Rise & Shine: Memphis teacher bobsledder bound for the Olympics

Good morning and welcome to Monday!

If you spent your weekend watching the Winter Olympics on TV, you'll want to know about at least one connection to Tennessee schools. Memphis teacher Sable Otey is a member of Team USA's Olympic bobsledding team, and spoke with Chalkbeat's Laura Faith Kebede before leaving for South Korea. Read our Q&A as Otey describes the challenges and synergy that comes from being both a teacher and an athlete.

Happy reading!

—Marta W. Aldrich, bureau chief


TEAM USA  Teaching makes me a better athlete, says a Memphis physical education teacher headed for South Korea and the Winter Olympics. Chalkbeat

KIDS AND DOGS  The Humane Society of Memphis partners with Shelby County Schools to find homes for dogs. Local Memphis

FLU BLUES  Many Tennessee schools resume class today following a series of flu days, while Cheatham County closes schools due to a large number of sick students and staff. The Tennessean

At least one district cancels and reschedules the ACT exam due to widespread illness. The Tennessean

A Crossville mom gathers 1,400 signatures on a petition urging Cumberland County officials to cancel school. WBIR

DISPARITY IN DISCIPLINE  Knox County will host two public forums this week on new school disciplinary guidelines aimed at addressing disproportional use of suspensions among different groups of students. Knoxville News Sentinel

BUDGET PRIORITIES  Hamilton County school board members talk about their spending priorities this year heading into budget season. Times Free Press

TNREADY RESOLUTION  Cumberland County’s school board asks lawmakers to place a moratorium on TNReady testing until the state can deliver accurate scores on time. Crossville Chronicle

HERO CHALLENGE  For a chance to win tickets to see the new “Black Panther” movie, a Chattanooga producer invites local high school students to define what a hero is.  Times Free Press

SCHOOL FUNDING  Now that Williamson County’s sales tax referendum for schools has passed, the district’s next school finance challenge will be decided by the courts. The Tennessean

SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION  The potential of closing elementary schools in Greene County becomes one of the more contentious topics of a school consolidation plan. The Greeneville Sun

AMAZING SHAKE  Students at Maryville High school hone their soft skills. The Daily Times

Extra Credit

A group of Memphis-area middle and high school students traveled last week to the State Capitol to meet with lawmakers, participate in a mock legislative session, and watch state government in action. The Nashville trip was the capstone of a four-week “change agent” program coordinated by TennesseeCAN to equip the next generation of education advocates and policymakers.

Memphis-area students in TennesseeCAN’s “Change Agent” program participate in a mock legislative session on the floor of the House of Representatives at the Tennessee State Capitol.