for all events.

“Mrs. Mottern really pushes us hard and tries to get us prepared for college,” Taylor said. “We do projects, but we also do a lot of college prep and college readiness that I other classes don’t help us with right now.”