Motlow celebrates 10-year anniversary in Sparta

By | November 13, 2017 6:04 am

The development of the Motlow Sparta teaching location was a dream come true for elected officials and educational leaders. L-R: State Representative Paul Sherrell; Tommy Pedigo, former City of Sparta mayor; Melody Edmonds, Motlow interim vice president for academic affairs; Hilda Tunstill, Motlow’s interim president; Jody Sliger, former Motlow-Sparta student; Herd Sullivan, former White County executive; and Linda Bumbalough Mackie, facility coordinator for the Motlow-Sparta location. (Photo by BOBBY MCCULLEY)

Elected officials, both current and past, as well as community members, business leaders, and education officials, came together Friday to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Motlow Sparta teaching location.

A building that once housed a glass repair shop has now served the community of Sparta and White County as the home of a dream come true for those who have been diligently working to bring higher education to Sparta and White County.

Motlow Community College Sparta teaching location officially began hosting classes in August 2007 at its facility on the corner of Roosevelt Drive and Robert Knight Drive, in Sparta.

Over the course of time, the governmental entities of Sparta and White County, along with White County Board of Education, saw their hopes of bringing post-secondary education to Sparta come to fruition, thanks to the hard work and dedication of all of those involved back in 2007.

On Nov. 10, 2017, Linda Mackie, who has served as the facility coordinator for the Motlow-Sparta location since its founding, hosted the 10-year anniversary celebration. Mackie, along with administrators of Motlow College, utilized this event to recognize all of those who helped make the Motlow-Sparta teaching location not only a reality but also a success.

Mackie, along with several administrators from Motlow, including Motlow’s Interim President Hilda Tunstill, spoke at the anniversary event. Former White County Executive Herd Sullivan; former City of Sparta Mayor Tommy Pedigo; current local officials White County Executive Denny Wayne Robinson and City of Sparta Mayor Jeff Young; Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger; and State Representative Paul Sherrell were also on hand for the event.

Sparta’s Motlow location was announced in 2007 as an “evolving project,” which is still an appropriate title for the location today. Officials praised how well White County, City of Sparta, and White County Board of Education have worked together in the development of the educational facility.

Pedigo praised the work that has been done over the past 10 years at the Sparta teaching location. However, Pedigo challenged the current local elected officials, as well as Sherrell and Motlow, to strive over the next 10 years to make the Sparta location into an official campus for Motlow Community College.

Sherrell took that challenge issued by Pedigo and also urged that all of those involved with the Motlow of Sparta location to find ways to grow and to coordinate the resources needed to make the Sparta teaching location into a full service campus.

The first 10 years of Motlow in Sparta have been beneficial to hundreds of students, including recent high school graduates as well as adults who are seeking to advance their education. The hope now is the work and commitment of the community and elected officials will help ensure that Motlow of Sparta continues to be the “Motlow Opportunity,” as White County Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger stated, for generations to come.

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