Speaker Harwell, State Reps visit Cloudland Elementary

Published 10:43 am Thursday, October 22, 2015

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye  State Rep. Timothy Hill, Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and State Rep. John Holsclaw stand with students at Cloudland Elementary School for a special flag presentation.

Star Photo/Abby Morris-Frye
State Rep. Timothy Hill, Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and State Rep. John Holsclaw stand with students at Cloudland Elementary School for a special flag presentation.

Students at Cloudland Elementary School got a double treat Wednesday morning as some special visitors stopped by to see them and brought a new flag to be flown over the school.
As part of their tour of the area, Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell visited Cloudland Elementary School along with State. Rep. Timothy Hill and State Rep. John Holsclaw, both of whom represent Carter County in the state legislature.
Cloudland Elementary was in need of a new American flag to fly in front of the school, so Holsclaw obtained a new flag for the school as a donation from the legislature. The three lawmakers delivered the new flag to the school on Wednesday morning and helped raise it over the school during a special ceremony.
The students and staff of the school gathered around the flag pole to see the new flag and the lawmakers all addressed the crowd.
Harwell spoke about the local community and how beautiful Carter County is.
“You all are very blessed to live here in Norhteast Tennessee,” she said.
Harwell also briefly explained what the state legislature does and the important decisions they make.
“Do you know how many days you have to attend school during the year for your school system to be accredited? 180 days,” Harwell said. “Do you know who makes that decision? These two gentlemen right here,” she added as she pointed to Hill and Holsclaw. She then asked the students if the State Representatives should change that number to 200 days and received a resounding “no” from the students.
When Hill addressed the students he congratulated them on their academic achievements. “We are proud of you and proud of your hard work,” he said, following up the compliment with a poll to see who had done their homework.
Holsclaw said he was impressed with the school and the students for creating such a special celebration to raise a new flag.
“It’s just great to see that the flag means this much to you all,” Holsclaw said.
The three legislators then helped Cloudland Elementary Assistant Principal Scott Potter and school Counselor Brandon Young retire the school’s old flag and raise the new larger flag.
Cloudland Elementary student Devon Hall then read the meaning of the flag — its colors and its design — to those gathered. Members of the school’s choir, The High Notes, performed the song “The Flag We Fly” under the direction of music teacher Chris Cook.
Young led the group in the Pledge of Allegience and spoke briefly about the school’s need for a new flag.
“Our flag was not the appropriate size,” he said. “We had this small flag on this large pole.”
Now, the school has a new, large flag that looks better than the old one, Young added.
Young also spoke about the importance of paying respect to the flag and honoring what it stands for.
“Many men have lost their lives so it can fly; we need not forget that,” he said.
Following the ceremony, Harwell, Hill and Holsclaw spoke to students as they filed back inside to return to their normal school day.
“I’m so honored I could be a part of this today,” Harwell said of the ceremony.
Harwell said she enjoys touring schools when she visits communities because education is always an important topic in the state legislature.
“Getting our children ready for the 21st century workforce is so important and it is wonderful getting to visit a school and see those principles being put into action,” she said.
The visit to Cloudland Elementary was an important one according to Hill. “We came to Cloudland Elementary because we wanted to present a new flag to the school. The flag they had was getting a bit tattered and it was a bit small,” he said. “This is an opportunity for us to demonstrate our support our nation.”
Harwell is visiting Northeast Tennessee for a few days to attend a series of events, Hill said, adding he and Holsclaw asked her to visit the school with them.
“As we get into the next session, there will be a lot of issues coming up and I think it’s important for her to see the area, see our home,” Hill said.
When the state legislature reconvenes in January, there will be a lot of topics up for discussion, but one of the things Holsclaw hopes to focus on is a project that has long been in the works but has stalled out.
“One of the big focuses I will have this session will be getting funding for the fishery in Carter County, which will be an awesome thing for our community I think,” he said.

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