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Drug take-back offers chance to dispose of old meds tomorrow
by Amy Davis
20 hours ago | 596 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cookeville Police Lt. Mike Smith shows examples of prescription drugs that can be disposed of during tomorrow's drug take-back from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cookeville Walgreens and CVS pharmacy locations. The national Drug Enforcement Administration event gives locals an opportunity to clean out their medicine cabinets, getting rid of expired or unwanted drugs that could pose a risk if left in the home. Amy Davis | Herald-Citizen
Cookeville Police Lt. Mike Smith shows examples of prescription drugs that can be disposed of during tomorrow's drug take-back from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cookeville Walgreens and CVS pharmacy locations. The national Drug Enforcement Administration event gives locals an opportunity to clean out their medicine cabinets, getting rid of expired or unwanted drugs that could pose a risk if left in the home. Amy Davis | Herald-Citizen

Read more: Herald Citizen - Drug take back offers chance to dispose of old meds tomorrow 

Poteet found education an easy choice after work in public library.

by Bailey Darrow 02.27.11 - 12:00 am


CHS alumn Chance Finnigan stops by the CHS Library recently to donate one of his favorite books and to visit with librarian Ginny Poteet, left.
COOKEVILLE — Ginny Poteet, one Cookeville High School's two librarians, didn't jump straight into a career in education, but when she was ready to go back to college, education was an easy choice for her.

Poteet grew up loving the outdoors.

"My mother grew up in Alpine, Tennessee, and my father was from Chestnut Hill just outside of Crossville," Poteet said. "My claim to fame is that I was the first baby in the family to be born in a hospital!"

When Poteet was only 18 months old, she moved to Michigan with her family, following job opportunities.

"As a child I wanted to live in the jungle like Tarzan or in the woods like Daniel Boone. I have always loved the outdoors and animals," Poteet said. "Baby dolls held no interest for me, but I always had several stuffed animals. My brothers and I would go into the woods or next door to the swamp and have great adventures. We were like the Swiss Family Robinson -- making swings of rope, looking for wild creatures, or target-practicing with homemade slingshots."

The outdoors was not Poteet's only love. She also looked forward to trips to the library with her mother.

"Every two weeks my mother would take me to the library in town, and I would come home with a stack of books," Poteet said. "When the book fair came to school, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was so hard just to choose one book to buy. I would look at the flyer until it fell apart."

Poteet moved back to Cookeville with her mother in 1969.

"In 1983, I began working with the Upper Cumberland Regional Library as a bookmobile clerk," Poteet said. "That is where my journey as a librarian began."

Poteet eventually decided to go back to school and study education.

"While working at the Upper Cumberland Regional Library, I saw firsthand the importance of knowing how to access information and knowing how to read," Poteet said. "I realized that school was the best place to start."

The decision to earn a degree was one that Poteet says worked out for the best.

"When I went back to college, I was considered a 'non-traditional' student," Poteet said. "Let me encourage anyone thinking about going back to school to do so. I was almost thirty when I started working on my undergraduate degree."

Poteet received her bachelor's degree in early childhood education from Tennessee Tech and then a master's of information sciences at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

"Apparently, I enjoyed writing term papers, because I went on and earned my MA+45 at TTU," Poteet said. "My mother asked me if I was going to get my doctorate, but by that time, I was tired of writing term papers so told her 'No!'"

Poteet was the sixth grade librarian at Prescott Central Middle School where she worked with fifth grade librarian Kathy Sallee.

"You have heard the saying 'if you look in the dictionary under such-and-such's name, you will see so-and-so's picture.' Well, if you look in the dictionary under "school librarian extrodinare," you will see Kathy's picture," Poteet said. "What I learned from her has been invaluable."

In 2000, Poteet transferred to Cookeville High School where she joined librarian Joy Hamby.

"Joy Hamby had just been named Teacher of the Year. Talk about being intimidated," Poteet said. "I have been blessed to have worked with and been mentored by two extraordinary women."

