Inspirational Educators

You don’t need a cape to be a superhero. Sometimes, heroes are found in ordinary places, like the hallways, classrooms, and offices of our local schools.

 They challenge, they encourage, and they have the power to change lives forever. We’re talking about none other than our teachers – the people who help us create and grow; the people who give us the strength to achieve things we never thought possible and lead us to places we never knew existed. Here, meet 25 superstars of the school. They’re only a small sample of the hundreds of exceptional educators in our community that are opening minds and touching hearts every day.

Educators2Red Bank High School
LTC USA (Ret.) Hugh Enicks
Years at Red Bank: 13
Total Years in Education: 13

Position: Senior Army Instructor and Lead Educator, Junior ROTC Leadership Academy Outside of Classroom Involvement: coaching cross-country and track Highlight of Being an Educator: Assisting young adults in setting the foundation for a successful future. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: 98% graduation rate, 85% college attendance rate, and more than $4 million in earned scholarships for JROTC. What Motivates Me: Educating young adults to be future leaders.

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Educators3Notre Dame High School
Mr. Irvin (Matt)
Years at Notre Dame: 16
Total Years in Education: 17 

Position: Science Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: writing curriculum for an education website, sponsoring a club, leading a spring break mission trip Highlight of Being an Educator: Seeing students surpass my knowledge and then learning from them. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Challenging students and seeing their sense of accomplishment when they succeed and enjoy learning. What Motivates Me: A sense of calling, a love of learning, and the spontaneity of youth.

Educators4East Hamilton High School
Ms. Lane (Claire)
Years at East Hamilton: 6
Total Years in Education: 25

Position: Instructional Coach Outside of Classroom Involvement: researching best practices and developing curriculum for teachers; adjunct teaching at UTC  Highlight of Being an Educator: Watching students grow into successful, motivated young adults. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: The rapport I have with students and peers. What Motivates Me: Seeing other people achieve success and accomplish goals.

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Educators6Baylor School
Ms. Ott (Heather)
Years at Baylor: 28
Total Years in Education: 29

Position: English Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: coaching varsity cross-country and track, sponsoring the Round Table Literary Group Highlight of Being an Educator: Having the opportunity to work at Baylor among colleagues and students who encourage, teach, and inspire me. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Seeing former students and athletes achieve successes in life. What Motivates Me: Diligent students and dedicated runners.

Educators5Brainerd High School
Chef Rice (Leon)
Years at Brainerd HS: 15
Total Years in Education: 15

Position: Culinary and Brainerd Bistro Instructor Outside of Classroom Involvement: helping students with schoolwork or rides Highlight of Being an Educator: Knowing I have made a difference in students’ lives. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Having former students graduate from culinary school and give back to their communities. What Motivates Me: The power invested in me by the Lord who gives me the knowledge to help my students.

Educators11McCallie School
Mr. Sholl (Kenneth)
Years at McCallie: 31
Total Years in Education: 34

Position: Associate Headmaster and Head of Upper School Outside of Classroom Involvement: teaching a unit in Civil War class, coaching football Highlight of Being an Educator: The joy that comes from seeing young men leave McCallie and make a difference. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Being a part of the process that continues to bring great teachers to McCallie School. What Motivates Me: The hope, resilience, and determination of McCallie students.

Educators7Lookout Valley High School
Ms. Collins (Bertha)
Years at Lookout Valley: 47
Total Years in Education: 47

Position: English Teacher; Instructional Coach Outside of Classroom Involvement: sponsoring senior class and student council, coordinating homecoming and graduation activities Highlight of Being an Educator: Being inducted into the Tennessee Teacher Hall of Fame; representing the school at a luncheon with President Reagan. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Having former students tell me I’ve had a positive impact. What Motivates Me: Helping students become responsible, productive citizens and adults.

