Everitt, Elkins, Peterson: KCS Teachers of the Year

Susan EspirituEast Knox, Karns/Hardin Valley, West Knoxville

Knox County Schools honored nearly 200 educators on February 27 during the annual Teacher of the Year banquet at Knoxville Convention Center. See your school’s honorees here.

Three educators emerged as the district-wide winners: Jessica Everitt, Natalie Elkins and Logan Peterson.

Jessica Everitt, Hardin Valley Elementary computer science teacher, is the district-wide PreK-4 Teacher of the Year

Karen Sharpe, Hardin Valley assistant principal, says Everitt is an extraordinary educator who truly believes in the power of learning and her students are motivated and excited about all that she brings to the classroom. Sharpe says Everitt excites the everyone with her ability to enrich and advance her students through real-world learning.

Everitt says, “I teach with the philosophy that each child is someone’s whole world, and I teach them about the world around them and the opportunities that are there for them. I want each student to be successful in life and that means knowing the opportunities that they will have. This is why I think it is so important to broaden their understanding of the career field, including STEM careers that exist today, and those that may exist in the future.”

Natalee Elkins, Holston Middle School performing arts teacher, is the district-wide 5-8 Teacher of the Year.

Kathryn Lutton, Holston Middle School’s principal, says Elkins’s zeal, energy and visionary spirit are infectious. She dreams big and takes students, parents and staff along with her. In fact, she is not only a consummate professional and colleague, but she teaches several staff members’ children, including Lutton’s, so she has seen first-hand the love she has for children and the level of her commitment to their continued excellence. In essence, Lutton says Natalee Elkins is the kind of staff member schools create cultures around and she couldn’t think of anyone to better to be named as the Knox County Schools Middle School Teacher of the Year.

Natalee Elkins says of the award: “I am so honored and humbled to be named our district’s Teacher of the Year. Holston Middle School is a special place. I want to shout it from the rooftops every single day! Our administration is excellent. Our staff is incredibly caring and well-equipped to teach this generation of future leaders. Teaching is a tough profession, but so very rewarding. I have also been blessed with an amazingly supportive family who has walked with me every step of this journey. Thank you to the excellent educators and mentors who have led and guided me throughout my life. Finally, thank you to all of the students I’ve had the privilege of teaching over the last 20 years. YOU are my why!”

Logan Peterson, Bearden High School social studies teacher, is the district-wide 9-12 Teacher of the Year.

Bearden High School PTSO recognized Peterson: “He is awesome.” Knox County Schools said that Peterson is finding new ways to engage Bearden High students in US government and economics classes to prepare them to be active, involved citizens.

Recipients were nominated by their peers and selected using the Tennessee Department of Education’s guidelines for Teacher of the Year.

All of us have a story and I want to tell yours! Send them to susan@knoxtntoday.com


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