By Charlotte Underwood 

JACKSBORO, 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 Erica Simpson. 


Erica Simpson is Eagle Tire Pros teacher of the week. She teaches at Jacksboro Middle School. She is pictured here with her family. (Left to right) daughter-in-law Katy Simpson, Erica Simpson, daughter Morgan Simpson. (Back row) Her son Ethan Simpson and her husband, Tony Simpson.

She teaches sixth grade English Language Arts at Jacksboro Middle School and has been an educator for 22 years. 

Simpson grew up in Jacksboro, attending Jacksboro Elementary and Jacksboro Middle Schools. She is a 1982 graduate from Campbell County High School. She attended college at the University of Tennessee, obtaining her degree in chemistry and biology. She also later, obtained her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Simpson is married and has two children. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. 

“We do a lot of traveling together, I love to travel outside of the country; we go on a lot of adventures,” Simpson said. 

She is very excited to become a grandmother and is expecting her first grandchild in November. 

Prior to becoming a teacher, Simpson said she had originally wanted to become an optometrist, which is why she “ended up with a chemistry and biology degree.”

“Then I got to thinking I want to go back to school and make a difference. I want to help kids become a better version of who they really are. I’m a people person,” Simpson said.

She “loves” teaching middle school and said “every day is exciting” and her students are a “great group of kids.”

Simpson started out teaching chemistry and biology at Oakdale High School in Morgan County. She has been teaching at Jacksboro Middle School for the past five years.

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

Throughout her teaching career, she has taught all grades except third grade and fifth grade. 

“I’ve been a librarian, a P.E. teacher, pretty much all of it. When you teach at a small school, you get to teach a little bit of everything,” Simpson said.

She also spent time as an English Instructional Coach, which instilled in her how much she loved to teach students reading. 

Simpson said she loved teaching English Language Arts and loved teaching at Jacksboro Middle School and “working with such a great group of people.”

“The people are wonderful, the administration is wonderful and they all make it great. They are an amazing dedicated group of teachers,” Simpson said.

She had several “inspirational teachers” of her own over the years that “certainly made a difference in her life.”

“I had some great teachers in the past that inspired me. These were Larry Nidiffer, Linda Heatherly, Charlotte Dagley and Carolyn Cox. They instilled a love of learning in me,” Simpson said. 

She tries to instill that same love of learning in her own students.

Her favorite part of teaching is “helping kids believe in themselves.” 

“Truly I really do love just trying to inspire kids to believe in themselves. They know I’m a storyteller. Every kid needs a life lesson, everyday; they’re always attentive to absorb that. It’s a job that you can really make a difference,” Simpson 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@1450wlaf.com (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/26/2023-6AM)