Roushdi and Moore: Rotary Club outstanding teachers

Susan EspirituFountain City, Our Town Youth, West Knox County

The Rotary Club of Knoxville honored teachers Alex Roushdi and Mitchell Moore at their noon luncheon Tuesday, May 14, at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Knoxville.

Alex Roushdi, a special ed teacher at Amherst Elementary School, and Mitchell Moore, a vocal music teacher at Farragut High School, were recognized as the Rotary Club of Knoxville 2024 Outstanding Knox County Teachers of the Year.

“The Rotary Club of Knoxville is inspired to be able to honor great educators like Alex Roushdi and Mitchell Moore,” said Lynne Fugate, chair of the club’s Teacher Recognition Committee. “Our honorees, like so many dedicated teachers, truly make a difference in the lives of our children every day.”

Alex Roushdi, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee, has been a special ed CDC (comprehensive development classroom) teacher at Amherst for 10 years.

“National statistics show that over 50 percent of special education teachers leave the field within the first five years,” wrote Principal Trina Spista in her recommendation letter. “In her tenth year of service, Alex Roushdi defies this statistic with dedication, selflessness and passion. For the past 10 years as a special education teacher at Amherst Elementary, Alex has impacted the lives of not only the students she serves but also all of the students in our school.

“Walking into Alex’s classroom, one is immediately aware that they didn’t just walk into a classroom where learning takes place, but they entered a safe space for kids, where they know they are loved, cared for and always encouraged, even when their challenges might get in their way. Alex views her students’ unique learning needs as opportunities for not only her students to learn and show their knowledge in different ways, but to educate other students that all students learn differently, and not only is that okay, but that is what makes us all special!

“Alex’s commitment to her students doesn’t end at the end of her workday. She is often attending her students’ sporting events in the evenings to show support and to cheer them on, and past students love to come and visit her.

“Alex knows the importance of real-world skills and the impact they have on her students. This is why Alex plans multiple community field trips such as going to the local grocery store to select food items off of a shopping list, paying for those items, and bringing them back to school to cook a ‘Friendsgiving’ meal together in their classroom.”

Mitchell Moore graduated from Georgia College & State University with a bachelor of music education degree and earned his master of music in choral conducting at UT.

“[Mitchell] Moore started at FHS in 2020,” wrote academy administrator Cara Vaughn in her nomination letter, “when the chorale program had fewer than 20 students in it. In four years, Mr. Moore has grown the program to over seven sections and more students are requesting vocal music courses every semester! To say that he brought our chorale program ‘back,’ is a true understatement!”

The Farragut High choir has traveled all over the region and state of Tennessee, most recently opening the Tennessee Senate session with the national anthem. In 2023, they performed at Carnegie Hall.

Each winner received a $500 check, along with a $250 gift certificate to A&W Office Supply.

All of us have a story and I want to tell yours! Send them to


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *