JACKSBORO, 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.

Ali Braden is this week’s Eagle Tire Pros “Teacher of the Week,” and she is now in her 13th year of teaching; six in Kindergarten and seven in Pre-K. Miss Ali, as her students call her, has spent her career at Jacksboro Elementary School.

Ali Braden is a fourth generation teacher. Her mother, grandmothers and great grandmother were all school teachers; spanning more than 100 years.

“I had really good teachers all the way through school, and that was my inspiration to become a teacher,” said Miss Ali, a Campbell County High School graduate. My first teachers in elementary school really set the foundation for me, she adds. “At East La Follette School, Margaret Faulkner, Kindergarten, and Judy Lively, first grade, instilled my love of learning and reading. That’s why the earliest years of school are so relatable to me,” said Braden.

To nominate a teacher for teacher of the week honors, please send your nomination to  wlaf@1450wlaf.com

“I like Kindergarten and Pre-K, because typically that’s the first experience with these students, and I get to instill that love of learning and reading. It’s really neat to see that happen,” said Miss Ali.

Amanda McLain is Miss Ali’s teaching assistant as they work with 20 Pre-K students each day. “Miss Amanda has been with me all my Pre-K years, and she’s amazing. The kids love her. I love her. She was made for this; always positive and upbeat. She’s the perfect person for this,” said Miss Ali.

Ali Braden (left) and Amanda McLain have worked together the past seven years.

Miss Ali’s favorite part of teaching is seeing the students early reading development from letters to sounds, putting that together to writing words to reading words. “Seeing that light bulb light up is fun,” said Miss Ali.

Pre-K helps students, ages four and five, build relationships, develop socially and academically, according to Braden. “I think Pre-K is really important, crucial to a students development building confidence for the love of school entering Kindergarten,” said Miss Ali.

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@1450wlaf.com (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/02/2023-6AM)