By Charlotte Underwood
JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Diana Thomason is WLAF-Eagle Tire Pro’s teacher of the week. She teaches Spanish at Campbell County High School. She began teaching at CCHS in 1977 when she taught Spanish I, Spanish II, Psychology and Sociology.
Thomason was born in Oak Ridge Tennessee, to a mother from Puerto Rico and a father from Louisiana. According to Thomason, her parents met in Virginia.
She learned Spanish after moving to Puerto Rico when she was young.
“When I was 12, they divorced, and I moved to Puerto Rico to live with my mother. At that time, there was no cable, Google translate, etc. I learned Spanish the hard way: trying to figure out what everyone was saying” Thomason said.
Teaching runs in Thomason’s family, as her mother was a teacher for 53 years including teaching at Clinton High School during integration of the Clinton 12 and the bombing of Clinton High School. Thomason’s grandmother was also a teacher.
However, being a teacher was not her first choice of a career as she had planned on being a social worker like her aunt.
“I do think that things happen for a reason and since 1977, I have been in education,” Thomason said.
She started out teaching Spanish I, Spanish II, Psychology and Sociology at Campbell County High School in 1977. Thompson retired in 2007 to work as a translator in Knox County, but returned to Campbell County to work under her former student, Principal Jamie Wheeler.
Thomason attended the University of Tennessee and graduated in1976 with a BS and in 1987 with an MS. Attending school at UT is how she ended up teaching in Campbell County. While she lived in Massey Hall at UT her dorm supervisors were Carolyn Cox and Mary Ann Kenik who were already working in Campbell County at that time.
She said she has enjoyed teaching over the years and that “students will keep you young at heart if they don’t take you to the brink first.”
“I believe it is important to work with students not only in academics but also help them with responsibility and discipline through encouragement and a helpful hand. It is very gratifying to see a light bulb go off in a student’s eyes when they get it,” Thomason said.
Over the years she said she has taught many students with different abilities and mindsets and that it’s important to stay busy mentally and physically. Thomason has retired twice, but still works part-time because “she enjoys what she does and wants to encourage the students to the same.”
Every Thursday, WLAF’s Charlotte Underwood features the WLAF – Eagle Tire Pros teacher of the week. That educator also receives a free oil change from Eagle Tire Pros. To nominate a teacher for teacher of the week honors, please send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/27/2022-6AM)