Student Testimonials

Meet Malise.

"What I love about D-B EXCEL is the faculty and staff. They are so supportive in any decisions we have to make. They go to any length to help the students. They care about the students so much and have done so much for us and to make the new kids feel welcome. They are the ones that should get more recognition than they do."

Malise chose to come to D-B EXCEL in order to have more flexibility in her schedule; Malise has a Von Willebrands disease, a bleeding disorder, which means she has to spend a lot of time at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital; because of this, she has to miss several days of school at a time. At one point, Malise missed thirty-six days just in one class, so her doctors recommended she find an alternative education solution. D-B EXCEL is very flexible with her schedule, which helps with her many doctor's appointments. When Malise misses school for being ill or for a doctors appointment, she is able to keep up with her coursework online. She says she never knew how much she would love DBE. Malise likes D-B EXCEL because she's a fast-paced learner, and it allows her to work at her own pace. She also likes being able to earn a virtual day every Friday. Malise says she stays ahead in her classes and exceeds expectations to earn her virtual day, so she can attend doctor's appointments on Fridays and not miss school during the week.  


Meet Graham.

"D-B EXCEL was there for me with open arms."

Graham chose to come to D-B EXCEL during a difficult period of his life. After being on homebound for several months, he made the choice to try out D-B EXCEL's inviting culture. Being surrounded by teachers and students who demonstrated true compassion for one another,  helped Graham feel at home and accepted in his new family. Graham states that "[He] has never felt more loved or welcomed than [he] does at DBE." Graham loves being at DBE because the people are so nice, and he loves the 21st century learning environment.


Meet Natalie.

"This alternative means of education allowed me to escape from the chaos of the traditional high school experience."
Natalie came to D-B EXCEL because of a transformation that took place in her life. She turned her life around for the better and in doing so, relationships with many people were lost. In the changes that occurred within herself, Natalie began to focus very harshly on her walk with God. She started traveling with her father, singing at churches all over the world. D-B EXCEL's alternative means of education allowed her to escape from the traditional high school experience, and have a flexible schedule to be able to travel and do what she loves. Natalie feels she is still able to do the things that are necessary for her to have a fruitful future, yet still focus on important things outside of school. Natalie says that there are some unexpected benefits of DBE, including that the staff truly cares for the well-being of students, they do what they can to accommodate the specific needs of each individual and they do an exceptional job at it.


Meet Daron.

"D-B EXCEL gives me the ability to work with other students in small groups to collectively learn through collaboration."

When Daron is not at school he works at Chef's Pizzeria in downtown Kingsport. He 
likes D-B EXCEL because of the smaller student population, which allows the teachers to assist him one-on-one in areas that he may struggle. He is able to work independently, but also, able to work in small groups with a teacher. If Darron needs further assistance, he can schedule one-on-one time with his teachers during EXCEL time or on Fridays. Daron says the flexibility of the schedule allows students to have a personalized-learning experience that helps them succeed in their classes at a pace that best suits them best.


Meet Brinnan.

"D-B EXCEL allows for personalized learning to meet my individual needs."

Brinnan decided to come to D-B EXCEL because she wanted to have a smaller learning environment in order to help with her anxiety. Brinnan can be anxious around large groups, so she enjoys being able to work in small groups and independently. She loves that she is able to get to know everyone at DBE and have more one-on-one time with her teachers. The smaller environment and blended learning approach helps Brinnan be successful in her coursework. After high school, Brinnan plans on attending 2 years of community college through the TN Promise then transferring to a university.


Meet Connor.

"D-B EXCEL has a much more personalized educational experience."

Connor came to D-B EXCEL because it enables him to work at faster pace. Conner has always worked ahead of the class, so being at a traditional school tended to slow him down. The blended learning environment provided at DBE allows him to work ahead in his coursework without being penalized or having to wait for the rest of his peers to "catch up". His course load and coursework is personalized to meet his learning pace, as well as, to help him reach his goal of earning a high school diploma. After graduation, Connor's goal is to get a full time job before enrolling into college.

Meet Hannah.

