Elementary school teacher and WGU Tennessee alumna Cherity Hunt has been honored as the 2019–2020 Whitesburg Elementary School Teacher of the Year in Morristown, Tenn. Cherity, a first grade teacher, received her Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from WGU Tennessee in 2013 — and cites the program with transforming her as an educator.
Cherity’s journey through higher education did not take a traditional route.
She began her career as a librarian and media specialist at Whitesburg Elementary after earning her bachelor of arts degree from Tusculum University in 2009, and a few years later sought a master’s degree. However, with a young son and another baby on the way, she needed the schedule and cost-adaptability that traditional brick-and-mortar universities didn’t offer. Cherity ultimately enrolled in WGU Tennessee on the recommendation of a fellow teacher.
“I wanted the flexibility to continue my work as a teacher, be an effective mother, and advance my education,” Cherity said. “At WGU, I knew what my classes would hold and how to pace myself, so I could evaluate my roles as a teacher and mother and still complete my degree.”
During her time at WGU, her devoted mentor, the cost-effective tuition, and self-paced coursework kept her on track and allowed her to thrive in her classes and all areas of life. The competency-based curriculum gave her necessary experience, built her confidence, and transformed her as a teacher. Most importantly, it taught her how to put students first and keep them engaged — crucial skills that led to her award.
“At WGU Tennessee, I became a better educator, deepened my knowledge of teaching, and changed the way I look at assessment. The coursework shaped me into the kind of teacher I want to be, which is student-focused with the learners at the center of the environment.”
A joint resolution has been introduced by state Sen. Steve Southerland (R-Morristown) to officially honor Cherity with the “Teacher of the Year” title and recognize her for her passion and remarkable tenure as a teacher. The resolution cites Cherity’s extensive experience, ability to forge relationships with students, and leadership among her colleagues as a few of the many driving forces behind her award. Upon approval, the resolution congratulates Cherity for her honor, commends her service, and salutes her talent and compassion.