Best of Knoxville 2014: EDUCATION & MEDIA

Best Small College or University

Pellissippi State Community College
Runners Up: King University-Knoxville, Lincoln Memorial University, South College

Best Technical/Business School

Fountainhead College of Technology
Located on a relatively new campus near the intersection of I-40 and Pellissippi Parkway, Fountainhead enrolls about 250 students who are seeking bachelors' and associates' degrees in multiple aspects of information technology, including computer programming, wireless communication, and network security. Fountainhead is especially known for its Internet-protection training (how many schools have a Cyber Defense Club?) has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. So the NSA approves of them, but you don't have to approve of the NSA to be impressed. Fountainhead don't make federal policy, but at Fountainhead they can explain how it all works. Fountainhead actually started on Gay Street, in 1947, in the building currently being renovated as Tailor Lofts. It was originally known as the "Tennessee Radio Service School," and aimed at returning GIs. The school later settled for years on Tazewell Pike in the Fountain City area, where they got the name. (J.N.)
Runners Up: ITT Technical Institute-Knoxville, Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Knoxville, Tennessee Technology Center at Knoxville

Best Private School

Webb School of Knoxville
About to commence its 60th year, Webb School started out as a college-prep school for high-school boys, but now offers a curriculum for boys and girls of kindergarten age and onward. Though its accommodations were literally Spartan (that's their mascot) for decades—the Webb School Bill Haslam attended didn't have a band, because they didn't have any instruments to play—today's campus, occupying the same farmer's field the school's original three buildings did in the 1960s, might easily be mistaken for a modern college. Founded by Robert Webb (1919-2005), who in his later years was known downtown as one of the key champions of the renovation of the Bijou Theatre, Webb School counts as its alumni our current governor, State Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee, and star Jets/Dolphins Quarterback Chad Pennington, among others. (J.N.)
Runners Up: Christian Academy of Knoxville, Grace Christian Academy, Knoxville Catholic

Best Cosmetology School

Tennessee School of Beauty
The Tennessee School of Beauty might not have the hippest location, way out on Western Avenue, but its students say it doesn't matter—and some even make the trek from Sevierville or Oak Ridge. The reason they chose it came down to one thing, we're told: connections. TSB first opened in 1930, and owner Adam Brown is the fourth generation Brown to run it. "They've been around so long, they have so many connections," one current student told us. "I was going to go somewhere else, but they have so many contacts there, and they're really good ones." Contacts like Frank Gambuzza, the owner of Salon Visage, and Marwan Zaouk, the owner of Belleza—two of the biggest and most high-profile salons in Knoxville. Still, those salons won't hire stylists and estheticians if they aren't talented, and that's where the skilled instructors and hands-on experience comes in. It's a bargain for those on a limited budget, too—you can't beat $14 haircuts or $30 massages. (C.W.G.)
Runners Up: Aveda Institute, Paul Mitchell The School-Knoxville, Salon Visage Advanced Hair Academy

Best TV Station

Runners Up: East Tennessee PBS, WATE, WVLT

Best TV Personality

Robin Wilhoit, WBIR
Runners Up: Russell Biven (WBIR), Abby Ham (WBIR), Todd Howell (WBIR)

Best Radio Station

WUTK 90.3
Yes, they still rock (and funk and hip hop and jam, among other things), and they still provide the training necessary to launch a career in broadcasting for University of Tennessee students—all on a shoestring budget. And year after year, they still garner national awards—but perhaps this local one, voted upon by its listeners, is the sweetest prize. Knoxville is listening. (C.T.)
Runners Up: WDVX 89.9, WUOT 91.9, WWST Star 102.1

Best Radio Personality

Marc Anthony and Kim Hansard, The Marc and Kim Show, WWST Morning radio is all about the personalities. Yes, you're listening for the traffic and weather updates, and maybe for some news and music, but if you don't find the morning hosts funny or entertaining, you're going to change the channel. Emphasis on funny. And that's why when Kim Hansard publicly announced her breast cancer diagnosis over the air last fall, it came as such a shock—and such a refreshing surprise. Over the course of Hansard's treatment, she was open about her illness and her struggles and just how much dealing with cancer sucks, and her honesty elevated the show to another level. Thankfully, it looks like Hansard's going to be okay, and Knoxville will have many more years of her and Marc Anthony and Tyrone ("on phones") waking them up. Here's hoping her frankness has done the same for other, less famous women in town. (C.W.G.)
Runners Up: Andy & Allison (WIVK), Hallerin Hilton Hill (WOKI), Dr. John Zazu (WUTK)

Best Writer

Jack Neely
Irregardless of the fact that Americans supposably don't read much except when they do read stuff on Facebook, our readers are right about who is the Best Writer and says that Jack Neeley won this category about the Best Writer. Maybe he shouldn't of won but maybe he won just because he has a new book and it's a kind of a big one too big for the bathroom anyway called Knoxville: Green by Nature and it's expensive so it must be special so maybe that helped him win this category even though he's always just writing things down like a house afire, including some things people don't like very much at all and doesn't even read it either and neither does he. (J.N.)
Runners Up: Wes Rucker, Pamela Schoenewaldt, Sam Venable