Cocke County High School
The School and Community
School Characteristics

Historical Background and Facilitiestern border of the state, th temperate area.

Cocke County High School opened in 1917 as the county’s first comprehensive four-year secondary school, offering academic courses as well as courses in home economics, agriculture, and manual training.  The student enrollment for the first year was 98 with seven faculty members.  In its early years, the school was sometimes referred to as “Central High.”

The original campus occupied the site of the present Baptist Convalescent Center on College Street in Newport.  The main building was enlarged in 1939 – 1940, and other instructional facilities were built on the campus.  This facility was used until 1963 when the school was moved to the present site on Hedrick Drive.

Tanner High School, the county’s only African American secondary school, was closed in 1965 with those students integrated into the Cocke County High School student population at that time.  In addition, Parrottsville High School was consolidated with Cocke County High School in 1975. 

Additions were made to the Hedrick Drive campus in 1974 – 1975.  A new wing was constructed which added fourteen new classrooms and a band room. The Ben W. Hooper Vocational School was opened adjacent to the main building in 1976.  For the next eighteen years, Cocke County High School and Ben W. Hooper Vocational School were maintained as two independent schools, with two principals and two separate facilities. 

In 1994, the faculties of the two main campus buildings were consolidated under the leadership of one principal.  In the fall of 1995, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredited Cocke County High School. 

Additions were again made to the Hedrick Drive Campus in 2001 – 2002.  The Classroom Addition Building contains a new chemistry lab, a biology lab, a computer lab, an art room, a principal’s office, and seven other regular classrooms.  The field house building contains a new band room, a chorus room, two ROTC classrooms, and dressing rooms for the Cocke County High School band members and visiting band members.  A new drafting classroom was added to the Ben W. Hooper Vocational Building as well.

Improvements to the school facilities were also made during the 2007 – 2008 school year.  Central heating and air conditioning units were installed in the oldest section of the main campus building.  The stairwell windows in the main campus building as well as the windows in the gymnasium were replaced.  There are future plans to install more energy efficient windows in the main campus building also.  During the 2008 – 2009 school year, both the floors of the auditorium and the stage were painted, and new runners were placed on the aisle floors.  In addition, there are future plans to replace the stage curtains.

In April 2011, Cocke County High School was damaged by an EF-1 tornado.  The Adult High School was completely destroyed along with the roof to the Cocke County High School gymnasium and minor damage done to other parts of the building.  As a result, the gymnasium was completely replaced with a new roof, new bleachers, and new flooring.  The Adult High School was rebuilt and reopened in March 2012.  

Environmental and Safety Conditions

Cocke County High School is well maintained and environmentally safe for students.  Our safety crisis plan is well developed, drilled, and updated on a regular basis.

Enrollment Data/Grade Distribution

The configuration of Cocke County High School is grades 9-12.  We currently have 349 ninth graders, 370 tenth graders, 309 eleventh graders, 296 twelfth graders and 15 CDC for a total enrollment of 1339. 

Length of School Year and School Day

Cocke County High School operates on a 180 student day calendar beginning in August and ending in late May.  The school day begins at 8:30 am and ends at 3:15 pm.  The school is on block schedule with 83 minute classes and a 7 minute transition time between classes. 

Per Pupil Expenditure

The per pupil expenditure is approximately $7, 110. 

Curriculum Information

Cocke County High School offers a wide variety of courses ranging from basic to advanced academics, career technical classes, art, chorus, and band (see master schedule).  Advanced placement courses in calculus, English, human geography, European history, and U.S. history are offered.  Advanced courses are also offered in biology, mathematics, and English. 

Several courses are offered to further prepare students for national and state tests.  ACT Prep, Gateway math and English, and developmental biology courses are geared toward improving test scores and preparing students for a successful post high school transition.  Cocke County High School also offers unique courses such as geology, marine biology, astronomy, financial planning, criminal justice, rehabilitation therapy, small animal care, and the recently added courses art history and travel and tourism. 

Leadership Class
A leadership class includes leadership studies, study and interaction of local government, business, agriculture, peer mediation, health care, social services, tourism, community, and school service.  Students are required to attend meetings and events outside of the regular classroom session.  This class is taught to familiarize students with as many leadership opportunities within Cocke County High School and their respective communities.  It is designed to highlight the strengths of current leaders within the school and build leadership from those who are not currently in leadership positions.  There is a variety of field trips, guest speakers, and class community service projects. 

