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Old 03-23-2011, 11:16 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,531 posts, read 13,372,671 times
Reputation: 20050

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Finding an opening in a small rural school seems like it would be the biggest challenge to me.
Having said that I'm going to suggest looking around Middleton, a tiny town of 600 in west TN.
My dd was thinking of transferring to their HS at one point so I checked into the school. Academically they are so-so, somewhat under the state average on ACT scores... but their focus seems to be on vocational and agricultural offerings, not college prep. Seemed like a safe, old fashioned type of school IMO.
Middleton itself is not much, some houses and a few small businesses. The folks I know there go into Somerville or Bolivar for shopping and medical care. They go to Jackson for entertainment and dining. Memphis is an hour and a half away for anything you can't find in Jackson.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:17 PM
 
4 posts, read 10,974 times
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nashvols, My husband wants to be at least 50 miles from a major city. 30 miles would be fine for me. We may compromise but most likely, we’ll be 50 miles from any major city. My husband and I grew up on the “outskirts” of suburbia (my folks street was the last street with public water access). Now the whole area is all built up. Two years ago, they put in sidewalks because people were complaining about having to walk on the edge of the road. This move will be “permanent” for us and we’d like to ensure that it will be rural for a long time. Thank you for the advice on suburb districts and schools.

jabogitlu, Thank you for the advice. I think that we would really like northeast Tennessee except for the weather. I did not realize that it was that cold up through there.

DubbleT, thanks I am looking in to Middleton, seems to be close to what we’re looking for. We didn’t look much into west Tennessee because we figured it would be more flat and my husband likes the mountains. And we want to stay away from Memphis.

Some more questions for everyone:

How are Tennessee schools funded? Is school funding based on property taxes, sales taxes, etc.?

Do you know anything about the following counties: Maury, Giles, Marshall, Wayne, Lawrence, and Lincoln?

Does anyone have anything to say about Lawrenceburg, Pulaski or Columbia? My parents have a real estate agent in Lawrenceburg and they asked about Pulaski and were told that there are more white supremacists (think KKK) in Giles county than in Lawrence county. It could have been a real estate pitch or is it really true?
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:12 PM
 
11,612 posts, read 31,808,854 times
Reputation: 8213
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngarmywife View Post
nashvols, My husband wants to be at least 50 miles from a major city. 30 miles would be fine for me. We may compromise but most likely, we’ll be 50 miles from any major city. My husband and I grew up on the “outskirts” of suburbia (my folks street was the last street with public water access). Now the whole area is all built up. Two years ago, they put in sidewalks because people were complaining about having to walk on the edge of the road. This move will be “permanent” for us and we’d like to ensure that it will be rural for a long time. Thank you for the advice on suburb districts and schools.

jabogitlu, Thank you for the advice. I think that we would really like northeast Tennessee except for the weather. I did not realize that it was that cold up through there.

DubbleT, thanks I am looking in to Middleton, seems to be close to what we’re looking for. We didn’t look much into west Tennessee because we figured it would be more flat and my husband likes the mountains. And we want to stay away from Memphis.

Some more questions for everyone:

How are Tennessee schools funded? Is school funding based on property taxes, sales taxes, etc.?

Do you know anything about the following counties: Maury, Giles, Marshall, Wayne, Lawrence, and Lincoln?

Does anyone have anything to say about Lawrenceburg, Pulaski or Columbia? My parents have a real estate agent in Lawrenceburg and they asked about Pulaski and were told that there are more white supremacists (think KKK) in Giles county than in Lawrence county. It could have been a real estate pitch or is it really true?
Rural (non metropolitan) school districts in Tennessee tend to be pretty abysmal. Howevever, nashvols mentioned two that you should consider: Putnam County and Coffee County. Putnam County's system benefits from having a mid-major university (Tennessee Tech in Cookeville) even though much of the county is thoroughly rural. Cookeville HS has 2300 students whereas Upperman HS has 600 and Monterey HS has only 300, for example. The entire school system is outstanding, and at the high school level it's open enrollment, so you can live anywhere in the county and send your kids to whatever high school you want.

Coffee County is home to Arnold Engineering Development Center, a huge research facility for the USAF. Those thousands of engineers demand excellent schools. The county system and the Tullahoma city system both have very good schools.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:53 PM
 
6,385 posts, read 10,381,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMT View Post
Rural (non metropolitan) school districts in Tennessee tend to be pretty abysmal. Howevever, nashvols mentioned two that you should consider: Putnam County and Coffee County. Putnam County's system benefits from having a mid-major university (Tennessee Tech in Cookeville) even though much of the county is thoroughly rural. Cookeville HS has 2300 students whereas Upperman HS has 600 and Monterey HS has only 300, for example. The entire school system is outstanding, and at the high school level it's open enrollment, so you can live anywhere in the county and send your kids to whatever high school you want.

