Best of Knoxville 2012: Education & Media

Best Four-Year/Community College

Pellissippi State Community College
Runners Up: Carson-Newman, Maryville College, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Best Technical/Business School

Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville
With the costs of higher education increasing steadily and the prospects for finding that perfect post-college job falling even faster, accredited career-focused technical schools like TTC are becoming more attractive options for students interested in learning a trade than in "higher" education. Academia may scoff, but many of TTC's most popular full-time programs have year-long waiting lists. How many entry-level university programs around here can make that boast? (David Doyle)
Runners Up: Fountainhead College of Technology, ITT Technical Institute, South College

Best Private School

Webb School of Knoxville
Webb School made national headlines last year by instituting an iPad mandate for its fourth through twelfth graders. Some called it a forward-thinking position; others said it was ill-timed. (One Metro Pulse column said it was a good idea, but maybe not for the reasons Webb would say.) Webb stuck to their guns (or their apps, as the case may be), and now other school systems—including Knox County—are looking to get in on the digitally augmented classroom experience. Chalk that one up as a win for Webb. (D.D.)
Runners Up: Christian Academy of Knoxville, Knoxville Catholic High School, Maryville College

Best Cosmetology School

Tennessee School of Beauty
Cosmetology schools have been all over the Knoxville news the past year, with the opening of the Aveda Institute downtown and the Paul Mitchell school out west. But our readers' favorite was still the Tennessee School of Beauty, which first opened in 1930 and has been helping the city look its best ever since. And the Western Avenue location doesn't just train the city's future top stylists, it also offers bargain services. $13 for a manicure! $30 for a facial! $25—yes, $25!—for a full-hour Swedish massage! So if you want to have a top-notch look without spending top dollar, the secret's out: TSB is the place to be. (C.G.)
Runners Up: Aveda Institute, Knoxville Institute of Hair Design, Paul Mitchell the School-Knoxville

Best TV Station

Best TV Personality

Robin Wilhoit
Okay, wow. You guys like WBIR. I mean, really like them. If this was high school, you would have just voted WBIR class president, prom king and queen, and "Most Likely to Sweep the Best of Knoxville TV Categories." How do they do it? Is it their Facebook page, the one that has more likes than people I'll ever meet in my lifetime? Is it Live at Five, a program that's literally an hour ahead of its time? Or is it Robin Wilhoit, who is celebrating her own 20-year anniversary at WBIR this year? Whatever it is, WBIR could make a mint off other media companies if they could bottle whatever they have and sell it. (D.D.) (See also: Best Facebook Page in Knox Online.)
Best TV Station Runners Up: WATE, WKOP, WVLT
Best TV Personality Runners Up: Erin Donovan (WBIR), Abby Ham (WBIR), Todd Howell (WBIR)

Best Radio Station

It would be easy to assume that WUTK's DJs could play anything at all and its status as the plucky college radio upstart would automatically net it back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back Best of Knoxville awards—and that's true. Almost. It's the fact that WUTK plays more of everything than anyone else around here that makes the station so perennially popular. For an ever-increasing amount of music, if you want to hear it or anything like it, you either provide it yourself or you park your radio at WUTK and wait. And while you're waiting, don't be surprised if you hear something you didn't know you liked. (D.D.) Runners Up: WDVX, WIVK, WUOT

Best Radio Personality

Andy & Alison, WIVK
Andy & Alison may have five "Broadcast Personalities of the Year" awards from the Country Music Association under their belts, but their Best of Knoxville award may be closer to their hearts. In a time slot (and in a field altogether, for that matter) dominated by nationally syndicated programming, Andy & Alison are there to remind us that you don't have to be cross-promoted in a hundred different markets to do the zany morning radio crew thing right. (D.D.)
Runners Up: Kim Hansard (WWST), Hallerin Hilton Hill (WNOX), Frank Murphy (WWST)