Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees » 2021 Inductees

2021 Inductees

13th Annual Dobyns-Bennett High School Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: March 26, 2022

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the 2021 Induction Ceremony was not held until the Spring of 2022.

Kermit R. Addington, Jr.CLASS OF 1951

Kermit R. Addington, Jr.
Kit Roosevelt Addington, Jr. was born in Kingsport to K. R. Addington, Sr. and Elva Cunningham Addington on March 16, 1934. He attended Kingsport schools and graduated in 1951 from Dobyns-Bennett High School. In addition to being an excellent student, he played saxophone in the band. He then studied at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration, focusing on Transportation, and he was a member of the Pride of the Southland Band. From 1955-1957 he served in the United States Army, being posted in France for part of that time. Then, he worked at Mason-Dixon Freightlines where he became Vice-President of Operations and continued throughout his career to work for various trucking companies in management positions in all parts of the United States. He served as Vice-President of Ryder/PIE from January 1973 to October 1983. He held various positions in trucking in Scranton, PA, Memphis, TN, Cincinnati, OH, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, Rhode Island, West Palm Beach, FL and Boston, MA. He eventually completed his professional life as business trainer for United Parcel Service in Delaware in 2008. He was married to Ann Pyle of Kingsport for 58 years, and they had three children. He died in Kingsport November 24, 2016, where he and Ann had returned after his retirement.erm

Kermit was stunned to learn that there were more than 200 homeless children in Kingsport, and he set about to make a difference in those statistics. He spent long hours daily researching the needs and possibilities and visiting similar programs in other locations. He began several charitable organizations including Friends and Neighbors, Harvest of Hope Community Garden, Oasis and Open Doors. He was also a very active member of First Broad Street United Methodist Church where he and Ann served in the Furniture Ministry, and he was an usher. Kermit R. Addington Jr. Class of 1951
He served as president of Friends and Neighbors, a domestic non-profit, from 2011-2016. Friends and Neighbors now owns five houses, two of which were purchased in 2013, providing housing for ten families. A second organization he created is The Oasis of Kingsport, which was founded on October 6, 2014. Since its opening, it has served over 800 women in its small space. And today, in addition to providing various ministries and programs, it partners with over 100 other organizations around the Tri-cities serving women.
The above accomplishments are clearly examples of Kermit’s continuing the legacy of his dad, K.R. Addington, Sr.

Colonel Jerry DuncanCLASS OF 1969

Colonel Jerry Duncan
Jerry D. Duncan was born in Kingsport, TN on December 13, 1950, to Ethel and Frank Duncan. He attended Abraham Lincoln Elementary, Andrew Johnson Elementary, and Ross N Robinson Junior High before graduating from Dobyns-Bennett High School in 1969 where he was a member of the football team. Duncan has one sister, Judy Blakley (Class of 1962) brother-in-law Joe Blakley (Class of 1960) and one brother, Frank A. Duncan (Class of 1964). Growing up on Redwood Drive and East Sevier Avenue, Duncan as a young boy became a dedicated member of the Kingsport Boys Club. He still takes pride in being a Boys’ Club kid. He later became a little league coach and also served on the Board of Directors of the Kingsport Boys and Girls Club.
Soon after graduating in 1969, he began his military career in 1970 by joining the 117th Infantry Regiment of the Tennessee National Guard. In 1971 he transferred to the US Navy and in 1972 was deployed to South Vietnam
serving in the Gulf of Tonkin on the USS Savannah. Before leaving the US Navy in 1977 he served in the Mediterranean Sea during the Oil Embargo of 1973-74, Guantanamo Bay Cuba, Panama Canal Zone; and Central and South America. In 1978 he transferred to the US Army Reserves and in 1979 was selected to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Fort Benning, Georgia. As a Distinguished Military Graduate of OCS, Duncan was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army Engineer Corp. In November 1990 he was assigned as Commander of C Company, 844th Engineer Battalion, Combat Heavy where he was instrumental in leading this
group of troops in the war of Desert Shield/Desert Storm in Iraq. During this deployment, Duncan commanded
engineering units of the 844TH in breaking the Berm between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In addition, his unit was credited for completing the first military supply route (MSR) more than 50 miles inside Iraq that was used by the US Army 82nd Airborne and 24 Infantry Division during the invasion. Duncan obtained the rank of Major in June 1994 and relocated to Fort Gillem, Georgia with the 416th Engineer Command as a Logistics and Engineer Officer. In February 2003 he obtained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He again led troops to war this time in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Baghdad, Iraq and Ar Ramadi, Iraq. There he was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division where he again served with great pride and distinction. While in Baghdad, Iraq he was the engineer who was instrumental in the initial layout known as the “Green Zone”. He was also a lead engineer on the US Army efforts in the restoration of the Iraqi electrical power from Ramadi Iraq to the Syrian border.
Duncan received the rank of Colonel in December 2006 and then spent two years as the Deputy Director, US Army Corp of Engineers, Far East District, Yongsan Army Garrison, Seoul South Korea. While in Korea he was a Lead Military Engineer Officer in negotiating US contracts with the South Korean Army. In short, he was instrumental in negotiating the engineering efforts for the first ever Design-Build Contract in Engineering construction in the Far East. Also, this was the first time since WWII that the US Army would build a base facility to house over 50,000
soldiers. In summary, Duncan served this great nation for 39 years 10 months. His duty has taken him all over the world and in the USA. His most prominent service was in Vietnam (one of the last Vietnam soldiers to leave active service), Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and South Korea.
Duncan was inducted into the Engineer Officer Candidate School (OCS) Hall of Fame, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in 2008. In 2009, he was also inducted into the Officer Candidate School (OCS) Hall of Fame in Fort Benning, Georgia. Induction into the OCS Hall of Fame is the highest honor for an OCS graduate. The Hall of Fame recognizes leadership excellence in both military and civilian public service, and inductees are chosen by a committee composed of the US Army OCS commander, the 11th Infantry Regiment commander, the chief of staff of the U.S. Army Infantry School, the chief of staff of the U.S. Army Infantry Center, and assistant commandant of the Infantry School.

