Friday, July 29, 2016


Dominoes, billiards, TV, joker and other games 9:30 a.m.

Learn CPR @ Elkmont Fire Department
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When Garth Garris retired during the winter of 2016 as Elkmont's High School principal, Bill Tribble, was selected to join our Hilltop family.  We met him in an interview (Meet Elkmont's New Principal) when he took over the helm in March.  He said he wanted to observe how the school worked those few months before school was out before anything was changed.  He wanted to improve what was needed and to leave in place what didn't need fixed. 

It is now time to start a new school year and Hill Spirit dropped in to visit Mr Tribble last week to hear what is new for this school year.

The first item on the list is using the data collected to improve instruction.  Many times all this information is gathered, put on an Excel sheet or turned into the state but not used at the school level. Mr. Tribble thinks that these stats can shine a light on what areas need to be changed and what  only needs a little fine tuning to make our school better.

A new department is being rolled out this year, "The Business Academy".  Elkmont hasn't had a business teacher for several years but one has been hired.  She is in charge of developing the programs.  The Academy will be rolled out this year with eighth graders taking the Career Prep course.  Ninth graders will be exposed to Personal Finance. Hopefully, Dave Ramsey principles will be part of that course. Additional courses will be added to include 10-12 grade in the next few years.

Another change will be the check-in/out procedure.  It will be a computerized system and parents will be able to access it at home. Walking in to the office and having Miss Gina take care of visitor passes, and signing kids in or out is gone.  Primary goals are safety and making the process easier for parents.  

The new process will be:
1. Picture id (such as a driver's license) will be scanned to come on campus.
2. Visitor's pass with that picture will be printed out.
3. Unlimited amount of family/friends can be listed as contacts.
4. Changes to your child's information can be done from home 24/7.

Elkmont has been classified as a Title One school and will be given additional funds.  A federal grant will be paying for free breakfast for all students.  Breakfast will be served in the classrooms for Pre K thru 5 grade.

Items of note:
*Mac Books will be provided for grades 3-8.  Parents will need to receive DPI training before laptops are assigned.  One part of Open House, scheduled for August 2, is this DPI  training.

*Morning Drop Off 
Please don't open the car door and drop your child off at the Ag building parking lot or in the road around the school.  With so many cars, safety is an issue. Entry points for car riders (any age student)  is the kindergarten building and the new gym/elementary school entrance.

*Mark your calendar on September 6 @ 6 pm for the first PTO meeting.


Cloudy today with an occasional sunbeams. A few rain showers are possible this morning on the Hilltop but better chances hold off until the afternoon. 


The Elkmont Cross Country team has gotten back from their annual "before school" team training camp in the beautiful hills of Tennessee.  Lots of fun, team bonding and running up and down hills, these dedicated runners finished with a total of 52 miles. Cumulative total of each runner (coach and chaperone) 936 miles. Great kids who care about each other and our team! Coach Pugh writes, "I wouldn't trade this time with them for anything." The EHS XC is looking good for 2016 season.  This is a big reason why Elkmont has an excellent cross country team year after year.
Going to miss these guys next year!
Coach Barry Pugh, their fearless leader, brings lots of infectious enthusiasm to camp as he pushes them along.  Special thanks goes to the parents and other adults that helped the cross country team have a great time


Elkmont is the oldest school in the Limestone County School System.  It was established in 1912 and has served our community for over 100 years. 

Talk about building a new elementary school for the Hilltop has been around for at least 20 years.  The land where it was to be built is across from the Pig. As time has slipped by, the new school has always been pushed down the list so other communities would receive the needed funds.  There are now indications that the new school may always be in the Twilight Zone.  Never to be built, only to exist in the imagination.

Limestone County Schools Superintendent Tom Sisk has provided another piece of the puzzle called "What About Elkmont?" One of his long-term goals is to break up the remaining K-12 schools in Limestone County. The only ones left are West Limestone, Tanner and Elkmont. Ardmore, Clements and East Limestone have already been switched.  East Limestone has Creekside, Ardmore got Cedar Hill, and Clements has Blue Springs.

West is getting a new $15,191,800 school called Sugar Creek Elementary. Sugar Creek is scheduled to open by the 2017-18. Sisk said,Tanner already has its own building on campus that already functions independently from the main school. Plans are in the works to build a dedicated administration suite for the elementary building to create Tanner Elementary School.

What about Elkmont?
Though it's not in the immediate future, splitting the K-12 facility is next on the list. The plan is similar to the one taking place at Tanner — an Elkmont Elementary School will be established with its own administration and identity. The building is separate from the main school already and has its own administrative suite, but there will be some “investment” made into the Elkmont Elementary campus, Sisk said.  

