K-12 masks a Town mission

  • At Farragut Intermediate School were, from left, Town administrator David Smoak; assistant principal Amy Schumpert; Farragut Mayor Ron Williams; principal Deborah Adorante; assistant principal Stacy Hilliard; and Farragut Vice Mayor Louise Povlin. - Photos by Michelle Hollenhead

  • With a cutout of famed Adm. David Glasgow Farragut observing in the background at Farragut Middle School Sept. 4, Williams, left, joined FMS principal Weston Edmonds. - Photos by Michelle Hollenhead

With masks currently being required in all Knox County schools, Town of Farragut’s staff and its Board of Mayor and Alderman wanted to make sure Farragut’s students, teachers and administrators are well covered.

Town administrator David Smoak discussed a staff plan with BOMA last month to provide masks, featuring the Farragut name and an anchor, for those attending in-person classes at Farragut Primary, Intermediate, Middle and High schools.

“We had the opportunity to purchase the masks through the Tennessee CARES Act, and we wanted to show the schools support, plus give something to the students and staff that they’ll need long term,” Smoak said in a separate interview. “This gives everyone an extra mask and shows our community spirit.”

BOMA approved the purchase of 4,500 masks from TN Mask Supply during its Aug. 27 regular meeting.

The cost is $11,650, which Town recorder/treasurer Allison Myers said likely would be reimbursed through the Tennessee CARES Act, which “provides payments to state, local and tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, she stated in a BOMA report.

Vice Mayor Louise Povlin asked if the number of masks would be enough, and Smoak said staff had confirmed with administrators that would be a sufficient number, as about one-third of Farragut students chose the off-campus virtual learning option for fall semester.

The Town received the order late last week, then distributed them to all four Farragut schools Friday, Sept. 4. Town staff and elected officials already had the same masks, delivered earlier this year for their own use. Masks also were presented to Town volunteers.

Extras also are available free of charge at Town Hall and the Farragut Community Center during business hours while supplies last. One mask can be obtained per person in either youth or adult sizes.

Among other Town officials publically displaying the masks were Alderman Ron Pinchok and Town engineer Darryl Smith.