Duncan’s Military Awards include: Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal w/Oak Leaf Cluster; Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation with “V” Device; Army Commendation Medal w/3 Oak Leaf Clusters; Army Achievement Medal; National Defense Service Ribbon w/Bronze Star; Vietnam Service Medal; South West Asia Service Medal second device; Iraq Campaign Medal; Korean Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserves Medal second device; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon with two Bronze Stars; Overseas Training Ribbon with award; Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal; Kuwait Liberation Medal; Global War on Terrorism; Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal; Expert Marksmanship Badge; Combat Action Badge.
COL Duncan earned a B.S. Degree from Steed College, Johnson City, TN; B.S. Degree from East Tennessee State University; and a Master’s Degree in Military Logistics from Touro University, Los Alamos, CA; US Army Command General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and the US Air Force War College. Duncan has also been active in the Kingsport community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Kingsport, Board of Directors of the Holston Valley Hospital Credit Union, Sullivan County 911 Board, and is a graduate of Leadership Kingsport. Duncan was an adjunct professor at the Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Northeast State Community College. Duncan is a Lifetime member of the VFW, member of the American Legion, and also an active member of Temple Baptist Church in Kingsport.
COL Duncan is married to Janice Duncan and has three sons, Jay Duncan (Class of 1990), John Duncan (Class of 1994), and Jeremy Duncan (Class of 2003).

