The College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences’ Office of School Based Experiences (OSBE) hosted the 2019 Tribute to Educators Celebration on April 30, 2019, in Thompson-Boling Arena. Teacher Candidates and school partners in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Special Education, Art, English as a Second Language, Secondary Education, Middle Grades, Agricultural Education, Music Education, VolsTeach and World Languages were celebrated.
Arriving for the event, guests were welcomed by the soothing sounds of the Knox Jazz Youth Orchestra. They did an amazing job welcoming our candidates, families, mentors, faculty, staff and special guests. The event opened with a warm welcome from OSBE director, Geri Landry. Interim Associate Dean of Professional Licensure and Director, Graduate School of Education, David Cihak, welcomed the attendees with a special thank you to parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, significant others, children, grandparents, grandchildren, faculty, graduate assistants, staff, mentors and administrators; all those who helped the teacher candidates make it through each and every day of the program which brought them to the ceremony as teacher candidates.
Jud Laughter, associate professor of English Education, introduced the keynote speakers for the event, Skikila Smith, teacher candidate in the English Education program. Skikila shared her hard fought battle from childhood to where she is today and the impact of teachers throughout her life. Sarah Edge, Essence Smith & Camiah Wilson, all from Austin-East Magnet High School, also spoke about the importance of teachers and how their paths were altered due to their influence.
Recognition was then given to each group of teacher candidates from the department head in their area of study. Afterwards, students were gathered for photos and encouraged to remember their mentors, the impact they had upon their learning process, and encouraged to someday be a mentor for other upcoming teachers in the future.