"Some investment made".... Hill Spirit reads this to mean that the new elementary school is gone, not to be built.  Sorry folks, as it stands now, the first school in the county is now the last. It's too bad...Elkmont is a wonderful community to raise children. However, young families move to where the new schools are, not the recycled - even the well-loved, maintained one. The growth(money) in the county will be directed elsewhere.

Athens New Courier Article
*the Elkmont/Piney Chapel plan of 15 years ago has been transformed into the West/Owens plan 


School will soon be starting back August 3 and our Elkmont churches are getting ready.  New Bethel Baptist, North Campus Friendship Methodist and Elkmont Methodist Church participate in the "Full Tummy" program  and are excited about helping out.  As they prepare for another year of filling tummies and changing the lives of our Elkmont students in need, we can help by stocking their church pantries.  This is a great community service project for those who are coupon experts. You can drop off your items at any of the above churches or the school office.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Inside the Alabama Center for the Arts, spectators will get a glimpse into the lives of the artists during the third annual Faculty and Alumni Show. Unveiled Monday, the newest exhibit to the downtown Decatur gallery features 96 pieces from 32 artists.

There is a photograph of a young woman wearing a firefighter’s uniform called “Overcoming All Obstacles” by Julie Odom, of Elkmont.

“This is my daughter. She is 22 and is a member of Ardmore’s volunteer fire department,” Odom said. “I love to take photographs of her in her suit, but she does not like being the subject of photos at all. In most of the photos, she is making a goofy face or rolling her eyes at me.”

Not in the one Odom selected for the exhibit. In “Overcoming All Obstacles,” Odom’s daughter faces the camera, her hands clutching the helmet with the identifying words “Ardmore” and “Odom.” A sense of calmness and focus appear on her face.
“I get emotional when I see the photo because she’s not only overcome being a female in a male-dominated occupation, she has overcome her anxiety and issues with confidence,” Odom said. “When she steps into that suit and helps someone, a calmness and confidence comes over her.”
The photograph is one of 26 pieces honored as a juror’s choice selection. The recognized works span all mediums — photography, acrylic, oil, watercolor, pen and ink, bronze, mixed media, jewelry and sculpture.

Where: Alabama Center for the Arts, 133 Second Ave. N.E., Decatur

When: Today-Sept. 29, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mondays to Thursdays, 8 a.m. to noon, Fridays.


Rain in coming from the west today. Looks like light showers this morning but scattered storms become more widespread about lunch time.  It's predicted to be an on and off rain day. Temperatures should be cooler today with highs staying in the 80s with wind gusts of 15-20 mph out of the southwest. 

The year is already halfway over.  This reminder brings it home that time does indeed fly.

Next Week: (1-7 AUG)
Nationally August looks to get off to the hottest start on record with national temperatures +3.3F above average. Rainfall appears abundant, unusual in high heat scenarios, but likely to trend the most in 13 years for the U.S. overall. Heaviest rains appear to be in the drought stricken Southeast.


Have you ever had those days when everything you see, hear or smell brings back a memory? Seems like today was one of those days. As a I was driving a little while ago I remembered a "not so long ago" time when my Jensen was maybe 5 and we were driving along in the truck. 

The clouds were rolling in and she looked up and said "Can God still see us when it's cloudy?" I remember telling her that sure, He sees us all the time. She shook those little curls and said "well it sure makes it harder to see Him!" I told her He was always there and she was silly and we went on our way. 

I think about her saying that a lot when the clouds start to roll in. Sunny days it seems all is right and looking up brings a lot of happiness and "good" to the day. Cloudy days maybe not so much. Seems to be clouds rolling in a lot these days in the world. I think maybe as Jensen said, it is harder to "see" God when the clouds are rolling in. He is there. He is in control. I need to remind myself of this often! Have a good one!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Our hilltop youngsters have fall baseball and softball signups, football and cheerleader signups and volleyball softball signups this month.

Date: July 25, 28, 7-8 pm
*Elkmont Park Concession Stand
*Ages: 10U, 12U, 14U
*Fees: $25 fee + $15 game shirt = $40
*For more info:
Laura Kennedy
Mary Jane Hobbs

Information Link 

*Thursday night, July 28th u can sign up at West ball fields or Ardmore ball fields from 5:30pm-7:00pm...
*Friday night, July 29th u can sign up at Johnson fields from 5:30pm-7:00pm...
If you are unable to come by these locations, you can swing by Grand Slam Cages in Athens. Monday-Friday from 3:00pm-9:00pm or Saturday from 12:00pm-9:00pm and register your child to play.
Reminder this is softball AND baseball!!! 

Information Link