Samuel Tharpe

Samuel Tharpe

The top academic students in Paris and Henry County will be recognized Sunday afternoon during the 59th annual Top Ten scholarship program.

The speaker will be Samuel D. Tharpe, who is retiring this summer as the longtime principal of Grove School.

The program will begin at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary at First United Methodist Church in Paris.

A record number of 191 students to be recognized for their 2016-17 achievement are the top ten in each of the four grades (9-12) at Henry County High School and its Grove School freshmen campus, plus the top eight eighth-graders and the top seven seventh-graders at Inman Middle, Harrelson, Henry and Lakewood schools.

Schools have the option to expand these numbers to include all straight-A students — and they certainly did this year, swelling the honorees well beyond the minimum 100 students honored.

The students will be presented with academic pins for finishing at the top of their classes this year.

Also to be honored are the seven HCHS graduating seniors with the highest four-year scholastic average. They will receive college scholarships totaling more than $2,500.

Honorees plus principals and faculty members from Inman and each county school will attend the program, along with sponsors, school board members, Henry County Director of Schools Brian Norton and Paris Special School District Supt. Mike Brown, who’s also retiring this summer.

The Top Ten program is sponsored by five banks — Carroll, Commercial, FirstBank, Foundation and Security — plus The Post-Intelligencer and WMUF/WLZK/WRQR Radio.

The seven sponsors provide funds for Top Ten pins, the seven scholarships and other expenses involved in the event, which is designed to recognize students solely on academic achievement.

Sam McDaniel with Commercial Bank will serve as master of ceremonies, Dr. Rob Martin of First United Methodist Church (leaving this summer to become district Methodist superintendent) will give the invocation.

Joni Dzkiekowski with Foundation Bank will introduce the speaker and Scarlett Orr with FirstBank will present the scholarships, while Norton, Brown and the school principals will present the Top Ten pins.

Tharpe was born in Paris, the son of the late William Lee and Nellie Price Tharpe. He is a 1974 graduate of HCHS, where he was an all-state basketball performer.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1978 at Union University in Jackson. He received a master’s degree in education in 1993 from the University of Tennessee at Martin.

He has worked as director of safety, Plumley Rubber Co.; lab technician, Holley Carburetor; basic skills and related class instructor, Tennessee Technology Center (now Tennessee College of Applied Technology) of Paris; assistant principal and boys’ basketball coach, Lakewood School; principal, Henry School; and Grove principal.

Tharpe has served 34 years in education with 20 years in the Henry County School System and 14 years under the Tennessee Board of Regents.

He is married to the former Gale Hartzfeldt, who is employed by the Social Security Administration. They are members of Progressive Baptist Church, where Tharpe is a deacon.

He currently serves as Paris City Commissioner, member of the Paris Rotary Club, member of Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and member of the Tennessee Municipal League board of directors.

Tharpe served as Paris mayor from 2008 until November 2014, and was vice mayor from 1991-2008.

He is a founding member and former chairman of the Paris Housing Corp., former chairman of the Tennessee Municipal League Risk Management Pool board of directors;

Past president of the Tennessee Municipal League, past vice president for community development of the Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, past member of the Paris Board of Public Utilities, past member of the Tennessee Municipal League Bond Fund Board, past president of the Paris-Henry County Civic League and past vice chairman of the Henry County Alliance Board.

Tharpe was appointed by Gov. Phil Bresdesen to the Land Between the Lakes advisory board 2009-2014, and has been inducted into the Henry County Sports Hall of Fame.

The Henry County students who rank at the top of their classes academically and are to receive awards at the annual banquet are as follows (listed alphabetically; number denotes number of years in Top Ten):



Alexander Douglas Boyd (6), Sophie Elizabeth Carter (3), Gracie Elizabeth Clayton (5), James Beck Cox (1), Colin Micah Harris (6), Calista Anne Herrera (5), Ethan Allen Jackson (6), Landon Douglas Roberson (3), Hailee Ryon Vaughn (4), Shannon Keely Watson (5), Elizabeth Alise Wood (4).


Samantha Jo Carpenter (3), Joshua Theodore Cutright (3), Robert Gray Gardner (4), Hunter Ranson Goodman (3), Hannah Sue Hopkins (3), Emily Ann Hudgins (4), Cameron James May (5), Murray Paul Perkins (1), Anna James Pettit (4), Victoria Aileen Starks (5).


Natalie Hope Clark (4), Clay Thomas Durham (4), Graci Beth Ellis (3) , Ryan Anthony Gladwell (3), Caroline Elisabeth Gurton (4), Logan James Lacy (4), Delia Lynn McDevitt (4), Kester Magalong Nucum (4), Jaret Layne Rushing (1), Audrey Carroll Sinclair (3).



Kara Barnhart (3), Sierra Conn (2), Margaret Gardner (3), Haley Graham (2), Avery Hatcher (3), James Matthew Joyner (3), Abigail Littrell (3), Ariel Macdonald (3), Rachel Mitchell (3), Benjamin Murphey (3), Alexis Smith (3), Gavin Veazey (3), Alyssa Wade (3), Alec Watkins (3).