"D-B EXCEL has greatly improved my life and is the stepping stone to Kingsport City School’s future.”
Learning for a Modern World

By Hannah Sokol

Everything around us is always changing. There are software updates, improved technology, and newer versions of everyday necessities constantly coming out. Scientists and Mathematicians have formulated luxury into technology and, businesses, communities, and the public as a whole, have adapted and reformed their lives to assimilate with the rapid growth of these devices. Despite all of the change around us, the slowest yet most vital part of a community has failed to grasp the wonders of this technology. School systems all over America still rely on old fashioned and outdated forms of learning. Children and teens doze off as the teacher flips the packet to the other side and begins on the 8th page of the notes. As the world grows and alters to show the wondrous potential held within, school systems need to adjust likewise. D-B EXCEL greatly exemplifies the proper way to utilize the gifts of science to maintain a world class education.

As young adults prepare for college, a long to-do list awaits them in order to stay competitive for scholarships and college admissions. By offering a blended learning environment, students gain the opportunity to learn at their own rate, whether that be faster or slower, and have time to work, do community service hours, and compete in athletics or other extracurricular activities. D-B EXCEL offers a flexible schedule to students who prove themselves as hard working and dedicated. By staying caught up on course work and having good attendance, D-B EXCEL grants students days to work individually from the comfort of their own home. The online courses show the student’s progress through a percentage of course completed and percentage of correctness. After every lesson, assignment, quiz, and exam, a student easily monitors his/her progress through the school year. The progress bar turns red when a student falls behind, which helps students motivate themselves to catch back up. Excel’s program perfectly exemplifies 21st century education.

My freshman and sophomore year of high school I found myself very lost. After going through four years of family struggle, I ended up living poverty stricken with my mother and five other siblings. My father and I had lost any relationship we once had and school did not seem important to me anymore. I worked more hours than I could handle so I could help my mom, and my grades slipped. I will never forget all of the teachers asking if I was okay, and what they could do to help. My junior year I decided I would not be mediocre anymore. I wanted more for myself and my future. I manage working 20 hours a week while also maintaining a 96% or higher in all of my classes, two of which included AP English 11 and AP Biology. However, I overworked myself and ended up in the hospital where I was treated for dehydration, malnourishment, and exhaustion. It seemed as if I couldn’t win. I don’t know where I would be if D-B EXCEL had not swooped in and saved me.

The most important part of D-B EXCEL is the loving staff that helps run the school so beautifully and gives personal attention to each student. Even with the wonderful programs offered online, one on one attention is often needed for a student to fully grasp a topic. I have been lucky enough to meet with the EXCEL’s wonderful staff to achieve my goals. My senior year, I found myself in the arms of the EXCEL program. Through the EXCEL program I have managed outstanding success in my running career, academic goals, and have managed a healthy life style. I now work 35 hours a week, double what I once did, but eat, drink, sleep normally due to the EXCEL’s flexible schedule and loving staff. I am still enrolled in AP Statistic’s at the main campus but have teachers at EXCEL that enthusiastically help me with AP Statistics anytime I need. The EXCEL Stats teacher generously gave me a book to read over the summer even though I am not enrolled in his class. In addition, I have discovered the wonders of 3-D printing and design, and Abode Photoshop in my digital arts class! Pre-calculus has also been easy to manage due to the guiding computer program. Every day that I walk into the school, the attendance lady knows me by name and gives me a warm smile. The smaller environment and well driven teachers, principals, and Board of Education make D-B EXCEL a perfect fit for busy teenagers.

To conclude, D-B EXCEL has greatly improved my life and is the stepping stone to Kingsport City School’s future. Once wrapped up in bad reputation, EXCEL is breaking free and showing its true colors, as not only an exceeding education system, but also as a life changer. EXCEL is different on purpose, for a purpose, and that purpose is shown through every early graduate, scholar, athlete, and hardworking student that takes advantage of the blended learning environment that Principal Mrs. Hensley orchestrates to run so smoothly. The adventure is not over for this school. With more staff, students, and additions to what the program has to offer, D-B EXCEL is only going up from here, and I am honored to have witnessed and have been a part of it.