By Charlotte Underwood 

CARYVILLE, 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 Donna Jones. She is the 100th teacher featured on WLAF!

Jones was born and raised in Campbell County. She moved to Knoxville for college, but returned when she started teaching. 

Donna Jones is pictured with her husband Ben and son Rowan.

She said she didn’t initially know she wanted to be an educator and studied Anthropology for her undergraduate degree.  She spent a year after undergrad school “working in a corporate cubicle farm and was miserable.” 

“I was talking to Jennifer (Wilson) Bolton about it, and she had me shadow her one day when she was teaching in Morgan County, and I loved it!”

Jones said she knew then she was going back to school to become teacher.

She has been married to her husband Ben for two years, and they have one son Rowan. This is her 12th year teaching in Campbell County.  

Jones taught at White Oak Elementary from 2009-2020.  She and her husband moved to Denver after their son was born and recently moved back.

She said she was glad to be home in Campbell County.

“I missed my family and friends, but I also missed having a community. I’m definitely glad to be back in my village,” Jones said. 

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

This is her first year teaching at Caryville Elementary, which she’s “very excited about.”

She said she is constantly learning from her “kiddos, co workers, and all the new ideas and studies floating around in education.”

She is currently teaching Kindergarten, which is her favorite because so many “light bulbs” go off during the year. Seeing her students experience that “light bulb” moment is her favorite part about teaching. 

“Their smiles are contagious when they get something they have been working on!  For some students, it’s their first experience at school. You get to lay the foundation for their entire educational career. Kindergarteners are also hilarious! We have so much fun. I have always loved school and joked that I wanted to be a professional student. Teaching fits that dream,” Jones said.  

Jones said she had several “amazing teachers” in Campbell County schools that impacted her life greatly. 

“Larry Parks, Angie Crutchfield, Don and Karen Hendricks, Fred Grantham, Eugene Prater…. the list could go on and on.  These educators prepared me for so much more than standardized tests,” Jones said, adding that her goal is to leave that kind of impression on her students.  

“I want them to be successful in and out of the classroom.  When Mike Miller was my principal at White Oak, he always reminded us to let our decisions be driven by what is best for our kids.  We keep showing up because it’s what is best for our kids. That’s why we do what we do.  You just have to remember that when it gets tough… and it will get tough.” 

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 – 08/11/2022-6AM)

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