Thumbs of the Week: Harrison makes Wilson proud

Staff Reports • Updated May 5, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Thumbs up to Wilson County native Keith Harrison, who will take on the role of assistant commissioner for the consumer and industry services division at the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Commissioner Jai Templeton made the announcement last week. Since 2001, Harrison has put his skills and experience to work for the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative, headquartered in La Vergne. From marketing to public outreach, to management of and recruitment for numerous corporate and educational events, Harrison excelled in a variety of roles during his tenure with the cooperative. The appointment marks Harrison’s return to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. He served in the market development division from 1984 until 2000, working his way up from an agricultural marketing specialist to assistant marketing director to ultimately, the marketing director. Harrison was instrumental in development of the Pick Tennessee Products and Ag Tag campaigns, which remain hallmarks of TDA’s public outreach today. He and his wife, Julie, have three children and raise beef cattle and produce hay near Watertown.


Thumbs up to Cumberland University, which was one of four institutions statewide to receive a diversity in teaching grant from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, officials announced Thursday. The $100,000 grant will be used to provide scholarships and cover expenses for 18 new English as a Second Language teachers in the next two years. Scholarship recipients will be identified by district leaders from among their existing teaching faculty and recommended to the program in a “grow your own” model. This process solves challenges that rural districts often face in recruiting teachers for hard-to-staff positions from outside the district.


Thumbs up to Independence High School head basketball coach Greg Glass, who will soon fill an assistant principal position at Lebanon High School. Glass currently holds an athletic director position at Independence High School in Williamson County. He has also taught special education at Independence. He began teaching at Independence in 2012. He has also served as an assistant branch manger for Wells Fargo Bank in Virginia and taught special education classes at Stonewall Middle School and Brentsville District High School in Manassas, Va. He received a bachelor’s degree in communications and recreation from Western Kentucky University, a master’s degree education from George Mason University and education specialist in educational leadership from Lipscomb University. Glass will assume the role at the beginning of the next school year. 


Thumbs up to A Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival, which was welcomed to Wilson County for the first time Saturday, and event organizers said the event went better than expected. Saturday marked the 14th year for the event, which is held by the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce. Chamber president Mark Hinesley said the venue change to the Wilson County Expo Center from Nashville Shores made a big difference.

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