Bob HillCLASS OF 1984

Bob Hill
Bobby Meredith Hill was born and raised in the state of Tennessee. He entered the Tennessee foster care system at 7 months old and was placed in the care of a 68-year-old foster mother, Ovetta “ Ms. Pat” Cain who he remained with until he was 18 years of age. For Bobby, as a child he always wanted to be a part of something special. When he was introduced to the world of sports, he found his niche. Sports had always been his way of having the family he never knew. The Coaches and Community Leaders in his life became like father and mother figures, his mentors, and his friends. Bobby’s teammates became like brothers and sisters, the older neighborhood athletes became like uncles and aunts and this brought much joy to him. He knew at an early age that he wanted to be a coach. The idea of helping young kids like him reach a better quality of life through sports drove him to work hard. When he entered middle school, he was determined to be a leader because he wanted to make a difference in the lives of his peers and desired for everyone around him to be better and he wanted to add value to their lives. When Bobby entered Dobyns-Bennett, he played football and ran track. His experience at D-B helped change the trajectory of his life. The teachers, coaches, and teammates he met at D-B would guide and encourage him to reach for the next level of his athletic career. Playing for D-B was a childhood dream that many young people never realized, but, Bobby was blessed enough to have a great neighborhood and city support system from the Boys Club, Inc and City league sports full of great people that helped him create a dream for himself that he still follows to this day. Upon graduation from Dobyns-Bennett, Bobby earned a track scholarship to North Carolina Central University where majoring in physical education was an excellent fit for him. In his senior year of college, he was awarded the 1988 Male Athlete of the Year by the North Carolina Central University athletic department. After undergraduate studies, Bobby furthered his education by earning his Master’s degree from North Carolina Central University in December 2009 and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from United Christian College.
Bobby Hill’s coaching/teaching career began in 1993 in Durham City Schools where he taught PE/Health, and coached football, volleyball, women’s basketball, and women’s track. Bobby Hill was employed at Hillside High School as a Teacher/Athletic Director for 25 years. Having fulfilled his assignment at Hillside High School, he left Durham Public Schools to pursue a district-level athletic director’s position which he obtained and served in Orange County, Hillsborough, NC until his retirement in 2019.
Bobby Hill has several noteworthy accomplishments and awards including: NCADA Hall of Fame Class of 2019, Bruce D. White Distinguished Service Award (NC) 2020, NC Shape America Athletic Director of the Year, National Interscholastic Athletic Administrator Association State Award of Merit, NCHSAA Charlie Adams Distinguish Service Award Winner 2016, NFHS Citation Award 2015, 4A Football State Championship 2010, North Carolina Athletic Directors Association President 2015, PAC 6 Conference President 2010-2015, 4x NC State 3A Track and Field Team Championships (2002-2005). Memberships and professional development includes: NIAAA Credential Committee Member 6 years, NCHSAA Athletic Education Committee Member 4yrs, NIAAA National Teaching Faculty Member, served as a National Conference facilitator 7 years, National Conference Delegate for NC for 5yrs, Facilitates Middle School Monday workshops for Middle School AD’s and Coaches in NC, and Developed a COVID 19 framework plan for North Carolina High Schools to return student athletes to campus safely.
Bobby Hill is married to his best friend for life, Aronda and is the father of four adult children and ten grandchildren.

Graham ClarkCLASS OF 1971

Dr. Bruce Moss
Bruce Moss was born and raised in Kingsport, Tennessee where he joined the school band at Lincoln Elementary school in the sixth grade. He continued participating in band at Robinson Junior High and at Dobyns-Bennett High School, where, like his father in the early 1930’s, he was a drum major. He credits his success in music teaching to many outstanding music teachers in the Kingsport City School System: Kathleen Beale (Lincoln); William Geisler (Robinson); and Mel Kelly and J.S. Tilson (Dobyns-Bennett). Other music teachers from Kingsport who were not his band directors but were musical influences were Tom Allen, Paul Arrington and Ernest Buchannan. He credits all of his teachers in the Kingsport City Schools for his love and passion for teaching.

