Parent & Student Support

Mae Fowler, Paula King, and Nancy Flatt work together to provide student and parent support to Putnam County families. With a combined 84 years of experience working with students and families, we delight in seeing students succeed and thrive.  We strive to meet the needs of the whole child by providing the emotional and social support needed to pursue academic and career goals. We also work to provide opportunities for parents to strengthen family relationships. If you or your child could benefit from any of the services below, please feel free to click "Contact Us" on the left hand side of the screen. We look forward to serving you!

Parent Support

P.E.P. Talks

P.E.P. Talks (Parents Encouraging Parents) began in August, 2011, as a means to support parents as they navigate one of the most important roles they play….that of parent.  For the 2018-19 school year, PEP Talks is sponsoring 8 Tuesday workshops in August and September, beginning on August 7, 2018, and continuing weekly. PEP Talks meets from 12:10-1:00 at Progressive Savings Bank on Interstate Drive. Topics are both relevant and practical. 

 For a list of topics and dates, please connect to the link below:


Business and School Parenting Partnerships

A joint venture between the Chamber of Commerce’s Highland’s Initiative and business and industry is bringing a wonderful opportunity for some Putnam County parents.  Beginning in October 2011, parenting workshops have been provided on sight at Tutco, Oreck, and Cookeville Regional Medical Center. Flowserve was added for the 2013-14 school year, and we look forward to continued expansion.  With employee input and under the direction of Family Engagement Coordinator Jackie Reynolds, workshops on self-esteem, peer pressure, personalities, bullying and alcohol and drug abuse are being shared with parents at their workplace. Of the 112 original participants in 2011-12, sixty-seven, or 60%, reported they had not attended a parenting function in the past year.  In addition to Reynolds, Beverly Dronebarger, Paula King  and various community experts help facilitate and coordinate the workshops, which will hopefully expand into other businesses and industries this school year.

Student Support

BEST Peer Support Groups
(Be Each Other's Support Team)

The BEST Peer support groups in schools are offered to  students grieving loss due to:

  • Death
  • Divorce
  • Foster care placement
  • Deployment
  • Living with grandparents
  • Incarceration
  • Other challenging family situations
A curriculum with 11 lessons has been written for both teens and children for use at schools, and materials and training are provided through Heart of the Cumberland. To date, groups have been held in all of Putnam County's eighteen schools. Trained teachers, counselors, and community volunteers facilitate groups and backgrounds checks are required.  Teachers, principals, or parents may refer a student to the school counselor. Middle school students are surveyed to identify those who might benefit from a BEST group. Groups are held during encore or an extended lunch period so students do not miss core academic subjects.  School system employees that help facilitate are Nancy Flatt, Mae Fowler, and Paula King, along with counselors from individual schools.  For more information about Heart of the Cumberland, please connect to the link below:

Why Try

The Why Try Program is a strength-based approach to helping youth overcome their challenges and improve outcomes in the areas of:

  • Truancy
  • Behavior/attitude
  • Lack of motivation in academics 
The curriculum is based on sound, practical principles.  The idea is straightforward: Teach social and emotional principles to youth in a way they can understand and remember. This is accomplished using a series of ten pictures (visual analogies). Each visual teaches a discrete principle, such as resisting peer-pressure, obeying laws and rules, and that decisions have consequences. Music and physical activities are used for reinforcement. The purpose of this program is to motivate  positive change while offering hope and an answer to the question, “Why try in life?” The key to the program’s success in changing lives is the power in the relationship between someone who cares and a youth who needs help.

Why Try is a Tier 2 intervention for schools participating in SWPBS (School-wide Positive Behavior Support.)  In other schools,  counselors, principals, or a student support team may make referrals. System-wide employees Beverly Dronebarger, and Paula King, along with some individual school counselors and teachers, facilitate the program.  For more information about Why Try, please connect to the link below:

For more information about the impact of social and emotional support on academic achievement, please go to: