Less than a week into the school year, over 175 Trousdale County students are under quarantine because of potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
Director of Schools Clint Satterfield confirmed to The Vidette on Tuesday that 148 students at the high school were under quarantine after a teacher tested positive for COVID. Also, roughly 30 sixth-graders at Jim Satterfield Middle School are similarly under quarantine after a student tested positive.
“That’s about 30% of the student body (at the high school),” Satterfield said. “A teacher but showed no symptoms Thursday and Friday, then symptoms came up over the weekend. The teacher took a COVID test over the week, was positive and is following our policies to a T.”
The teacher, whose name was withheld for privacy reasons, contacted school health officials to report the illness. School nurses used contact tracing to determine anyone who had been within six feet of the person for more than 15 minutes, per Department of Health guidance. Anyone fitting in those criteria is required to quarantine.
“They began the contact tracing 48 hours before the onset of symptoms,” Satterfield said. “The teacher did not purposely or negligently expose students; they did a great job and reported immediately.”
All quarantined students, per Tennessee Department of Health policy, must isolate for 14 days if they are not tested for COVID. If parents wish, they can have their child tested after six days and could return after eight days with a negative PCR test. Students who return after eight days would be required to wear a mask at all times, even indoors, for the remainder of the 14-day period.
“The idea is to quarantine students who have been exposed to a confirmed case to reduce the chances of a school outbreak that could close the school for everybody,” Satterfield said.
All Trousdale County students have Chromebooks, so quarantined students are able to continue their education while at home. No other teacher at TCHS or JSMS, other than the confirmed positive case, is currently having to quarantine.
“We planned for this from the very beginning,” Satterfield noted. “Our students and teachers have over a year’s worth of experience with remote learning… It’s not as good as being in the classroom in person, but it beats the heck out of not being connected to the classroom at all.”
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Trousdale County Fair kicked off last weekend with its sheep, goat and cattle shows, plus the youth beauty and Fairest of the Fair pageants. Courtney Kauffman was crowned as the 2021 Trousdale County Fairest of the Fair winner, Reagan Petty was crowned Fair Princess and Charlie Beth Wright was crowned Jr. Fair Princess.
More events will take place this Friday and Saturday, including the LEGO contest, the 'Tea with the Queen' tea party, the Backpack Program's car show and a Heritage Day festival to celebrate the fair's 65th anniversary. Look for more information on and photos from the 2021 Fair on pages 7-8 of this week's Vidette.
Hartsville’s giving spirit was on full display last weekend as a number of community volunteers came together to help a disabled child in need.
Local nonprofit Hartsville Strong joined with members of the Justified motorcycle club and volunteers from American Home Design to build a ramp for 2-year-old Waylon Housman.
Waylon was born with spina bifida, a condition in which the spinal cord fails to close completely while in utero. He underwent fetal surgery at 22 weeks to close the cord area, but was left partially paralyzed from the waist down, according to his parents, Ryan and Laura Housman.
“He’ll always need his wheelchair,” Laura Housman said. “They think he will walk but he won’t ever have the leg muscles to walk far… We don’t know how much he can feel in his legs yet.”
Waylon will soon be getting new braces for his legs that should stabilize his legs, his mother said. While he cannot walk, he can crawl exceptionally well.
Hartsville Strong took to Facebook and was able to raise $3,200 in funds for the project in less than a day. Hartsville United Methodist Church gave $1,000 toward the cause.
“A friend of the family sent me a message on Facebook and wanted to see if there were any organizations that could help,” said Mark Presley, who founded Hartsville Strong. “I knew it was something we should do and the community’s giving when you ask.”
Jack Andrews, a volunteer with Hartsville Strong, said the ability to help a child made this project a no-brainer. Andrews works as a contractor and helped design the ramp, which was built up to ADA standards and will eventually allow Waylon to roll himself up and down as he grows older.
“The fact that they asked for help for a 2-year-old in a wheelchair; if you can imagine having to pick him up and carry him in the house, then back out and get his wheelchair every time… It’s going to make their lives so much simpler.”
The project was almost delayed when materials proved hard to find, but an official with American Home Design stepped up to find materials and also brought a work crew to help.
“One of my subcontractors lives in this area, saw this on Facebook and sent the post to me. I reached out to Mark and it took off,” said Evan Vanlerberghe, an operations manager with American Home Design.
“We picked up a trailer and bought all the materials ($3,870 worth) and here we are.”
Volunteers and materials showed up on Saturday morning at the family’s Sullivan Hollow Road home, and construction was completed in a matter of hours.
“It’s all been really fast but it’s very appreciated,” Laura Housman said.
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or email@example.com.
Submitted to The Vidette
Bill Fergusson is announcing his intentions to enter as a candidate for Trousdale County’s mayoral race in August 2022.
Fergusson, 57, is currently serving his fourth term on the County Commission representing the 8th District. He has been very active since first being elected commissioner in 2007. He has previously served as chairman of the county’s Budget & Finance, Parks & Recreation and Audit committees and currently is a member of the Budget & Finance, Education, Steering, Emergency Services and Solid Waste committees, as well as chairing the Employee Personnel Committee.
Fergusson has also served as the Commission’s Chairman Pro Tempore for the last 10 years.
“Even though the election is a year out, I believe it’s important to start the process of speaking to the citizenry of Trousdale County about the future of the county, the challenges we will face, and the direction that we as a county should move,” Fergusson said. “I believe my past local government experience will be helpful to guide me in the role as mayor.”
If Fergusson is elected he would follow in the footsteps of his father, Pat Fergusson, who was Trousdale’s county executive from 1988-2002.
“I believe that serving as a county commissioner for the last 15 years has given me the understanding of how local government works, the abilities and powers given the different branches of our local government, and how these different parts of local government should work together for the betterment of all Trousdale Countians,” he added.
Professionally, Fergusson is currently a full-time Realtor with Benchmark Realty. He previously worked as a sales representative and as a regional sales manager. After graduating from Austin Peay State University, Fergusson worked as a public school teacher for 6½ years.
“As a full-time Realtor here in Trousdale County, I have seen first hand the growth that Trousdale County is experiencing. I firmly believe the growth of this county is one of the main areas of focus for all who live here and call Trousdale home,” he added.
“I can tell you that we (the Commission and committee groups) are currently working with research groups on many aspects of our county growth. There are many items to consider as we move forward in the upcoming years as to how we best manage the growth here in Trousdale County.
“And as a former educator, I am committed to working with our educational leaders to continue the success that our school systems have had. Our teachers have gone above and beyond and it shows!”
“I do plan to work diligently this upcoming year to speak with the fine people in our community, and I intend to knock on as many doors as possible to hear from the fine people who call Trousdale County home. I know that this will take time, so now that I have announced I will begin the journey! Thanks in advance for your support!” Fergusson said.
The Trousdale County Democratic Committee will host its annual meeting to elect officers, adopt new bylaws and start making plans for the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.
The meeting will take place Tuesday, August 10 at 7 p.m. at the County Archives Building, behind the county office complex at 328 Broadway.
Anyone who is interested is invited to attend and take part in the future of our local party. Much groundwork lies ahead to see that the goals of the party can be implemented and become a part of our state and national politics.
It is hoped that the year ahead will see more cooperation between the nation’s two main political parties, and that we can see more of what we have in common and less of how we differ. Please join us and be a part of the changes we all wish to see.