Departments » Student Life

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 twenty-four hours a day while students are on campus during the school year. We provide opportunities and experiences for students to develop their independent living skills so that they can become contributing members to a global economy once they leave TSD.


TSD currently has 15 cottages in use with 6 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 comes with a house. There are opportunities for students to cook food, use space to do homework, sit and watch television, play games, however are expected to do responsibilities 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 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 that is a place where students have opportunities to 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 activities of the like. Senior camp is focused on campers of high school age and they go “camping” for three days on the Ocoee river near Chattanooga where they get to experience rappelling, ropes course, white water rafting, and other team building activities. Camp Courage is for campers with special needs and activities are designed to meet their limits and are more flexible. Activities include arts and crafts, trip 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 that is under the umbrella of Regal Entertainment.


Student Life Department coordinates all homegoing transportation for their students. Student normally leaves on Friday around midday and return to TSD Sunday evenings. We coordinate with a charter bus company to transport students to different locations across the state.



Contact information


Director of Student Life



Whitney Cleek

Dean of Elementary and Transportation

865.622.2272 (text only)


Sue Ivey

Dean of Middle and High School

865.352.0255 (text/voice)


Marty Marine

Dean of Special Projects and Summer Camps

865.361.2133 (text/voice)


Kristina Roth



865.579.2489 (transportation)