Dr. Moss attended Middle Tennessee State University for two years before transferring to University of Illinois where he received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees. He did a year’s residency at Northwestern University and completed his doctorate at The Ohio State University in 1989. His university conducting teachers, luminaries in the band conducting profession, were Harry Begian, John P. Paynter and Craig Kirchhoff.
Dr. Moss began a versatile and distinguished teaching career in 1976 at York Community High School in Elmhurst, IL, where for eleven years he led an exemplary program as director of bands and music department chair. Among the many highlights of his public-school teaching career were the honor of performing at the Music Educators National Conference in Minneapolis in 1981, and at performances with his students and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where he was co-conductor of special work with Maestro Leonard Slatkin. After completing his doctorate, Moss continued his career at the collegiate level with Director of Bands appointments at St. Cloud State University, Eastern Illinois University, and Bowling Green State University, where he is currently Professor of Music Education and Director of Band Activities.
He has also taught at the College of DuPage and VanderCook College of Music in Illinois. His university bands have performed at conferences of the College Band Directors National Association and the Music Educators National Conference as well as at numerous state music conventions. He was honored in 2017 as the Ohio Music Education Association’s Outstanding Educator of the Year. He has received two Citations of Excellence from the National Band Association and Senate recognition from the State of Illinois.
Dr. Moss was selected to conduct a concert in 1979 with the Wheaton Municipal Band, a popular summer professional ensemble outside of Chicago. That single performance led to his selection as the band’s music director and conductor, beginning an unprecedented 42-year tenure with the ensemble. Many of the highlights of Dr. Moss’s leadership with the Wheaton Municipal Band include performances at prestigious music festivals and conferences, as well as appearances by notable soloists from major symphony orchestras, guest conductors, and composers from around the nation. Under his direction, the Wheaton Municipal Band has performed twice in Chicago at the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, and was featured with the United States Marine Band in a PBS American Experience documentary on the life of John Philip Sousa. His work with this ensemble has led to numerous articles and interviews in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Daily Herald and on WBBM-radio and TV. His vision and leadership have brought them international acclaim and a reputation as one of finest concert band ensembles of their type in the country.
Dr. Moss has served as conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra Summer Concert Band, and as Music Director of the Ohio Ambassadors of Music – a bi-annual European concert tour for high school honor band, choir, and orchestra students. He was elected into the American Bandmasters Association in 1993 and has served on the board of directors for this select organization as well as the College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, and Kappa Kappa Psi. He is a published author and a contributor to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series. He has been a music reviewer for The Instrumentalist magazine where he has been the subject of interviews on bands and band music.
Dr. Moss holds honorary memberships in numerous professional organizations and remains active as a clinician, conductor, and adjudicator throughout the United States and abroad.

J. Douglas OverbeyCLASS OF 1972

J. Douglas Overbey
In 1959, David and Edith Overbey decided to move from Colonial Heights into the City so their sons would be able
to attend Kingsport City Schools. While this decision was important for both their sons, it proved pivotal in Doug’s
education and development. Doug entered Dobyns-Bennett in the fall of 1969, and his years at D-B greatly
contributed to his future career in law and public service. If asked to name one person who has most impacted his
life, Doug would point to Mrs. Nancy Necessary Pridemore, his debate and forensics coach and director of the DBHS theatre program. It was Mrs. Pridemore’s insistence and persistence that led Doug to the theatre where he performed in and directed plays, participated in the forensics program, and joined the debate team, which, in turn, led to his being offered a scholarship to join the debate team at Carson-Newman College. While at D-B, Doug was a delegate to the American Legion Boys State (serving as Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court), selected to attend the William Randolph Hearst Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C., and named the Kingsport Times News’ “Teen of the Year” in 1972.
