Growing up in Tullahoma, I had the privilege to live in a town that encouraged me to grow, learn and thrive. During high school, I participated in a number of extracurricular activities, including the band program which granted me the opportunity to compete with top students throughout the state through the Governor’s School program. The town’s school system and community fostered a strong sense of self and love of learning. This town is a special town. It’s a town where everyone really does know your name. As parents, we have the opportunity to know our children’s teachers, librarians, and friends’ families. As children, my siblings and I knew we had a community that cared about us and wanted to invest in our futures.
After graduating Tullahoma High School, I went to UTK to pursue a BS in Mathematics. Upon graduation, I taught at an inner-city school in one of the nation’s largest school districts. I then taught in a coal-mining community in Northeast Tennessee for four years. Between these two deeply impoverished districts, I learned that kids are kids, and that everyone desires and deserves love and respect.
I met my husband through a mutual friend and on our first date we realized that we had crossed paths several times over the years as we made our livings in Knoxville. Josh’s zest for life was nothing short of infectious. One afternoon ten years ago we looked at our calendar and we had a conversation: “What are you doing at the end of next month?” “Not much. Why?” “Do you want to run away to Virginia and get married?”
And our life that we have made has been nothing short of amazing ever since.
This town has given me so much that when we were expecting our oldest son, we bought a house around the corner from my parents. Josh and I are so proud to raise three kids here. Oliver (9) and Murray (6) make frequent treks through the woods to visit their grandparents, Win and Dianne Phipps, and little Josie (3) is doing her best to keep up with her older brothers. Most summer nights this trio spends their time chasing fireflies, building Legos, or reading books from the library with my mother-in-law, Gale Dunn. Eight years ago my husband established a lawn care business, Tullahoma Lawn Care.
Excited to give back to this community that helped mold me into the person I am, I became a part of that same school system that I attended as a student, but as a math teacher. My time at THS was memorable to say the least. I was voted Teacher of the Year in 2015 by my colleagues at THS. I worked with my students to teach them the value of giving back to their community. The curriculum I developed for my at-risk students enabled them to host charity fundraisers, develop exhibits that were displayed in the Hands on Science Center and even had them present to the city council. I was also honored to serve as President of the local Education Association.
Inspired in part by my husband’s small business, I founded a business of my own: Student Support Services at Home. I have enjoyed helping students of all ages and abilities grow in mathematics and make significant gains in their ACT scores, but I am most impassioned by seeing them grow as people.
I am an avid learner and listener wanting to understand and know the needs of the community at large.