By Charlotte Underwood
JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – School is back to in person learning and WLAF is back to saluting our county educators. This week’s teacher honor goes to Gina Leidolf Adrian.
She teaches English II and III at Campbell County High School and is in her 14th year as a teacher. Adrian said she was inspired to go to college and later follow a career in education because of an English Honors teacher at her high school.
“When I was in high school, I was a member of our school newspaper staff. The sponsor was a woman named Kay Davis who taught honors English. While I was not seen by most as “college material,” Mrs. Davis encouraged me,” Adrian said.
She did not initially major in education, but did well in college and earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees simultaneously. “Her (Mrs. Davis) response to me when I made the Dean’s List during my first semester was a matter of fact, “I am not surprised.”
When Adrian was in her 40s, she made the decision to return to college to complete her masters degree.
“I saw it as an opportunity to switch gears and become a teacher (a desire I had long held but was discouraged from pursuing when I initially went to college). It was my hope that I could be someone’s “Mrs. Davis,” and encourage them as she encouraged me.”
She said her favorite part of teaching is the lightbulb moments that teachers get to witness. “These are the moments when a student grasps something after struggling or those moments when they realize that whatever their life may have been up unto a particular moment that, through pursuing an education, they can shift gears and start down a different path,” Adrian said.
Despite the challenges created by COVID, one of the ‘blessings” has been access to technology, according to Adrian. “TEAMs, for example, has opened up new avenues for completing work, assigning make-up, etc. I see myself continuing to use it beyond COVID. Most students are comfortable with technology, and some are even more likely to participate in online discussions.
She said students and teachers alike have risen to meet the challenges and changes this school year has had. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 01/07/2021-6AM)