1011 Southwest Ave - Johnson City, TN 37604
Phone (423) 434-5290

1011 Southwest Avenue
Johnson City, TN 37604
Phone: (423) 434-5290
Fax: (423) 434-5291

Kaytee Jones

Kaytee Jones named new South Side Elementary Principal

Jamie Mains Milhorn

Jamie Mains Milhorn earns elementary level Teacher of the Year 

It didn’t take South Side kindergarten teacher Jamie Mains Milhorn long to know she was in the right place. Almost 11 years later, you can still find her there.


South Side student thinks of others with Buddy Bench

South Side Elementary student Ben Casson proved you’re never too young to think of others. Personal experience and the complaints of some friends left him looking for a solution to students feeling left out during recess.

A quick internet search introduced the 4th-grader to a growing trend nationwide of special benches known as Buddy Benches. The concept behind the bench is that if students see a child sitting on the bench alone, it is a signal for other kids to ask him or her to play.

“I know people and there was a time or two when I didn’t have anyone to play with,” Casson said. “That just isn’t a good feeling to have. Sometimes people get lonely when they don’t have anything to do. I hope the bench makes kids have the best recess that they can have. I think it might eliminate some bullies who pick on other kids for being different.”

Casson and his mother prepared a proposal for South Side principal Dr. Anne Littleford who enjoyed the presentation so much that she had Ben do it a second time so that she could record it.

“He had pages of notes and he divided the presentation up into different categories,” Littleford said. “It was just so well put together.”

Just a couple weeks after the pitch, a generous donation of time and materials allowed for South Side to have their first Buddy Bench installed on their large playground. Littleford and Casson said they hope to have another put on the smaller playground as well.

“It’s just a wonderful idea and I think it is going to be terrific,” Littleford said. “I’m thrilled, I’m absolutely thrilled. I think it will help with behavior and it will help with feelings, we don’t want anyone to feel left out.”

Casson and Littleford introduced the bench to the student body on Friday morning. With the help of guidance counselors, students will be able to sign up to help make sure that anyone on the bench will have someone to spend time with.

“The responsibility of the kids is to accept everybody, not just the one or two kids that they are best friends with,” Casson said.

Casson mentioned that he was surprised how fast the first bench was completed and installed and he noted he was appreciative of his principal for listening to him.

“My principal is so nice and she is just awesome,” Casson said. “She wants all of us to have the best time that we can have at school.”

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Johnson City Schools prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. Johnson City Schools does not condone or practice discrimination in admission or access to, treatment of, or employment in, its programs or activities. Any person who feels he or she has been discriminated against may make an inquiry or file a complaint with Dr. Robbie Anderson, Title VI/Title IX Coordinator, at 423-434-5220 or PO Box 1517, Johnson City, TN 37605.