In 1974, Carson-Newman began an internship program with U.S. First District Congressman James H. (Jimmy) Quillen and asked Doug to serve in that position for the spring semester. Doug continued the internship into the summer and was on the floor of the United States House when President Ford gave his first address following the resignation of President Nixon. During his time in D.C., Doug was elected president of the student body at Carson-Newman, becoming the first Junior to serve as Student Government Association President.
It was his experiences at Carson-Newman and in Washington, D.C., that led Doug to enter law school. Up until that time, he thought he would become the Baptist minister his mother wanted him to be. But, seeing the positive results of public service, such as Cong. Quillen’s work towards establishing a medical school at ETSU, which came to fruition the summer of 1974, led Doug to consider a career in law and public service. Doug received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Carson-Newman College in 1976 and graduated first in his class in the Spring of 1979 from the University of Tennessee, College of Law, where he was named to the Order of the Coif. After passing the Bar examination, he was admitted to practice law in Tennessee in 1979. Doug is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the TN Supreme Court. During his time in law school, Doug was a law clerk at the firm of Fowler, Rowntree, Fowler & Robertson. In the summer of 1978, he clerked in Kingsport for the firm of Wilson, Worley, Gamble & Ward. Upon graduation in 1979, he joined their Knoxville firm. Later, he and four of the partners formed their own firm, which eventually became known as Robertson Overbey. Following graduation from law school, Doug settled in Maryville. He was elected to the Blount County Commission in 1982 and reelected in 1986. After this, Doug settled into the practice of law and raising a family and continued his involvement in community activities, serving as President of the United Way of Blount County and the Maryville Kiwanis Club.
In 2000, Doug was elected to the State House. He ran three more times for the House without opposition. After eight years in the House, Doug ran for the state Senate, winning the primary in a 142-vote “landside” and the general election with more than 80% of the vote. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2012 and 2016. Doug served on the Finance and Health Committees in the House and Senate, as Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and the General Assembly’s Arts Caucus, and as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees. His major legislative accomplishments include passage of the innovative TNInvestco program, which became a model for similar legislation in other states, the annual Tennessee hospital assessment maintaining funding for state’s Medicaid program, and legislation in support of children and military veterans and their families. After winning re-election in 2016, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander asked if he had ever considered serving as United States Attorney. Following appointment by President Donald J. Trump and confirmation by the United States Senate, Doug was sworn in as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee by U.S. District Judge Thomas A. Varlan on November 21, 2017. In addition to his duties as U.S. Attorney, he served as Co-Chairman of the Tennessee Dangerous Drug Task Force and Chairman of the Executive Board for the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
In 2013, Doug was invited by the University of Tennessee College Law to join the adjunct faculty and initiate its State & Local Government course. He has been a frequent lecturer for the Knoxville and Tennessee Bar Associations. Doug is currently a Chancellor’s Associate for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a member of Carson-Newman College’s Board of Regents. He served as a member of the Maryville College Board of Directors from 2010 to 2015. Among his awards and honors, Doug received the 2011 Bud Cramer Award from the National Children’s Alliance, the 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Carson-Newman University, the 2017 Presidential Award from the Tennessee Judicial Conference, and the Knoxville Bar Association’s “Law & Liberty” Award in 2009. In 2011, he received the Community Leadership Award from Leadership Blount and was inducted into the Blount County Hall of Fame in 2016.
Doug and wife, Kay, also a D-B grad (1972), reside in Maryville and are the proud parents, in-laws, and grandparents of Kathleen and Ryan Thomas and son Collins; Elizabeth and Matt Thomason and daughter Anna and son Paul; and Hannah and Kris Yarlett and daughter Lexi Kate and sons Javier and Liam. Kay and Doug are parishioners of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Maryville. Doug served ten years as Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, is the only layperson to have served as President of the Diocese’s Standing Committee, and has had two articles published in The Anglican Digest.