AP American Studies Class (AP Language and Composition and AP U.S. History)
While Advanced Placement classes are not new to Cocke County High School, this particular model was just implemented in the school in fall of 2007.  Students are enrolled in the class for the entire school year, but alternate the days they are in each class.  The teachers have developed a program that integrates U.S. history with American literature.  Planning of units, testing, projects, and writing assignments were all done with the other subject in mind so that each class complements the other.

There are specialized classes in journalism and annual staff where students compose, edit, and publish a school newspaper and yearbook.  Each semester, a book containing student art, poetry and short stories is also published. 

Several unique programs are available at Cocke County High School including the GAP Program,  Cocke County Family Resource Center, WIA In-School Youth Service, Cocke County Vocational Rehabilitation Service, and Community Based Training Program.  A brief description of each program follows:  

GAP (Graduation Alternative Program) is a course offered to students who are close to the 20 credits required by the state of Tennessee to obtain a diploma as an alternative to dropping out of school.  A maximum of 27 students (15 in a classroom and Cocke County High School and 12 at the Adult High School) may be enrolled, and will complete course work using the A+ Learning System software.  Students will be in self-contained classrooms and will attend from 8:30 to 1:30.  When the student successfully completes the 20 required credits and passes all Gateway exams, he or she will receive a diploma from the state of Tennessee.

Cocke County Family Resource Center is based on the principle that if a child faces chaos at home or is not having his/her needs met, then he/she faces negative effects in educational performance.  These negative effects inevitably lead to distractions from the educational activities of the classroom.  The center targets all Cocke County schools.  Services available through the center include a community services and resource directory, a Christmas Family Program, parenting classes, and Vista Volunteers.  Project Resolve conducts meetings that deal with healthy relationships, anger management, and peer mediation.  At-risk counseling deals with issues such as abused and neglected children, family crisis, burnout, medical needs, tutoring, truancy, behavior problems, developmental delays, non-English speaking students, pregnant teens, deaf students, insurance problems, eating disorders, and financial needs.

WIA In-School Youth Program Services in Cocke County is provided by the Cocke County Board of Education.  Services include summer employment, study skills, mentoring, work experience support, career testing, leadership development, and alternative education.  The WIA Youth Program is funded by an agreement with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development through Walters State Community College.

Cocke County Vocational Rehabilitation Services is a state operated program designed to assess, plan, develop, and provide vocational rehabilitation services to eligible individuals with disabilities.  These services are consistent with the individual’s strengths, resources, concerns, capabilities, interests, and informed choices.  By providing services in this way, the program enables individuals with disabilities to prepare for and engage in gainful employment after high school.

Community Based Training Program is designed to facilitate the smooth and effective transition of students into the work community.  Students are trained for real jobs at community work sites.  Students are provided work opportunities by local businesses such as Papa John’s Pizza, McDonalds, Arbys, Wellington Place, Goodwill, CVS Pharmacy, Save-A-Lot, Wal-Mart, Overholt’s Hardware, and Edgemont School.  The end result is that local businesses receive well-trained individuals and have the opportunity to train the students from the beginning of their employment.

Cocke County High School has acquired several other business partnerships as well.  Beside the various businesses already involved in the Community Based Training Program, the local Kiwanis Club supports and works with the Cocke County High School Key Club on various community projects. 

Cocke County High School and Cosby High School have an annual event called Gradfest where students spend graduation night at the local community center.  Community members, parents, and teachers chaperone the event.  In addition, local restaurants and businesses provide food and door prizes.  All of these stakeholders work closely for several months before the event takes place.

Cocke County NJROTC (Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) was first commissioned in June 2003.  During the school year 2007 – 2008, the Cocke County NJROTC unit’s most significant accomplishment was the achievement of the Distinguished Unit with Honors Award.  Presented to only the top 10 percent of all NJROTC units in the nation, this award is a reflection of significant student accomplishment not only in the classroom, but in the community as well.  The Cocke County unit placed first among 18 Tennessee State NJROTC units in the state competition.  The title was earned through military drill, academic, and athletic competition.  The Cocke County unit placed 4th in the annual Area 9 Championship for drill, academics, and athletics.  Area 9 consists of 65 NJROTC units within a 10 state region. 

The Cocke County NJROTC has had a profound effect on Cocke County High School and Cosby High School as well as the communities of Newport and Cosby.  While a small percentage of NJROTC students actually enter the military service, for a wide variety of reasons, those in the program proudly wear the uniform of the United States Navy and have gained a “highly-esteemed” reputation not only in the community but also in East Tennessee.

