By Charlotte Underwood
JACKSBORO, 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 teacher is Campbell County High Biology teacher Kanoa King.
She was born in North Carolina where she lived with her parents on her grandparent’s tobacco farm until at age five her family moved to Oneida to be closer to her dad’s parents.
King grew up in Oneida, attending Oneida Schools and Scott County Schools. She graduated fifth in her class from Scott County High School in 1990.
After high school, she attended Roane State Community College in Harriman and earned an A.S in Pre-Medicine and Biology. For a while she worked in Knoxville for an optometrist managing four offices, but left the position after deciding to start a family.
“After a divorce, I moved my family back to Oneida in 2011. A friend of mine encouraged me to try the 2+2 Elementary Education program at Roane State/TTU as it could be completed in its entireity at the Huntsville campus,” King said.
She became a substitute teacher for Oneida Special School District for a few months to test the waters and decided that teaching was the direction she wanted to go.
Three years later she graduated cum laude from TTU with a B.S in Elementary Education and endorsements in elementary education, middle school education and high school Biology. Due to family illness King postponed pursuing a teaching job, but in the summer of 2019 she was offered a job teaching Biology at CCHS. This is her fourth year of teaching Biology at the high school.
She lives in Oneida with her three children, two sons age 20 and 16 and her 14 year old daughter.
“My oldest son attends Roane State in Huntsville; my other son attends Oneida High School where he plays football and baseball. My daughter attends Oneida Middle School where she is a member of the “Pride of the Tribe” marching band. I have been in a relationship with Jr. Evans of LaFollette since 2013. My family has two dogs, a German shepherd named Sassy and a Pomeranian mix named Prissy,” King said.
King said she had multiple inspirations for following a career in education including her dad and grandparents.
“I was fascinated by my grandmother’s ability to ‘play’ Jeopardy as she watched it every evening. I always admired her intelligence and tenacity; she had returned to college in her 50’s to earn her B.S in Psychology,” King said. Her dad also always “stressed the importance of a good education.”
“My dad and grandparents instilled in us how important an education is. My grandfather had to quit school after sixth grade, and my grandmother was forced to quit school before earning her diploma so that she could help on the family farm. She was always proud that she returned to school a couple of years later and earned her high school diploma,” King said.
She also said she “was blessed with amazing teachers and their love of teaching instilled in me a love of learning from an early age, so teaching seemed like a perfect fit.”
King’s favorite part of teaching is her students.
“Most of them are quick to tell me they don’t like Biology and don’t understand why it’s a required class. I love the challenge of trying to change their minds and gain their interest; seeing a student’s ‘light bulb’ come on as I’m teaching is amazingly rewarding,” King said.
She always tells her students “she is a mother first and that “they are all my kids.”
“I believe that every student is capable of doing anything they set their mind to if they are willing to work for it, and I tell them that,” King said, adding that she tries to let the kids know she believes in them even when they don’t believe in themselves.
“I also want them to know that life happens, but that doesn’t mean their dreams are unattainable … with hard work and perseverance they can reach any goal they set for themselves. I want my students to know that I truly want them to succeed in my class and in life because they are my kids,” King 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 – 09/08/2022-6AM)