Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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DeKalb County’s Hannah James Wins Bill Penn Broadcast Scholarship

Bill Penn Winner 2016 (Logo) 08-01-16Dekalb County High School Graduate Hannah James has been named the winner of the Bill Penn Broadcast Scholarship.

James will receive $1,000 toward her secondary education from the team members at Stonecom Radio, Rock 93-7, Lite Rock 95.9, 106-9 Kicks Country, and Cookeville’s News Talk 100.9/AM 1600.

During her time at DeKalb County High School, James held the offices of FBLA State Office Secretary, Student Council Vice President, and Liberty Club President. Furthering her extracurricular work, she was the Co-Captain of the soccer team, and went to Journalism Conference in Washington D.C.

The award honors the long broadcast career of Bill Penn, who announced his retirement in June following more than 35 years serving Cookeville and Putnam County through his radio work. Penn most recently served as traffic director/business manager for the stations of Stonecom.

“Our team wanted to do something to honor Bill’s long-time service to this community, his loving nature, and his just plain goodness,” Stonecom President Larry Stone said at Penn’s retirement dinner. “His teammates believed that the best way to honor Bill was to find the next Bill Penn – by giving a student in the Upper Cumberland the chance to follow in his footsteps through a career in radio, television, journalism, marketing or public relations. Someone who could build their own career in the tradition of caring, honesty, friendliness, integrity and dedication to the profession that Bill embodies.”

James becomes the second winner of the scholarship, which will be presented each spring. This fall, James travels east to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where she will pursue a degree in Public Relations.

Penn began his broadcast career in 1974 in Vevay, Indiana. He worked in radio in east Tennessee including stops at Knoxville’s WNOX. Penn arrived in Cookeville in 1981 working for owners including Dwight Henry and Joe Wilmoth.

“Bill Penn has been that glue for so many years,” Stone said. “In my time in Cookeville, I’ve seen first-hand just how Bill could pull it all together and keep radio people working in harmony. And that, in itself, is a career done well.”

Rising seniors at any of the Upper Cumberland high schools interested in applying for the scholarship may apply at StonecomRadio.Com.

Stonecom owns and operates Lite Rock 95.9, 106-9 Kicks Country, Rock 93-7, and Cookeville’s News Talk 100.9/AM 1600. The company believes in community service and radio that focuses on the local community. In the spring of 2016, the National Association of Broadcasters recognized Lite Rock 95.9 as a finalist for the Crystal Award, the highest honor bestowed on commercial radio stations. Only 50 stations nationwide received the recognition.