Parental Support

Parental support is evident in the areas of fine arts and athletics.  The school would like to see more parental involvement in the academics of the school.

School Business Partnerships

Cocke County High School is a school community with many business and employer partnerships throughout the county.  School-wide partnerships exist between the school and Newport Federal Bank, Con-Agra Foods, Cocke County Baptist Hospital, and Coca Cola.  Several local businesses and industries support school athletics by purchasing advertisement on schedules and banners. Career Technical Education has an advisory board composed of business partners, CCHS staff, representatives of higher education, parents, and the CTE director.  Community Based Training provides students with work opportunities at local businesses. 

Extracurricular Involvement

Various clubs and organizations are available in which students can be actively involved. 

Athletic Information

Cocke County High School offers a wide variety of sports and is a member of the Inter-Mountain Athletic Conference.   The football team is a member of the Five-Rivers Football Conference.  Basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, track and cross-country teams are available for both male and female students.  Other sports include football, baseball, softball, volleyball, cheerleading, wrestling, and trap shooting. 

Cocke County High School seeks to maintain this degree of excellence by updating and improving its athletic facilities.  Recent improvements to the school gymnasium include new windows,  an air conditioning unit, and new winches that allow coaches to electrically lift the goals.  The girls’ dressing room was repainted and new lockers installed. 

Football stadium improvements included a new roof and new electrical wiring in the storage space under the stadium.

Athletic insurance is provided for all sports’ programs, and gas is provided for all bus trips. 

     The School and Community
Student Characteristics

Number of Students, Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

Analysis of student data indicates that the student population of Cocke County High School has risen steadily over the past three years.  During the 2007 – 2008 school year, the enrollment was 1356 which represents a 4.8% growth over the previous year.  The average enrollment for the past three years was 1305. 

The distribution of students by grade level has also been consistent over the past five years.  The largest class each year has been the freshman class followed by the sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  The class of 2008 had the largest amount of seniors in the past five years with 289 students. 

The ethnicity demographics of Cocke County High School mirror the demographics of the Cocke County School System and the general population of the county.  The ethic composition of the school shows little diversity and has also remained constant over the past five years.  According to the 2007-2008 student demographic data, 95.6% of Cocke County High School’s student body is Caucasian, 2.7% is African-American, and 1.0% is Hispanic, .4% is Asian, and .1% of students classify themselves as “other.”  In addition, less than 1% of Cocke County High School students are classified as “Limited English Proficiency.” 

Special Education Population Rate

Approximately 15.3% of our student population is identified as Special Education.

English Second Language Population Rate

The population rate identified as Limited English Proficient is less than 1%.

Free and Reduced Lunch Rate

Based on socio-economic status, 64.2% of Cocke County High School students are economically disadvantaged.   The percentage of low-income students (i.e. students eligible for the free and reduced lunch program) has remained fairly steady at about 67% over the past five years.  The percentage of students living with a single parent and/or guardian has increased slightly from 30% to 33%.

Attendance Rate

The attendance rate at Cocke County High School for the 2007 – 2008 school year was 93.0%.

Discipline Referrals

During the 2007 – 2008 school year, 4738 discipline referrals were written.  Of these, 1552 were tardies.  These discipline referrals involved 729 students.  


In 2007-2008, the total number of students suspended was 361, of which 340 were white, 14 were African American, and 5 were Hispanic.  Disaggregated by gender, 216 suspensions were male students and 145 were females.  In 2007-2008, CCHS had 6 expulsions.

Retention Rate

During the 2007 – 2008 school year, a total of 59 students were retained.  Of these, 9 were freshmen, 24 were sophomores, 17 were juniors, and 9 were seniors. 

Transfer/Drop Rate

During the 2007 – 2008 school year, Cocke County High School had 29 students who were withdrawn.

Dropout Rate

The cohort dropout rate for 2007 – 2008 was 6.1.

Graduation Rate

The graduation rate to meet Adequate Yearly Progress for the state is 90%.  The 2007 – 2008 graduation rate for CCHS was 77.5%.

Community Service Hours

Students who are eligible for Tennessee Scholars recognition are required to complete 45 hours of community service.  During the 2007 – 2008 school year, 12 students were recognized as Tennessee Scholars.  In addition, many community service hours are completed by Key Club members and NJROTC cadets. 

Awards and Recognitions

Cocke County High School consistently has a large number of high achieving students and strives to recognize these individuals each year through various awards and award ceremonies.  Each year underclassmen receive departmental awards from various teachers.   A list of these students and their awards are featured in the local newspaper, and award winning students were photographed for the newspaper as well.