Poteet sees her job as librarian as being service-oriented.

"It is my goal to provide the students and faculty with whatever they need to be successful," Poteet said. "I provide anything from paperclips to teaching classes on how to do relevant research.

"At Cookeville High School, we work to train students in the skill of gathering pertinent information, maintain materials that support the curriculum, sustain the media collection and equipment, and aspire to create an atmosphere that is conducive to learning. We also consistently encourage the love of books."

Maintaining media resources of all kinds helps Poteet and Hamby insure that students and teachers have access to the things they need to be successful.

"One of my favorite aspects of being a librarian is when a student comes in and asks for a certain book to read, and we have it," Poteet said. "It also feels good to help a student finish a task that they did not think that they could do. You can see a look of accomplishment on their faces and hopefully, that will encourage them to try other things."

Poteet also enjoys seeing the library improve in its resources and student draw.

"Last year the Academic Team purchased a wall-sized map of the world to put up in the library. We moved some shelves, painted the wall and hung the map," Poteet said. "Mr. Mansell and some the construction students built a frame to go around it. It brightened the entire room and became a focal point of the library."

Outside of school, Poteet spends time with her animals, enjoying Tennessee wildflowers and creating primitive folk art.

"If you drag something out of the barn and want to haul it to the dump then that is my kind of stuff," Poteet said. "I can't bear to see anything old thrown out. Quilts, furniture, linens, jars, metal roofing -- they can all be re purposed into something wonderful."

If she wasn't a librarian, Poteet says she would probably be working with animals.

"I am a strong advocate of adopting animals from shelters or rescue organizations," Poteet said. "Currently, I have five rescued animals, and they all hold a special place in my heart. Where I live in the country many people choose to dump their unwanted animals. We have a network of animal lovers at CHS that try to find these deserving animals homes."

For Poteet, having a good relationship with the CHS faculty has proven to be pretty simple.

"Our faculty is like a large extended family. We look out for each other and help each other when the need arises," Poteet said.



Central Tennessee Hobbies opens in new location
by Laura Gwinn
Nov 17, 2010
John Lane, owner of Central Tennessee Hobbies, is pictured next to one of the miniature models set up in the new location, which is now across the street  from the newly constructed trail head near the depot.
Herald-Citizen Photo/Laura Gwinn N
COOKEVILLE -- John Lane has loved model trains ever since he was a child after receiving his first set at age 9.

Now, he's sharing that interest with others through his store, Central Tennessee Hobbies.

"I've always wanted to be in business for myself," he said. "And I always knew I wanted to run a store that featured something I knew about."

He began researching model trains in his teenage years, and the knowledge has stuck with him over the years. He opened his store in 2001 and now has a bigger location at 203 W. Broad St., closer to the Cookeville Depot.

The response to his shop has been pretty good, considering a lot of older folks are getting into model trains now.

"I've had customers from all over the world buy from me," he said.

He offers a number of items to customize any model train set, along with books, kits, model airplane kits and much more.

His son, Michael, will also be selling paintball equipment in the back of the store.

For more information, call 528-0319 or visit the store at 203 W. Broad St. next to B&B Printers. The store is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Lane can also be e-mailed at
© 2010

Principal Profile: Kim Wright - Capshaw Elementary School
by Bailey Darrow
Kim Wright, principal at Capshaw Elementary, enjoys the company of, from left, second grader Aidan Moore, third grader Drew Caldwell, kindergartner Erica Downer, and third grader Eva Maffett. Herald-Citizen Photo/Bailey Darrow


COOKEVILLE -- Capshaw Elementary Principal Kim Wright says she always knew that she wanted to be a teacher.

"My elementary teachers would give me old workbooks and out-of-date reading books to take home to play with," Wright said. "When I began college I knew what my major was going to be the day I began school and never waivered on that decisions. Still today I am proud of the choice I made.

