Tennessee Tech News

Tech is Tennessee tour makes first stops in the Upper Cumberland

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Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham talks with students at Cookeville High School during his first stops on the Tech is Tennessee Tour.

Published Friday Sep 8, 2017

Tennessee Tech University President Phil Oldham visited three Putnam County high schools this week, kicking off the Tech is Tennessee tour that will ultimately take him to all 95 counties in Tennessee.

Making his way across the state, Oldham sees the tour as an opportunity to connect with prospective students, alumni and educators and emphasize Tennessee Tech’s dedication to the people and communities throughout Tennessee.

“From Memphis to Mountain City, Tennessee Tech graduates and students make a positive impact on their communities,” Oldham said. “We want to hear the stories of as many educators, alumni and prospective students as possible during this tour so that we can continue to be responsive to their needs.”

The Tech is Tennessee tour is kicking off in the Upper Cumberland and took Oldham to Cookeville, Upperman and Monterey High Schools, visiting with principals and guidance counselors for open conversations about the university.

While at Cookeville High School, Oldham was able to meet with principal Clif Matlock and school guidance counselors. He also made a visit to the classroom of Tech alumnus Keith Brown, who teaches history and economics at the high school, and speak with Brown’s students about their plans for the future.

“I would put Tech up against any university because of the knowledge I gained there,” Brown told the class. “You can get an education many places, but you can get a world-class education at a great price at Tech.”

Upperman High School Principal William Stepp and guidance counselors who help high school students make decisions about their future education choices spoke about the preparedness of Tech graduates and ways the university could help Upperman students find the best path to higher education for them.

Oldham got a brief tour of the newly opened Monterey High School and spoke with Principal Sonja Farley and the school’s guidance counselor, Marsha Pauli. Pauli said she encourages Monterey students to give Tech a fresh look, to see the university in terms of academic opportunity, even though it is located in familiar territory.

The tour’s next stop in the Upper Cumberland will be in Cumberland County on Friday, Sept. 15, at Cumberland County and Stone Memorial High Schools.

"We started the tour in the place that supported us more than 100 years ago when the vision and grit of local men and women created Tech," Oldham said. "We carry a special commitment to the Upper Cumberland families we serve, and as we create a bold, fearless and confident plan for the future, we will even be better prepared to serve them."

To follow the tour’s progress and for inside perspective from Oldham, follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TTUPrezPhil.

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