Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Commission honors astronaut, teacher of year

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By BEN DUDLEYThe Wilson Post

Though neither honoree was in attendance, Wilson County Commission gave special recognition to the county’s first astronaut and state teacher of the year at Monday night’s regular meeting.

Capt. Barry “Butch” Wilmore was honored for his contributions to America as a Navy pilot and NASA astronaut in his recent trip piloting the Space Shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station. Wilmore’s parents, Eugene and Faye Wilmore, were on hand to accept his recognition. Capt. Wilmore grew up in Mt. Juliet, attended Lakeview Elementary, Mt. Juliet Middle School and Mt. Juliet High School.

“Barry is a product of Wilson County schools,” Mr. Wilmore, the astronaut’s father, said. “We are so proud of him and we thank you for this recognition.”

Jennifer Davis-Kelley, a fourth grade teacher at Rutland Elementary School, was honored for being selected as the Tennessee Elementary Science Educator of the Year. Mike Davis, director of Schools, accepted her recognition.

“Let us not forget that without teachers like Ms. Kelley, we would not have heroes like Mr. Wilmore,” Davis said.

During county Finance Director Ron Gilbert’s report, District 2 Commissioner Chris Sorey asked Gilbert how the hotel/motel tax audit was progressing. Gilbert said that five of the 27 hotels in the county had been audited and the firm had found $100,000 that had not been paid.

“We were only asked to pay $30,000 for this audit to be performed,” Sorey said. “We have already made that back and then some.”

There was little to no discussion on any of the resolutions and all 11 passed with a total of two no votes. District 4 Commissioner Jim Emberton and District 22 Commissioner Heather Scott were absent from the meeting.

Staff Writer Ben Dudley may be contacted at

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