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White Co. BOE Reviewing Options To Honor Tammy “Pistol” Wilhite

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
White Co. BOE Reviewing Options To Honor Tammy “Pistol” Wilhite

White County School Board will explore options to honor the life of Tammy “Pistol” Wilhite.

White County High School graduate Hannah Leftwich asked for the board’s opinion Thursday night on renaming the high school gym after Wilhite. School Board Member Bob Young said Wilhite deserves to be honored but possibly in a different way.

“As far as naming courts at this level, I think my opinion is they should be left blank and we should figure ways to recognize those that have come through the system,” Young said. “Wall of Fame, Hall of Fame, however you do it I think that is an appropriate way.”

Wilhite, a long time sports journalist covering White County athletics, passed away at the age of 51 in 2016. Board member Dewayne Howard said he also wants to honor Wilhite but is cautious renaming the gym.

“Let me offer something else here,” Howard said. “I would love to see something recognized for Pistol that everyone can see. A lot of sports and football teams they have their emblem that they’ll slap as they go out to play the game. What about a Pistol Point? Or something on a wall or recognition in the locker rooms or outside the locker room.”

Leftwich asked Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger, “Why Kellie Jolly has a court at Findlay named after Kellie?”

Kellie Jolly Harper, a graduate of White County, now coaches the University of Tennessee Lady Vol’s Basketball Team. Dronebarger said the system was okay with renaming that gym since Findlay is an Elementary school.

“We could have very easily placed Kellie’s name at the high school too, she played there as well,” Dronebarger said. “That was just in conjunction with the fact that she played at Findlay, and we were building a new Findlay Elementary School. I was conscious of the fact. The board at the time was conscious of the fact. That it wasn’t the high school’s court we were placing that name on. There’s a different level of competition there and recognition.”

Young said many other White County alumni are also deserving of recognition. Dronebarger said Wilhite is long overdue for recognition and asked the school committee in charge of the Wall of Fame to start conversations of creating the honor.

School Board Chair Jayson McDonald said the board will do its due diligence to ensure Wilhite’s contributions to the county are not forgotten.


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