By Charlotte Underwood 

PIONEER, 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 educator is Elk Valley Elementary STEM Schools’s Joshua Hicks.

He grew up in Jellico, attending Jellico Elementary and Jellico High School before going to East Tennessee State University. Hicks majored/minored in Psychology and Sociology. He continued his education at the University of the Cumberlands, where he earned a Master of Arts in Teaching.

Joshua Hicks is in his first year as an educator.

Hicks teaches 5th and 6th grade Math and Science at Elk Valley Elementary STEM School. 

“This is my first year, and I love it. The people here are great to work with, and the students love to help,” Hicks said.

His first inspiration to become a teacher was his own 5th grade Math teacher, Mr. Eddie Archer. 

“He went above and beyond what anybody would have expected, and classes were fun and exciting. I aspire to be that kind of teacher. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying,” Hicks said.

According to Hicks, his favorite part of his job is getting to know the students. 

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

“There are so many different personalities, and there’s never a dull moment. I also enjoyed beating the kids at air hockey during our field trip to Main Event. I’m currently undefeated,” Hicks said.

On the hard days, he tries to find ways to make the kids smile or laugh. 

“Even if I can only get one or two of them in a better mood, it helps me out as well,” Hicks 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 – 05/25/2023-6AM)