Coffee County is home to Arnold Engineering Development Center, a huge research facility for the USAF. Those thousands of engineers demand excellent schools. The county system and the Tullahoma city system both have very good schools.
I think as far as living and working in county, Putnam and Coffee would be two of the best as far as a mix of rural areas and small town atmosphere/good schools.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:29 PM
 
9 posts, read 18,953 times
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If you're looking in East Tennessee, I suggest that you look at rural areas in Blount County (I did, for retirement, though I didn't grow up in Blount).

The county has its own school system, while the two towns in the county (Maryville and Alcoa) each have their own. Both Alcoa and Maryville have quite good school systems. Maryville has a good-sized hospital (Google Blount Memorial Hospital) and Maryville College, a good small liberal arts college, while Knoxville with several large hospitals and the University of Tennessee are no more than 45 minutes from the farthest corner of Blount County. Meanwhile, the Smokies are at your doorstep along with the lakes/rivers and you're 20 minutes or so from I-75 and I-40 (hence I-81) that'll take you whereever....

Alcoa has a significant minority population (especially for East TN), and the "college town atmosphere" of Maryville tends to make people more open and accepting than some of the more isolated counties (I'll use infamous Cocke County as an example that most knowledgeable folks can relate to...) It is also tempered somewhat by the tourist traffic and shops that cater to them -- though still not a "tourist trap" like neighboring Sevier County with Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Blount County & Maryville have made several "top 25" lists of places to live, retire, etc. It provides ready access to all that neighoring Knoxville and Knox County have to offer, while having a more affordable, more laid-back and rural atmosphere...

There's lots of places in TN that will meet your requirements -- I'm just pointing out some of the attributes that I found when looking to retire "back home" after living elsewhere for 30+ years, and choosing to go to rural Blount County...
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:52 PM
 
414 posts, read 1,329,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngarmywife View Post
Do you know anything about the following counties: Maury, Giles, Marshall, Wayne, Lawrence, and Lincoln?
I used to live in Lincoln County. Really loved it on several fronts. The landscape is rolling hills and beautiful. The county seat of Fayetteville is very quaint, with a beautiful town square. The population is not just made up of locals, but has a very nice mix of people from all over the world, due to the proximity of Huntsville, AL. Huntsville is only 30-45 minutes away and has very good shopping and dining.

I can't tell you much about the schools there, unfortunately, as I was an empty nester when I lived there.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Telford, TN
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Check out Washington County and the area surrounding Johnson City, TN in mountainous northeast Tennessee. We love it here after moving from Florida in 2007.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Middle TN
134 posts, read 588,608 times
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On the educational front, I lived in the last rural part of Williamson Co and then moved to very rural Cannon County. Williamson Co is known for their schools, which keeps real estate prices competitive.

Both cities had decent schools, but any school is dependent on the leadership. Like any smaller school district, there are politics and favoritism. part of the human condition.

My suggestion is to understand the culture by visiting the towns of interest. hang out in the stores and library. Look at the folks there...those are the kids and parents that make up the schools.

What are the ambitions of the parents? I can tell you one observation I had in the smaller towns. Although parents (fathers) supported education, beneath the surface rarley discussed was a fear that if my child goes to college they will not want to come back to our little town.

This is why the priorities seemed so out of balanced, bent heavily on sports and after school activities like basketball practice was two hours a night, five days a week.

TN schools are ranked in the lower 40th, so what is the strategy to improve? Sports. Hmmm.

You have to accept the culture and its values, and SLOWLY make changes. You have to show the students that knowing X,Y, or Z will help them be better ______________. Whatever you fill that blank in with is skills/trades acceptable to the family (fathers).

Make sense? Do not talk about being an engineer requiring years of college in a town made up of farmers and auto mechanics. You have to teach the curriculum through the skill set of the local people telling them algebra or biology will make you a better _____________ because you use these skills when you _____________.

If you taught in Coffee County, home to Arnold Engineering Development Center, your strategy would be very different if you had students whose families worked there.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:28 AM
 
Location: Hometown of Jason Witten
5,985 posts, read 3,643,286 times
Reputation: 1914
I think you'd love Carter County.
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