Twenty-two years after the school’s opening in 1999, The King’s Academy currently has almost 200 staff members. This number has grown every year since the school’s opening. Every April the school celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week. Teachers and staff who have worked for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years were celebrated last week for their dedication and hard work.
High school staff members who were recognized this year were Mrs. Dairys Hernandez (5), Mrs. Anna Ragan (5), Mrs. Carolina Santander (10), Mrs. Michelle Solomon (10), Mrs. Monica Wilkes (10), Mrs. Jennifer Newsom (10), Mrs. Laura Kennedy (15), Mrs. Kelli Sellers (15), Mrs. Kristen Cundiff (15) and Mrs. Anna Patterson (20).
Beta Club sponsor and assistant teacher, Mrs. Wilkes describes what the staff was like 10 years ago.
“I started working at King’s in 2011, when [my son] Noah was in first grade. It was just the lower building then, and there had never been a senior class on Monday/Wednesday.”
Many of these teachers and assistants have been through numerous changes and phases over the years. From different colored doc folders to renovations and new buildings, faculty members have adapted to new changes over their many years of work.
“For a few years, we only assisted one teacher, so I did L.A. for ninth and tenth all day long. It was quite a lot of paperwork, but it was good to have the same class two years in a row,” said Mrs. Wilkes. The teachers, assistant teachers, faculty and administration accomplish so much behind the scenes to help the school flourish. Teachers take so much time outside of school to grade papers and make their lesson plans.
“Although the Lord has given me an enjoyable platform here from which to teach, He has also given me an amazing arena in which to learn. He has used the people who make up this place to teach ‘this teacher’ some valuable life lessons,” said high school teacher, Mrs. Kennedy.
Mrs. Kennedy has worked at TKA for 15 years. She started out as the seventh grade history teacher when her two boys were in elementary school. She has taught many subjects since then, including speech, Bible, freshman focus and geography.
“After I graduated college, I taught at Little River Elementary School, then left to stay home when I had children. Mrs. Camp told me of an opening for one seventh grade History class,” said Mrs. Kennedy. “I've always loved teaching, so taking on just one class let me enjoy getting back in the classroom.” Mrs. Brannen, the head of school, recognizes the high school teachers with an assembly and a gift before school starts on the Monday and Tuesday morning of Teacher Appreciation Week.
“I appreciate our administration and the way they support the teachers and carve out special ways to make us feel appreciated,” said Mrs. Kennedy “The '15 year’ part felt surreal for me.”