Hardin Valley Academy senior Amaya Martin, who plans to become a teacher, celebrates at a college signing ceremony with her mother, Tiffany Martin; former teacher Suzanne Sherman; and her father, Chris Martin.

Hardin Valley Academy held a college signing ceremony on Monday – to celebrate a group of future educators!

The event celebrated 10 HVA seniors who are planning to return to the classroom as educators when they graduate from college.

  • Amaya Martin, who will attend Middle Tennessee State University, participated with her parents, Chris and Tiffany Martin, along with former teacher and school librarian Suzanne Sherman.

Martin said her former teacher made sure that students were always heard, and during a lesson on children’s literature she incorporated a book that featured a Black family – helping Martin feel that she was represented. “That really stuck with me,” she said.

  • Knox County Schools has made it a priority to identify and support high school students who are interested in pursuing a career in education. In some cases, college students who participate in the district’s “Grow Your Own” program can receive a salary, health care and credit toward retirement while completing their college degree.

Hope Johnson – whose mother, Maria Johnson, is a former teacher – is planning to attend Tennessee Tech, and has already spent many hours in the classroom as part of the district’s Teaching as a Profession program.

The HVA student particularly enjoyed working with elementary students, because they are just starting to learn how the world works and where they fit in:  “It’s so cool to be the avenue that opens that up for them.”

During a ceremony on April 11, HVA student Hope Johnson and her mother, Maria, celebrated Hope’s decision to attend Tennessee Tech.

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