Senior students are recognized during a special Senior Honors Night.  Cocke County High School faculty and administrators as well as all senior students and their families are invited to attend.  Academic letters and  career technical letters are awarded to various students.  In addition,  Kiwanis awards are presented to students in various career technical fields.   Departmental awards are distributed to students in individual academic classes. Class officers, senior superlatives, valedictorians, and salutatorians are also introduced.  Students are also recognized for thirteen years of perfect attendance as well as for four years of perfect attendance

College scholarships as well as renewable scholarships to esteemed universities such as the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Carson-Newman College, Tusculum College,  Lincoln Memorial University, King College, Maryville College, and Ohio State University are awarded. 

Seniors receiving the President’s Education Awards for having a 3.5 GPA and scoring in the top fifteen percent on a national college entrance exam are recognized.  In addition, Academic All-Conference Athletics with a minimum of three years of participation in a sport and a GPA of 3.25 or better are recognized. 

Tennessee Scholars are recognized at this time.  To become a Tennessee Scholar, students must complete a demanding high school curriculum, participate in a minimum of twenty hours of community service, have a 95% attendance each year, maintain a “C” average, and have no out-of-school suspensions. 

Many of our students attend the Tennessee Governor’s School each year.  We have also had National Merit Finalists and  National Merit Scholarship winners.  Tennessee Volunteer Boys’ State delegates and  Tennessee Volunteer Girls’ State delegates are selected and recognized each year.  

Cocke County High School students also excell at band and chorus competitions under the direction of Mr. Michael Short and Mr. Pat Mason. 

CCHS choral alumni continue to be active regionally, and, as of December 2007, internationally!  Travis Hazelwood and Annaley Robertson, now both music majors at Carson-Newman College and members of the Carson-Newman A Capella Choir, traveled to Israel over the Christmas holiday.  They toured many areas in the region and presented a Christmas Eve concert in Bethlehem Square.

The choral department participate many times in a joint venture with the CCHS band and the Newport Theater Guild to stage various productions.  

Cocke County career technical students have also performed extremely well at various state and national competitions over the past years. 

School and Community
Staff Characteristics

Administration Demographics

The administration of Cocke County High School consists of one white male principal, one white female assistant principal, one white male assistant principal, and one curriculum coordinator.  One assistant principal is located in the Career Technical building.    One assistant principal also serves as Athletic Director.  The average years of experience for administrative staff is 39 years.

Faculty Demographics

The faculty consists of 46 males and 46 females who are certified personnel.  Ninety of the faculty members are Caucasian, one is African-American, and one is Hispanic.  The average years experience for the faculty is 17.1 years.  Fifty-three percent of the faculty hold advanced degrees, and three teachers have National Board Certification.  Ninety-nine percent of our core curriculum classes are taught by highly qualified teachers.  In addition to certified personnel, Cocke County High School has seven secretaries and bookkeepers, eleven cafeteria workers, eight custodians, and fourteen teacher aides and support personnel. 

 School and Community
Community Characteristics

Cocke County has two high schools (Cosby High School and Cocke County High School), an Adult High School, an Alternative Learning Center, one city elementary school called Newport Grammar, and nine county elementary schools.  There are no middle schools, but the elementary schools are comprised of kindergarten - eighth grades.  There are three private schools : Grace Christian School which has an enrollment of twenty-nine, Calvary Baptist Tabernacle School which has an enrollment of seven students, and Open Door Outreach Christian Academy which has an enrollment of thirteen.

The students of Cocke County High School are residents of a rural community with a population of 35,220.  The average income is $27,003, and the median home value is $73,600.  The community has approximately 13,760 families with an average family size of 2.4.  Approximately twenty-one percent of the people living in Cocke County are classified as being below poverty.  The percentage of residents with school-age children remains constant at approximately 35%.   

The community is composed of predominately Caucasian residents (96.2%) with approximately 2.1% African-American, 1.4% Hispanic, 0.3% Asian and 0.5% Native American.  Although previous years showed a gradual increase in the Hispanic population, the most recent census actually showed a slight decline.

The community has a wide variety of employers including service industry, manufacturing, and retail business.  The Cocke County Board of Education, Con-Agra Foods, Falcon Products, Wal-Mart, and Sonoco Products Company, along with Baptist Hospital, are among the leading employers.

The religious preference of the community is Christian.  Church denominations include Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, Catholic, and African Methodist Episcopal.