"In contrast, I never thought I would be interested in being an administrator," Wright said. "That was a job that found me."

A Putnam County native, Wright grew up in the area and received a Bachelor's degree in elementary education from Tennessee Technological University. Upon graduating, she began teaching at Capshaw Elementary School. After a couple of years, she began teaching at an innercity school in Memphis before moving to East Tennesse where she taught eighth grade at a rural school.

"I was the only teacher for that grade so I taught everything including PE. My students even helped clean the cafeteria after lunch," Wright said. "Although we had very little of the finer things in education at that school, my students were the highest scoring students on the Tennessee standardized test for that county."

Wright ultimately moved back to Cookeville and taught ninth grade math and science before moving to Capshaw to teach sixth grade and run the school's after school program.

"My daughter was in elementary school at that time so I decided to make the move," Wright said. "I hired Tech students to work in that program and today two of those instructors, Mrs. Tera Brooks, and Mrs. Christa Sisco who started in the ESP program are now teachers at Capshaw."

When Putnam County switched from a junior high to middle school structure, Prescott Central Middle School was established and Wright was encouraged to apply for an administrative position. She worked as assistant principal there before becoming principal.

In the mean time, Wright had also earned a master's degree in reading and an educational specialist degree in administration and supervisions from Tech. She would later go on to earn a Ph.D. in exceptional learning with an emphasis in reading.

"I remained principal until I received another call to take over the principalship at Capshaw Elementary when long-time principal Dr. Leslie Roberts retired," Wright said.

"I remember telling a colleague I sure felt sorry for the person who had to fill her shoes. Little did I know that I would be that person," Wright said. "Interestingly, this has brought my career full circle at this point. This is my sixth year back at Capshaw, with a total of 31 years in education. I've tried to take the positive aspects of each of these jobs to mold who I am and how I run Capshaw school."

Wright is responsible for the instructional leadership of Capshaw.

"I spend time going through student data and helping teachers plan how they can meet the needs of the students they teach," Wright said. "I also try to be available to adults and children who want to share information, successes, questions, and concerns throughout the day. Between these things I am also in charge of maintenance concerns, scheduling, staffing the school, and leading the after-school LEAPS program."

Wright says her favorite part of her day is greeting students when they arrive at school.

"During this time students fill me in on teeth they have lost, new tennis shoes they are wearing, books they are reading, how many Accelerated Reader points they have, and other important items of interest to them," Wright said. "I love these conversations."

The children keep her feeling young and smiling, Wright said. Now that she is seeing families cycle through the Putnam County school system, now seeing children of former students at her school each day, Wright delights in her role in educating future community leaders.

"Paperwork often keeps me prisoner in my office and away from the students," Wright said. "If you ever drive by the school and see me walking around the perimeter, you know I'm trying to reconnect with what is really important -- the students. It's my way of making sure I'm following the path important to me."

Working with the approximately 50 staff members, 564 students and large number of parents, family members and friends that support Capshaw is something that Wright feels honored to be a part of.

"I often tell staff members that our hardest day is a great day at Capshaw. Each person employed at Capshaw takes a personal interest in the education provided to our students," Wright said. "Every staff member believes they have a stake in the student's education and that they are responsible for carrying out their job."

Although she can't pinpoint any one person who inspired her to be a teacher, there are a few memories that stand out in Wright's mind.

"As a little girl my neighbor, Miss Elise Huddleston, would sit on her front porch swing with me and tell me stories of teaching school. I can still see her smile and hear her laughing as she told school stories," Wright said.

"Teachers such as my third grade teacher Miss Madge who brought us leftover cornbread if we made a 100 on our spelling test, my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Speck who let us read to our heart's delight, and in high school Mrs. Vallie Hunter who taught English literature were all part of making me the teacher I am."

Kim is married to Allen Wright who works for Spectra Energy and has one daughter, Chelsea Stringer, who is currently completing a nursing degree.

