News‎ > ‎

Judge encourages educators who make a difference when they enter the classroom

posted Oct 3, 2016, 8:01 AM by Chris Whitehorne   [ updated Oct 3, 2016, 8:02 AM ]
Juvenile Court Judge Kenlyn Foster reflected on the many educators who shaped her life when they walked into their classrooms, as she delivered the keynote speech Tuesday night at Blount County Schools’ Excellence in Education Banquet.

A 1986 graduate of Heritage High School, Foster recalled James Goodson, who inspired her creativity, Dorothy Petree, who taught her how to write, and Terri Bradshaw who taught her the value of being practical. She remembered Alan Martin, who threw a rock against a classroom wall to demonstrate Newton’s First Law of Motion, and Jane Pesterfield, who tried —unsuccessfully — to teach Foster to adopt neatness as a habit, among other teachers who shaped her life. Benny Dalton taught her the value of community, Foster said, and she remembered the late John Davis Jr., “who taught me what it means to be a member of a school family.” 


Reflecting on the symbolic value of doors in our culture, and a threshold being a point at which change begins, she noted that when someone walks through a door they can teach someone something new, teach something old in a new way, make a friend, encourage someone, learn from someone, make a difference and change a life.
Then she encouraged the teachers and others who walk through Blount County classroom doors each day to fill in the blank at the end of the sentence, “When I walk through this door, I will …”

Top Teachers

During the banquet at Heritage High School, Blount County Schools honored dozens of teachers representing each school, as well as classified staff, administrators and alumni. Three Blount County educators honored as 2015 Teacher of the Year will go on to compete for the honor of Tennessee Teacher of the Year:
• Amber Monroe of Porter Elementary, Pre-K to grade 4;
• Greg Hathcock, Prospect Elementary, grades 5-8; and
• Miri Blair, William Blount, grades 9-12.


The schools also recognized Christen Williamson of Eagleton Middle as Reading Teacher of the Year, Jama Anderson of Mary Blount Elementary as Mathematics Teacher of the Year and Terry Roberts of Fairview Elementary as Classified Employee of the Year.

Technology Innovators of the Year are Courtney Stewart, Melissa Bennett, Halle Timpson and Jeff Nuchols.


The honorees for Excellence in Instructional Leadership were Stan Painter, Friendsville Elementary principal, and Jed West, Walland Elementary principal.


Alumni of the Year were Jennifer Higdon, Timothy O’Malley, Charles Roberts and John Davis Jr.

Amy Beth Miller-The Daily Times