Educators8Heritage High School
Mrs. Hayen (Kim)
Years at Heritage: 4
Total Years in Education: 15

Position: Secondary Science Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: connecting students directly to science professionals Highlight of Being an Educator:  Being honored as 2013 Heritage High School and 2014 Catoosa County Teacher of the Year. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Engaging students in innovative, grant-funded conservation projects in our community. What Motivates Me: Empowering students to pursue goals they had not yet imagined for themselves.

 

Educators9Signal Mountain Middle/High School
Mrs. Whitley (Carolyn)
Years at Signal: 17
Total Years in Education: 23

Position: Honors Biology Teacher; Science Department Chair Outside of Classroom Involvement: sponsoring 8th grade class and graduation, organizing career-related field trips, advising, and tutoring Highlight of Being an Educator: Students coming back and sharing their accomplishments with me. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Having the opportunity to teach at five fine local schools that span grade 8 through the college level. What Motivates Me: My teaching/learning community.

Educators10Hixson High School
Mrs. Schwieger (Kay)
Years at Hixson HS: 20
Total Years in Education: 32

Position: U.S. History Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: sponsoring OnPoint, advising the senior class, being a board member of National Honor Society Highlight of Being an Educator: Seeing students gain patriotism and pride as they connect to our country’s past. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: The time that I have invested in student teachers. What Motivates Me: The accomplishments of the students that have passed through my classroom.

Educators16Girls Preparatory School
Ms. Michaels (Peggy)
Years at GPS: 26
Total Years in Education: 32

Position: Physical Education Department Head Outside of Classroom Involvement: motivational speaking and life skills mentoring with young women Highlight of Being an Educator: Developing relationships with girls in order to motivate, challenge, and encourage responsible behavior, physical well-being, and service to others. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Developing GPS’s award-winning SHAPE physical education program; being Tennessee State Physical Educator of the Year. What Motivates Me: My Christian faith.

Educators12Boyd-Buchanan School
Mrs. Wood (Mary Helen)
Years at Boyd-Buchanan: 37
Total Years in Education: 42

Position: Vice President Outside of Classroom Involvement: mentoring educators, leadership development, accreditation, advancement of Christian education Highlight of Being an Educator: Facilitating the process where students and teachers accomplish things they never thought possible. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Transformation of traditional mindsets toward a nurturing learning environment impacting children for life and eternity. What Motivates Me: True excellence in Christian education.

Educators14Chattanooga School For The Arts And Sciences
Mrs. Burrus (Kristin)
Years at CSAS: 16
Total Years in Education: 16

Position: Science Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: co-sponsoring Earth Club, being a STEM Teaching Fellow, being a Leadership Fellow Highlight of Being an Educator: Embedding technology and laboratory investigations into lessons to help students think like real scientists. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Becoming a better educator by becoming a National Board Certified Teacher. What Motivates Me: Innovation in the classroom.

Educators13Chattanooga Christian School
Mrs. Leutwiler (Lauren)
Years at CCS: 22
Total Years in Education: 29

Position: Upper School Art Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: offering students encouragement and consultations at Open Studio Evenings; helping out with CCS Equestrian Club Highlight of Being an Educator: Seeing former students use their talents to contribute creatively to culture and community. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Having former students teaching and being artists. What Motivates Me: Students becoming aware of their God-given artistic talents.

Educators15Cleveland High School
Mrs. Guthrie (Becky)
Years at Cleveland HS: 17
Total Years in Education: 34

Position: Senior School Counselor Outside of Classroom Involvement: serving as the counseling office department chair, being a part of the school leadership team Highlight of Being an Educator: Building relationships with students. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Helping students reach their potential. What Motivates Me: Helping students accomplish their dreams. It is so important for my students to continue on with their post-secondary plans!

Educators21Bradley Central High School
Coach Rowan (Earl)
Years at Bradley: 33
Total Years in Education: 49

Position: History Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: coaching basketball, being a radio sports broadcaster, sponsoring the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, being a baseball umpire Highlight of Being an Educator: Seeing hundreds of former students become solid contributing members of our society. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Helping young people better themselves in all areas of life. What Motivates Me: The daily challenge to inspire teenagers to learn.