D. Lynn JohnsonCLASS OF 1977

Johnnie Mae Swaggerty
Born June 26, 1959 at Holston Valley Community Hospital in Kingsport, Johnnie Mae Swagerty was the fourth in a family of five girls born to Geraldine and Johnny Swagerty. “My daddy thought I was going to be a boy and he already had the name “Johnny” picked out, the child to be named after him,” she says. “When I was born, he was so proud he named me Johnnie after him anyway.”
Were there sibling rivalries growing up with five girls in a family? You’d better believe it. “When I was with my sisters and they would do something bad,” she laughs, “I’d be the one that would tell on them in a quick minute. They would get the spankings and I’d sit back and giggle. I had my share of the switch too, but I made sure that they didn’t get
away with anything either.”
Her great-great grandmother, Fannie Mae Van Buren Johnson Crum was born into slavery in the 1800’s in Greeneville, Tennessee. Eventually, she would become the caretaker for President Andrew Johnson and the nanny to his children and grandchildren. It was that legacy that Johnnie (with the middle name “Mae” from one of her father’s aunts) was guided at a young age to become a school teacher. She was relatively smart in the classroom, had good grades and never missed a day of class work. She and her friends at home on Kingsport’s Dale Street would often play “school” with Johnnie Mae as the teacher.
A sense of family has always surrounded Johnnie Mae, as was common in the Riverview community. “Whether you were related or not, expect a spanking from the neighbors if they saw you doing anything wrong,” she says. “In Riverview, everybody watched out for everybody else’s kids.”
Her earliest family influences were her mother and father and they turned out to be her earliest heroes. If anybody in the Riverview community ever needed a good meal or a place to rest their heads, the Swagerty household was the place to be. “From our parents, we five girls all learned the value of stewardship, of volunteering time to help friends and neighbors, along with the homeless and the less fortunate,” she remembers. “It was a rewarding feeling and we spoke of it often.” That sense of volunteerism would serve Johnnie Mae well, later on in life.
The church has always been foremost in Johnnie Mae’s life. “From my first religious experience as a child at the Mount Zion Church on Dunbar Street to the Grace Temple Church in Johnson City, to the Full Gospel Mission Church that my mother founded in Kingsport,” she says, “God always has been and will always be first in my life.”
Johnnie Mae Swagerty attended first grade at the Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Kingsport, then for second through sixth grade, she was a Washington Elementary School student just across the street. At John Sevier Junior High School, she was student council secretary in the 8th grade and her outward personality led to her first public service job. “I was a two-year cheerleader for the school and its athletic teams,” Johnnie Mae remembers. “My sister Camille and Gail Evans, one of my early mentors, were both cheerleaders, and they convinced me to give my voice and energy to rally student and community support for the school.” An interest in sports also took over at John Sevier where she was on the girls volleyball team, the girls basketball team and the girls track squad. She also gave the morning announcements as a member of the A-V Club. At Dobyns-Bennett, Johnnie Mae was on the girls basketball team and was a member of the Radio-TV Broadcasting Club and the Ebony Club. While there, guidance counselor and Kingsport Teachers inaugural Hall-of-Famer Virgealia Ellis made a big impression on Johnnie Mae back in the late 90’s. “Mama Jill” urged her to further her education and so she attended Draughon’s Junior College, graduating with two associate degrees, one in business and the other in early childhood development. After a job as a teaching assistant at the Washington School, that second degree now works hand-in-hand with the volunteer spirit that she had been nurturing all of her life.
With the late Tim Hall, Johnnie Mae co-founded the New Vision Youth ministry in 1998. It’s a group dedicated to mentoring young people ages 5-18 to help them make the right choices in life early on. Among the hundreds of New Vision Youth graduates are a Hollywood actor-singer, a community activist, an Olympic athlete, a realtor, professional and college football players, ministers, chefs, business entrepreneurs, and members of the military, among others. The group volunteers in activities that include annual Kingsport Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. events, community back-to-school get-togethers, twice-yearly neighborhood trash clean-up programs, proms for the children, celebrations like National Grandparents Day, and volunteering in nursing homes. At present, the New Vision Youth group has one 8th grader with more than 3,000 volunteer hours to his credit. Hundreds of Kingsport’s children over the years have logged thousands of miles taking informational field trips to Washington D.C., Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Mexico, the Bahamas, Jamaica (to deliver educational supplies to a school there), and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The New Vision Youth and its director Johnnie Mae Swagerty show no signs of slowing down. “It makes me feel good to know the kids are closer to becoming adults with a positive influence,” she says. “Everybody makes mistakes because nobody is perfect, but if they can learn from those mistakes and then remember what they have learned, they’ll be much better people for it. My hope is that all youth, not just the New Vision Youth, but ALL youth make it in life, reach their goals and remember what they have learned along the way.” How long can she keep going with the New Vision Youth ministry? “Until I can’t go no more,” is the quick reply.
Among her many awards, Johnnie Mae Swagerty has received the Service to Mankind Award from the Sertoma Club of Kingsport and she has also received the YMCA Tribute to Women award. She was one of the Women of Impact honorees by the Kingsport Junior League in 2017 and has also received the Kingsport Volunteer Excellence award from Eastman. Last year, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department bestowed on her its Community Volunteer award.
Today, she serves as the executive director of the South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation and the president of the “Friends and Neighbors,” homeless family program. She is also a judge in Zone 6 for the
Keep Kingsport Beautiful program and she is also a member of the Kingsport Literacy Council. Johnnie Mae has been a board member with the Head Start program for 27 years, and a member of the policy council at Head Start. She volunteers with Keep Kingsport Beautiful, Girls, Inc., the Riverview Boys and Girls Club, Kingsport Parks and Recreation and she helps with Kingsport senior citizen events. She is a board member on the Sullivan County Anti Drug Coalition and also volunteers with the Kitchen of Hope, Children of the Community, 2 Do Better, Umoja, the Lamplighter Theater, the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association.
Today, “Miss Johnnie Mae” as the children of the New Vision Youth call her, is the proud parent of two grown sons and an even prouder grandma to eight grandchildren. She considers the care and nurturing of children and seniors her “calling” in life. She has two full time jobs, one as a certified caretaker for seniors in the community, and another full time job mentoring young people.
Johnnie Mae Swagery’s is a life well lived in the ‘Model City’ as one of its ‘model citizens.

If you could not attend the 11th Annual Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, you can listen to it here as recorded by 90.3 FM WCSK Radio - The Voice of Kingsport City Schools!
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