"I live on a farm that has been in my father's family since before the Civil War," Wright said. "Our family has two horses, Misty and Blackie, and two dogs, Shelbie a Springer Spaniel who just loves making me happy and Max, a miniature Schnauzer, who believes my purpose in life is to play with him.

"When I have free time, I love to work in my flowers and grow vegetables," Wright said. "I'm desperately trying to have not only a flourishing vegetable garden, but also a weedless one. So far, the weeds are winning but I'm going to continue to try to outwit them next summer."

Wright also enjoys exploring new places and playing piano.

She lists six things that she says she has learned about education:

* Socio-economics is directly related to how well a child will do in school.

* Parental involvement is important to a student's success in school.

* A beautiful building doesn't guarantee a great education, great teachers do that.

* Every student needs someone who is cheering him/ her on and encouraging him/ her throughout their life. We all need to know someone is there for us no matter how bad others may think we are doing.

* School is not a one size fits all institution. Just as there are all types of students there should be different ways to educate these students.

* Reading to your child (from birth) can make a difference in how successful a child is in school.
© 2010

Garry and Diane DeRossitt, owners, Garry’s Upholstery – Surfaces run deep

Wednesday, Apr 14, 2010


Garry and Diane (Loftis) DeRossitt, owners of Garry’s Upholstery in Cookeville, have built their business’s reputation by breathing new life into time-worn furnishings, improving pieces as much as possible and, above all, satisfying customers beyond their expectations. And they’ve done it as they do just about everything: as a team.

Garry goes about his work with the spirit of a craftsman, still taking the time, energy and expertise to do all the reupholstery tasks himself, including teardown, cutting, sewing and recovering. Custom upholstery is just that: since each piece of furniture is unique, there are no patterns to draw from.

The disciplined approach Garry brings to his craft owes something to his military service. He served in Vietnam for two years, beginning in 1968, and was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. Unable to return to his previous job as a roofer for health reasons, Garry began filling and hand-tufting cushions for Cherokee Furniture in Cookeville, thus beginning his 37-year upholstery career.

“I watched the upholsterers covering furniture near my station, and thought I could do it,” he said. “And that’s how I got into it.”

Striking out on his own the following year, Garry soon decided that he wanted to offer custom residential as well as commercial services, including restaurant seating, medical and dental furniture, beauty shop chairs and church pews. After starting up his business out of a shed in his backyard, Garry steadily gained a base of loyal customers by relying on word-of-mouth recommendations and return customers. Moving to various locations in Cookeville, Garry’s Upholstery finally landed in its current home at 27 West 1st St. on the West Side in the early 1980s.

Garry had always envisioned converting part of the existing space into a retail fabric showroom, so during a renovation of the buildings in 2003, Diane, his wife of 18 years, came to the shop to help part-time and set up display racks. After the manufacturing company she had been employed by for nearly 30 years downsized in 2008, she lost her job and became Garry’s full-time assistant. By quickly applying her professional skills as a buyer and scheduler to the reupholstery business, she assumed the shop’s planning, negotiating and purchasing tasks.

Garry also depends on Diane’s eye for detail to keep the shop’s front-of-house displays in order, while helping customers with their selections.

“Garry respects my opinion,” Diane said.

“She might suggest ways to make a piece look better, and I will try to work it out,” Garry added.

Whether it’s family heirlooms, or traditional or contemporary pieces, Garry’s careful attention to detail is evident every step of the way. He tries to improve and grow with every job.

Some might think an upholsterer’s job ends with replacing the furniture’s exterior, but Garry has extended his role beyond the world of fabrics, textures and designs. Those things beneath the surface – the mechanisms, padding, springs and frame – need attention too if a piece is to be comfortable and durable for years to come. In order to provide this for his customers, Garry goes the extra mile. The process of tearing down old surfaces allows him to access these inner workings and repair or replace what needs improvement, often without the customer knowing about the added service, and most often with little to no extra cost.

