Brooke Bianchi-Pennington, an English teacher at Hardin Valley Academy, received 2017 Outstanding Teacher of the Year honors from the Rotary Club of Knoxville, which included a $500 check and $250 gift certificate from A&W Office Supply.
In his introduction, HVA STEM Academy principal George Ashe said Bianchi-Pennington is a teacher who leads Live Action Role Play (LARP) and inspires her students to create blogs and Youtube videos about their studies of literature. He said she strives to keep “reading and thinking relevant and exciting for our students.”
Bianchi-Pennington received her bachelor’s degree in English literature and her master’s in secondary education from the University of Tennessee and is currently working on her doctorate in literary studies, with an emphasis on children’s and young adult literature.
In response, Bianchi-Pennington thanked the school and Rotary and said, “If students are going to be able to manage the masses of information that is thrown at them and use them in a creative way, we must teach them the process of accessing, curating, evaluating and synthesizing the facts they see.”
Also receiving Teacher of the Year honors from Rotary Club of Knoxville was Heather Palmer, the librarian at Dogwood Elementary School.