By Charlotte Underwood

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – We’ve all had that teacher who inspired us or helped in some way. That’s why WLAF and Eagle Tire Pros salute one of our hard working educators with a weekly feature. 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.

This week’s featured teacher is Johna Russell. She teaches 4th Grade English Language Arts and Social Studies at LaFollette Elementary School and has been an educator for two and a half years. Previously she worked as a teaching assistant at Valley View Elementary for several years.

Johna Russell is Eagle Tire Pros Teacher of the Week. She teaches 4th grade at LaFollette Elementary School. She is pictured with her husband Garrett Russell and their two children, Ryleigh and Hayden.

Russell is a native of Campbell County and attended Wynn Elementary and graduated from Campbell County High School in 2002.

She is married to Garrett Russell and together they have two children, Ryleigh and Hayden.

Russell said she felt like teaching was in her “genetics” as “most of her family were teachers.”

Many of them have retired now, but their wisdom and mentorship have been “invaluable” to her.

To nominate a teacher for teacher of the week honors, please send your nomination to

“I come from a family of teachers, and though I worked in different areas and professions for a few years, I feel that teaching was what God had planned for me. I took some time off from pursuing my education degree to stay home with my children, and I feel like that delayed start and becoming a mother made all the difference in my relationships with my students, as I view them all now as ‘my kids’,” Russell said.

Her favorite part of teaching is “building positive relationships with her students as well as seeing them grow in their abilities and confidence throughout the year.” 

Russell also said he has amazing co-workers who have become more like family to her.

“It’s nice to have people who can relate to the challenges and celebrations that come minute by minute in this profession,” Russell 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 (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/08/2024-6AM)