The couple’s commitment to quality also extends to their life outside the shop with their shared love of collecting vintage and classic cars, including a replica 1923 T-Bucket roadster that Garry essentially built from the ground up. Garry also collects unique guitars and has played rhythm and lead guitar for over 30 years with a local band, The Tennessee Outlaws.

Their commitment to customer satisfaction and quality craftsmanship has enabled them to remain profitable in trying financial times. And it’s nothing more than a handful of simple ideals that has guided the DeRossitts toward this level of success.

“You don’t have to do anything other than good work, and the work speaks for itself,” Garry said.

The couple believes that steady growth is a direct result of that commitment to quality and feel fortunate and thankful for their success.



Laura Gwinn


Holly Hughes, left, tries on a dress for her junior prom as Miss Nancy Ann (Toler) Lafever looks at alteration options. Hughes’ prom is to be held May 8. Herald-Citizen Photo/Laura Gwinn
COOKEVILLE -- Miss Nancy Ann, as she's known to customers, is one-of-a-kind in Cookeville and surrounding area. "(Doing) alterations is a dying art," she said. "But it's a God-given talent and I love it."

Even if it is a dying art, Miss Nancy Ann is as busy as ever, especially this time of year when spring rolls around and weddings, proms, pageants and other formal events get started. Miss Nancy Ann, whose full-name is Nancy Ann (Toler) Lafever, got started in the alterations at a young age.

"When I was in the 7th grade, I had a desire to play with fabric," she said. "It just kept going from there. I made all my clothes when I was younger and also made wedding dresses for family members by the time I was 17." She started at the Village Boutique, doing alterations and sewing for those customers. That was the foundation for those customers who have been with her from the very beginning. She was at that store until 1996 when she opened her own alteration shop.

In 1999, she closed her own shop, she went on board with the Country Bumpkin. She left the Country Bumpkin in 2007 and opened her new shop on South Jefferson Avenue in September of 2007. "I'm like a doctor with dresses," she said with a laugh. "I want you to be happy with what I do. If not, let me know. Don't let your mom know. Let me know so I can fix it."

Lafever can alter just about anything, from dresses to tablecloths, cushions, curtains and more. Her parents owned an upholstery shop, so she has that capability, also. "Doing the alterations is what has kept me going in this economy," she said. "People are not spending as much on clothes, but instead keeping them and altering them instead."

And with 30 years in the industry, she's seen a lot of changes in fashion. When asked what styles she's seeing coming back, she said the outfits with beads and sequins are re-appearing. Customers who walk into her store are greeted with a great variety of dresses, for pageants, weddings, proms and more. Dresses for people of all ages and sizes are available.

"I build the dresses to the body," she said. "If you have curves, you'll keep them, if you want. I'll make that dress look good on you." In addition to the alterations, she sells dresses, consignment dresses and rents tuxedoes. In the next month or two, she's hoping to open a men's store next to her current shop. "I've seen a big boom in selling dresses and renting tuxes," she said.

She credits her success to her dedication. "I treat my customers with respect," she said. "Serving this community is my goal." For more information about Miss Nancy Ann's Alterations and Formal Wear, visit her store at 620 South Jefferson Avenue, suite 118, next to Tommy's Nails. She is also on Facebook. Find her by searching for Nancy Ann Lafever. She's also on MySpace at

Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and by appointment only on Sundays and Mondays. Call the store at 979-0137 for more information.


Hatcher named Magic 98.5 Teacher of the Year

Daniel Flatt
Herald-Citizen Staff
Sunday, Jan 10, 2010
CHS career tech counselor Darlene Hatcher, background, works with student Matt Boone on an online math course. Hatcher was named Magic 98.5 Teacher of the Year for 2009. (Herald-Citizen Photo/Daniel Flatt)
COOKEVILLE — Cookeville High School career tech counselor Darlene Hatcher was recently named the Magic 98.5 Teacher of the Year. And while she doesn’t technically carry the title of teacher, the nominating committee thought her role that touches so many students trying to catch up on lost credits was worth the award title.

