Student Life


The Student Life Department at TSD strives to provide a home-like environment for students staying on campus during the week. Staff provides supervision for the safety and well-being of our students 24 hours a day while they are on campus during the school year. We provide opportunities and experiences for students to develop their independent living skills so they can become contributing members to a global economy once they leave TSD.


TSD currently has 15 cottages in use with six double occupancy bedrooms in each cottages. Each cottage is designed to look just like a home, except on a bigger scale. It has a full sized kitchen, dining room, recreation room, living room, and a laundry room, among other things that normally come with a house. There are opportunities for students to cook food, use space to do homework, sit and watch television, and play games. However, they are also expected to help with the “upkeep” of the cottage such as washing dishes, vacuuming, mopping, keeping their bedroom/bathroom clean, etc.


The Student Life Department is also responsible for Recreation and Summer camps. Recreation involves nightly activities along with elementary and middle school sports.  Nightly activities may include open gym, swimming, movie nights, etc. for all ages. Recreation is also responsible for running the Student Union, which is a place where students can socialize, play games, and purchase snacks and/or drinks. Recreation staff are responsible for organizing teams for the elementary and middle school students. At this time, elementary students are involved in basketball only. Middle school sports are: flag football, volleyball, basketball, and soccer. All teams play in a city-sanctioned league and often play at TSD or travel to local schools to play. Recreation is fully funded by a grant from Variety of East Tennessee.


TSD hosts three camps during one week every summer for both TSD and non-TSD students to enjoy. Junior camp is mainly for students that are of middle school age. The campers get to experience different things locally such as WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge, swimming, whitewater rafting, and other fun activities. Senior camp is focused on campers of high school age. They go “camping” for three days on the Ocoee River near Chattanooga where they get to experience rappelling, ropes courses, whitewater rafting, and other team-building activities. Camp Courage is for campers with special needs; activities are more flexible and are designed to meet the needs of the participating students. Activities include arts and crafts, trips to World’s Fair Park, WonderWorks, etc. All camps have the opportunity to end the week with a big bang by going to Dollywood for the day, usually on Thursday of camp week. All camps are fully funded by a grant from Variety of East Tennessee, which is under the umbrella of Regal Entertainment.


The Student Life Department also coordinates all home-going transportation for their students. Students normally leave on Friday around midday and return to TSD on Sunday evenings. We coordinate with a charter bus company to transport students to different locations across the state.



Contact information


Bethany Van Bebber

Director of Student Life 

865.978.6022 (vp)
865.340.2031 (text only)

Kristina Roth

Administrative Assistant

865.579.2425 (voice)


Carly Phillips


865.579.2489 (voice)


Sue Ivey

Dean of Students

865.352.0255 (text/voice)


Clayton Marr

Dean of Students

865.307.2556 (text only)