Gatlinburg has attracted a new multi-million dollar development called Anakeesta. We happen to live in Gatlinburg. The changes might affect us indirectly, as hundreds of jobs will be created, more traffic will have to be juggled (if such a thing is possible in our small town with big city traffic), and familiar sites will be transformed.
For those of you familiar with downtown Gatlinburg, the Arrowcraft store will be moved to a new location. The Ogle cabin and the Pi Beta Phi statue will also find new homes. Recently, I took the kids there for pictures, knowing that things will look very, very different once construction begins.
The public school I would have chosen for my children, Pi Beta Phi Elementary, is located in downtown Gatlinburg on land donated by the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity. They started as a settlement school and have done a good job to increase literacy in this mountain town. But I am glad I have chosen to homeschool.
Unfortunately, a six-year-old girl got molested by a chaperon during a field trip last year. My son would have been on that field trip, had I chosen to enroll him at Pi Beta Phi Elementary. The school system has been hit with a $100 million lawsuit because of this incident.
By the way, in our county, one can actually choose where to enroll children. Many people commute from Sevierville to Gatlinburg, for instance, because our schools are better here. Gatlinburg-Pittman High School produces a dozen National Merit Scholars every year. Do they have drugs there? Yes, they do. A mother with students enrolled there told me so. Am I happy I am homeschooling? Yes, I am.