The culmination of Teacher of the Week for 2009, the award is the third since Magic 98.5’s David Downs, known as Freaky Dave, started the campaign to feature teachers in the county. He said Hatcher’s story of providing students with that extra boost in their education was exactly what the award is about.

“Once again, it was just like any other story we’ve had over the course of 2009,” Downs said. “It was a teacher that went above and beyond the call of duty to help a student. It’s really hard to say anything else. Here’s what you are supposed to do, and she decided to give the extra 25 or 30 percent to really make a difference in this child’s life, and today they are a better student and a better person because of that love and devotion.”

Hatcher is the career tech counselor at CHS. Her role places her in charge of the virtual high school in the Plato lab of the school. There she works with students who either need to recover credits or take courses online for credit advancement or AP credits.

She had also worked as a counselor who worked with disabled students in years past.
Her nomination came in after a parent whose child had worked with Hatcher in both roles wrote in to Magic 98.5. Downs said the letter told of a teacher who would work extra hours for her students and who kept a close connection with the parents and students.

Hatcher said the letter that was read at the ceremony was enough to award her for her work, as well as enough to make her cry.

“As soon as they started reading the letter, I broke out. I lost it,” Hatcher said about winning the award. “I knew just from the very beginning of the first two or three words, I knew who the letter was from, because it was such a unique letter. And it was such a unique student that I had worked with.

“And they laughed at me, because when I went up to get the award the first thing out of my mouth was not, ‘Give me the award.’ It was, ‘Can I please have the letter?’ The letter itself was the prize to me. And the parent and the child were very, very special to me. And that parent thought enough of me to write that kind of letter. That meant so much to me.”

CHS principal Wayne Shanks said he thought Hatcher was a very deserving nominee.

“Mrs. Hatcher works in several capacities at CHS while supporting staff and student needs,” Shanks said. “She refuses to give up on any of her students and develops a rapport with even the most challenging. She communicates well with parents and helps her students to focus on their strengths and how to overcome their weaknesses. She richly deserves the recognition of Magic 98.5 Teacher of the Year award.”

The Magic 98.5 Teacher of the Year award was sponsored by First Tennessee Bank. Hatcher was awarded $1,000 from First Tennessee, a $500 gift certificate to Schoolhouse Supply, a pampering package from Manhattan Salon and dinner for five to Outback Steakhouse.





Spay and neuter clinic near goal

Megan Trotter
Herald-Citizen Staff
Monday, Nov 16, 2009
Kathy Gates, left, medical director at the Putnam County Humane Society’s Spay and Neuter Clinic, and Jacqueline Brown, veterinarian assistant, check the teeth of one of their canine visitors. Herald-Citizen Photo/Megan Trotter

COOKEVILLE -- The Putnam County Humane Society's Spay and Neuter Clinic is fast approaching their goal of having achieved 4,100 surgeries this year. Last year they performed 3,726 surgeries to help reduce the unwanted pet population in Putnam County and the surrounding areas. "We're trying for a 10-percent increase (in surgeries) each year," said Linda Clemons, board president of the Putnam County Humane Society.

Next year they hope to raise the number to 4,500. Staff members at the clinic want to ultimately be able to do 5,000 surgeries per year. "Studies show that's what is needed to make a difference in pet overpopulation," said Clemons. Located on Fisk Rd., the clinic may be small but they are well-organized and perform about 24 surgeries per day, three days a week. These animals come from all over the Upper Cumberland area, and more than 50 percent are from Putnam County. This year alone, Putnam County is responsible for bringing in 2,224 of the animals that have been spayed or neutered this year while White County has brought in 496 and Cumberland County has brought in 176.

In the early morning hours pet owners can be seen lined up outside to pick up their animals who have spent the night at the clinic after their surgeries. Staff members briefly meet with each pet owner to alert them to any health issues their pets may have, such as hair loss or obesity, and suggest treatment or additional care from a veterinarian.

After the outgoing pets have departed, the clinic staff members disinfect the animals' holding area and start bringing in the new clients. Each dog and cat is weighed and has its health carefully checked before being put inside its own individual crate -- dogs in one room and cats in another -- to await their turn for surgery.

Procedures for male cats are $40, male dogs and female cats are both $55 and female dogs are $65. Vaccinations are also available for an additional fee. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify and an average of $35 of assistance is received by each applicant. The clinic's success is due largely to generous donations from the community, such as Mary Johnson of White County who recently donated a van to the clinic to aid in transporting animals from long distances or bringing in a large number of animals from the same location. Clemons says she is excited about what the clinic has accomplished so far and hopes to be able to continue their work of spay and neutering animals to reduce the number of unwanted pets in the community. For more information about the spay/neuter clinic, visit or call (931) 372-2728.

Brooks honored for 500th win

Craig Delk
Herald-Citizen Sports Editor
Wednesday, Sep 09, 2009

COOKEVILLE -- At the rate Karen Brooks is winning games as coach of the Cookeville High School volleyball team, it might not be long before she hits another milestone.

The veteran Lady Cavaliers coach was honored Tuesday night for breaking the 500-win barrier over the weekend at the Chattanooga Choo Choo tournament, then her team quickly disposed of District 6-AAA rival Coffee County 25-9, 25-9, 25-16.

Before the match started, Brooks was presented a bouquet of flowers and a commemorative ball by her husband, Danny, and the Lady Cavs wore ribbons with '500' on them. The display took Brooks by surprise.

"I was surprised. I didn't think about it long, but (during warmups) when the girls had ribbons on that had 500 on them, they said, 'Oh, (senior) Savanah (Skimmyhorn) thought of this,'" Brooks said. "I thought, 'Oh, that was sweet.' And then I thought a second, and it was time for the coaches meeting and I just didn't think about it anymore."

Regarding the milestone, Brooks said it makes her think of her 18-year career as CHS volleyball coach.

"It's an awesome feeling. Really, it makes me reflect on the girls that I've had in all those years," said Brooks, who has taught at CHS for 31 years and started the program in 1986 before taking a hiatus from 1999-2004. "That's what I think about the most, and how many lives have come into my life and how much fun it's been."

Brooks has taken the 500-win plateau in stride.

"It's for sure better than having 500 losses," she said with a laugh, "because if I'd had 500 losses I probably wouldn't have coached this long. That would have meant that I probably wasn't worth a hoot at coaching."

Against Coffee County, the Lady Cavaliers (18-5, 4-0 District 6-AAA) cruised to easy victories in the first two games before meeting a little more resistance in the final game. The Lady Red Raiders got to within 16-13 in that game, but eventually lost steam in the CHS sweep. Brooks said a loss in the Coffee County junior varsity match got her attention preceding the varsity contest.

"That kind of puts you on your toes a little bit," she said. "And I said, 'Let me tell you something girls: We're not gonna go out here and go through the motions. It is a district match, we've never played them before, and we need to welcome them to District 6-AAA at Cookeville High School is what we need to do. I felt like we did that."

Senior setter Kayla Oliphant led the Cookeville offense with 63 assists. Brooks' daughter Julie collected 14 service points and Skimmyhorn added 12. Sophomore Cody Dodd contributed 11 kills and four blocks.

Fellow sophomore Lindsay Lloyd -- whose mother Mindy (Hoskins) Lloyd was a part of coach Brooks' first win in 1986 -- had eight digs.

"She was with me when I got my first win, and her daughter Lindsay is playing for me now and she was with me when I got my 500th. That was pretty special," Brooks said. "You just think, 'Gosh.'

The Lady Cavs play at Stone Memorial on Thursday in a 5:30 p.m. non-district match.