Harrelson SCHOOL

Eighth grade

Austin Wayne Anderson (1), Eli Abel Bona (1), Meghann Kay-Marie Cervantes (1), Avery Claire Cox (2), Madison Elizabeth Edmonds (2), Garrett Reece Gallion (2), Daria Jane Hamby (1), Wesley Zane Harper (1), Sara Barbara Jones (1), Noah Xander Leach (1), Morgan Danielle Luker (1), Katelynn Dawn Luther (2), Alex Breeze Nobel (1), Sarah Cate Orr (1), Lana Kristine Price (2), Emma Rose Sanders (1), Alexis Nicole Thorne (2), Talon Ryder Underwood (1), Haley Nicole White (1), Isabella Grace Williams (2).

Seventh grade

Hayden Shane Bostick (1), Landen Vaughn Dougherty (1), Elaina Raye French (1), Thomas Ryan Holcomb (1), Questen Gabrielle Judy (1), David Dean Keatts (1), Hannah Nicole McGuyrt (1), Sarah Gayle Merrell (1), Averie Belle O’Daniel (1), Mercedes Daniele Overcast (1), Bryan Alejondro Pacheco (1), Tatiana Isabel Sperber (1), Brooklyn Haze Williams (1), Madison Alexis Youngblood (1)

Henry School

Eighth grade

Shelby Kay Allen (2), Daniela Arjon (1), Daisy Lee Bennett (1), Griffin Parrish Gordon (1), Alexis Riley Hilt (1), Carsyn Lailyn Hopper (1), Ashley Nicole Koch (2), Gabriella Faythe Perry (1), Carter Michael Scott (2), Leah Marie Sutton (1), Chad Michael Tucker (2), Sierra Lynn Tucker (2), Chase Callicott Webb (2).

Seventh grade

Norman Lee Clark Jr. (1), Makayla Ann Hill (1), Dale Eugene Matthews (1), Jennifer Paola Meza (1), Riley Lea Page (1), Brayden Alexander Peyton (1), William Kain Taylor (1).

Lakewood School

Eighth grade

Annah Nicole Andrews (1), Macy Elizabeth Barron (1), Katelyn Rose Buie (2), Claire Alease Burns (2), Tristan Michael Caho (1), Salem Isabella Carter (1), Gwendolyn Ann Cave (1), Lynn My Chau (2), Samuel Elijah Claxton (1), Hanna Marie Crouch (1), Nicholas Michael Fortner (1), Alayna Marie Fuson (2), Natalie Marie Hall (1), Haleigh Grace Henegar (1), Maura Leigh Horton (1), Emily Faith Hutson (2), Autumn Angeline Ray (1), Alyson Bailey Smith (2), Collin Blake Smith (2), Darrius Raines Stephens (2), Hannah Renae Thornton (2), Sarah Faye Thornton (2), Alissa Mackenzie Underwood (1), Jessica Kaye-Ann Whalen (2), Brison Clay Wimberley (1).

Seventh grade

Regan Cade Ashby (1), Evan Lane Bevill (1), Samuel Hutchins Bruce (1), Jacob Andrew Chandler (1), Peyton Christopher Charles (1), Dalton Cole Dodd (1), Tori Grace Fletcher (1), Mackenzie Lynn Goetluck (1), Leslie Ann Green (1), Emily Hendrix (1), Addison Makae Hunt (1), Addyson Grace Kemp (1), Benton Tobias Lamkin (1), Bodey Holland Lassiter (1), Nadia Isabella McFadden (1), Matthew Jacob McGuinness (1), Barry Park McIntosh III (1), Brayden Avery Norwood (1), Taylor Norwood (1), Josey Cate Pettit (1), Blair Leann Putman (1), Abigail Grace Reed (1), Jack Baloosa Shaffer (1), Camren Stevenson (1), Braxton Michael Wilson (1), Dinah Jean Winders (1).


Eighth grade

Isabella Katherine Arthurs (2), Macie Maria Brush (2), Jordan Wayne Elkins (2), Callie Marie Hart (2), Emma Frances Hill (2), Kathrynne Hope Hughes (2), Harrison Wade Hutson (2), Jermarcus Jerome Johnson (2), Griffin Tucker Jones (1), Peyton Joseph King (2), Mireille Sue Lofquist (2), Anna Montgomery Minor (2), Kashaina Leana Nucum (2), Shelby Lynn Summers (2), Marley Elizabeth Trosper (1), Anna Sophia Underwood (2), Annie Kate Veazey (2), Kyle Ryan Watkins (1), Alyssa Grace Wilson (2), Andrew Caleb Wimberley (2).

Seventh grade

Saiylor Marie Beecham (1), Alana Rose Cadet (1), Abbigail Diana Clausen (1), Paige Warren Craig (1), Braden Clare Denman (1), Austin Carter Dunagan (1), Taylor Grace Dunagan (1), Riley Katherine French (1), Aiden Brice Frey (1), Abby Grace Gilstrap (1), Wesley William Gurton (1), Elizabeth Riley Harper (1), Sophie Virginia Harrison (1), Amelia Rose Hart (1), Charlie Belle Hastings (1), Eva Kate Hatcher (1), Lewis Long Hudson (1), Luke Thomas Jackson (1), Jackson Parker McClain (1), Bonnie Elizabeth Nance (1), Emily Jewel Nanney (1), Kori Lyn Parker (1), Karen Faith Perry (1), Averi Kailen Simmons (1), Elizabeth Abigail Taylor (1), Chasden Brint Wade (1), Zoe Grayce Winstead (1).

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