By Charlotte Underwood
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Teachers make a difference in their students lives each and every day. For many students, having a teacher who cares and goes that extra mile can be the difference in a successful education and graduation. We’ve all had that teacher who inspired us or helped in some way. That’s why WLAF and Eagle Tire Pros salute all of our hard working educators with a weekly feature.
This week’s featured educator is Rita Goins-Claiborne.
Born and raised in Campbell County, she has a teaching and supervision career that spans more than 50 years.
Her career started as a teaching assistant and she worked for 4 ½ years at which time she commuted evenings and summers and received a B.S. in Elementary Education at the University of Tennessee.
Afterwards, she started teaching second grade at Caryville Elementary School, before eventually transferring to Ridgewood as a 3rd and 4th grade teacher where she taught for 17 years.
“For the next 28 years, I have been in administration as a Coordinator and Supervisor. During that time, I also served as Co-Assistant Director of Schools for 12 years,” Goins-Claiborne said.
She continued her education at the University of Tennessee in the summers and evenings while working for the Board of Education and received her M.S., EdS, and Doctorate. She also taught Masters and EdS classes for the University of Tennessee, Tennessee Tech, and L.M.U. for 14 years during the evenings and summers.
According to Goins-Claiborne, it was her parents that inspired her career in education the most.
“My greatest influence was my parents. They stressed the importance of a good education, work ethic, family values, and reaching mine and my siblings’ fullest potential. They taught us by being splendid examples,” Goins-Claiborne said.
Her favorite part of being in education is that it allows her to “keep learning and growing in knowledge.”
“I can help students build self-esteem and believe in themselves and their ability to learn no matter their background or abilities,” Goins-Claiborne said.
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 email@example.com. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/25/2022-6AM)