In January, after working at the station 27 years (and 4 months) Sue Gibbons is retiring from WCTE. Sue is WCTE’s Programming Operations Manager. She sets up the programs, promotional spots, the Public Service Announcements – you name it, if it appears on the air, it has been under the watch of Sue Gibbons.
Sue doesn’t like the spotlight but she’s one of those reliable people who works diligently in the background and helps makes WCTE tick. She has made a tremendous impact on the success of the station over the years. Sue’s a terrific friend to many of us at the station and throughout community. We’ll miss seeing that twinkle in her eyes on a daily basis.
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Detroit until I was 10 years old and then in Cookeville until the present. I am still trying to grow up. Ha!
2. Where did you go to school?
Jere Whitson Elementary Grades 5 through 8 - which is where I first met Becky Magura. We both took piano lessons from Mrs. Dimple Bassett and performed recitals together. Then on to Putnam County Senior High, Tennessee Tech and Livingston State Vocational School.
3. Tell me about your family.
I have been married to Philip Gibbons for nearly 30 years. We have two daughters, Julie and Leann Gibbons, and a grand dog, Bentlee. My father was Ralph Cole, who passed away in 1977. My mother is Rozelle Cole. I have two brothers, both married - Dale & Gail Cole and Gary & Candy Cole. My mother & father-in law are Sam & Onda Gibbons.
4. What jobs have you done over the years at the station?
Traffic Manager, Sales and Programming. I have been involved with community and special events too numerous to mention.
5. What is one of your fondest memories of WCTE?
In 1993, I was given the opportunity, along with Steve Boots, and inspired by my uncle, Elmer
Montgomery, to produce a documentary called Natural Beauty: A Look at Cummins Falls. The show included the history and featured the natural beauty of Cummins Falls with interviews by various members of the Cummins family and friends who frequently visited the falls. It’s now known as Cummins Falls State Park. The documentary continues to air on WCTE periodically.
6. What is one of your funniest memories?
Several years ago, the WCTE staff was attending a technology conference in Nashville. One of our engineers stepped into the hall for a moment, his door closed behind him and there he was, locked outside his room in a hotel hallway wearing nothing but his red speedos. And then we came along. His reaction, and other people’s reactions, is a memory I will never forget.
7. What would you like people to know about WCTE?
WCTE is your community-owned Upper Cumberland PBS station. It broadcasts quality programming, provides educational outreach, is an award-winning station, has an incredibly talented staff, is engaged in the communities it serves, has a dedicated and active board, and is more than worthy of viewer support. On a personal note, the station has been my employer for many years. I am honored to be part of the WCTE family.
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