Educators20Silverdale Baptist Academy
Mrs. Hansard (Becky)
Years at Silverdale: 15
Total Years in Education: 27

Position: Head of School Outside of Classroom Involvement: being Regional Commissioner for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), doing grade level mentoring in my home Highlight of Being an Educator: Seeing in a student’s eyes that they “get” it. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: When I have been able to inspire the student to ask questions. What Motivates Me: The knowledge that we are equipping the leaders of tomorrow.

Educators19Walker Valley High School
Mrs. Fugate (Beth)
Years at Walker Valley: 3
Total Years in Education: 10

Position: Math Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: serving as co-sponsor of Mu Alpha Theta (honors mathematics club) Highlight of Being an Educator: Working with young people and helping them unlock their potential. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: When my students earn college credit by passing the AP exam. What Motivates Me: Exciting mathematics lessons and relationships with students.

Educators17Grace Baptist Academy
Mrs. Poff (Sherry)
Years at Grace Baptist: 21
Total Years in Education: 22

Position: Classroom Teacher and Head of English Department Outside of Classroom Involvement: being a National Honor Society adviser and class sponsor Highlight of Being an Educator: Crossing paths with former students almost everywhere I go. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: The success of my students, including one who is now a co-worker. What Motivates Me: Students who return to thank me.

Educators18Ooltewah High School
Mr. Hitchcox (Brian)
Years at Ooltewah: 7
Total Years in Education: 9

Position: Teacher and Coach Outside of Classroom Involvement: coaching baseball, coaching cross-country, sponsoring Student Council Highlight of Being an Educator: Shaping the way students see the world and teaching them to be community leaders. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Helping Student Council lead a food drive that fed 75 families. What Motivates Me: Knowing that today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders.

Educators26Central High School
Mr. Seals (Shawn)
Years at Central: 8
Total Years in Education: 13

Position: U.S. History Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: being the school’s yearbook adviser Highlight of Being an Educator: Connecting the past with current times. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Having 100% of my students score “proficient” or “advanced” on the history end of course exam. What Motivates Me: My students, because they make me think.

Educators22East Ridge High School
Mr. Carson (Michael)
Years at East Ridge: 1
Total Years in Education: 10

Position: English Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: being on the graduation committee and the SWPBIS committee Highlight of Being an Educator: Getting to learn every day alongside my students. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Having U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Governor Bill Haslam watch me teach. What Motivates Me: Seeing students realize and celebrate their successes.

Educators23The Howard School
Mrs. James (Amelia)
Years at Howard: 5
Total Years in Education: 30

Position: Math Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: tutoring students who are struggling in math Highlight of Being an Educator: The thrill of seeing a student grasp a difficult concept. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Receiving commendation from my former students as they find success in life. What Motivates Me: The knowledge that I make a difference in students’ lives.

Educators24Chattanooga High School Center For Creative Arts
Ms. Smith (Marcia Merritt)
Years at Center for Creative Arts: 33
Total Years in Education: 39

Position: Piano Teacher/Accompanist Outside of Classroom Involvement: sponsoring students in talent hunts and competitions, helping them with auditions Highlight of Being an Educator: Being surrounded by so many talented and intelligent students. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Impacting students’ artistic and academic growth. What Motivates Me: Seeing students get excited about learning and developing an appreciation for the arts.

Educators25Soddy-Daisy High School
Mr. Sneed (David)
Years at Soddy-Daisy: 18
Total Years in Education: 18

Position: English Teacher Outside of Classroom Involvement: advising student council, coaching middle school soccer Highlight of Being an Educator: Helping students read classic texts and seeing them make connections to their world. Greatest Accomplishment(s) as an Educator: Being the 2012-2013 Southeast Regional Student Council Advisor of the Year and a national finalist. What Motivates Me: Eager students not afraid to take risks in learning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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