Blackman High School teacher Andrea Holder has been awarded the honor of the 2017 Rutherford County District Level High School Teacher of the Year.
She will be recognized at the banquet on March 13th at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Holder originates from Gulfport, Mississippi, where she attended elementary and middle school. Then, she moved to Franklin, Tennessee, where she attended and graduated from Centennial High School. In high school, Holder was an involved student, serving as student body president as well as maintaining good grades.
“I loved high school. I think that’s why I came back to be a teacher,” said Holder.
After high school, Holder returned to her home state to attend the University of Mississippi. She majored in broadcast journalism, with hopes of being a news anchor. She had always wanted to be a teacher, but she put that dream on the backburner to try something new in college.
Holder loved the idea of journalism until she discovered the reality of the career. She did not see a life for herself where she made $20,000 a year and worked all night. This lead her to abandon her career as a journalist.
After college, Holder worked different jobs, such as a wedding planner, until one day, she received an email about getting a certification in teaching. She had always wanted to be a teacher, so this was the perfect sign.
This lead her to go back to school at Belhaven College in Mississippi and then finished her degree at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. Holder now has a Master’s degree in Administration.
In 2010, Holder began teaching at Blackman High School.
At Blackman, Holder serves as an Sophomore English teacher, speech teacher, student council sponsor, and an administrative dean. As an administrative dean, she assists the vice principals with their tasks, such as checking on tardies and behavioral issues.
“Mrs. Holder is a joy to work with every day! She has great rapport with her students, and her enthusiasm regarding her teaching is contagious with everyone she comes in contact with. She is MOST deserving of District-wide High School Teacher Of The Year!!!!,” said Dr. Connifey-Marlin, Vice Principal
Holder recounted one of her most fond memories as a teacher.
“My very first teaching assignment in Mississippi, I was assigned a class of tenth grade students who had all failed tenth grade English previously. They were not you high achieving students, and I had never taught a day in my life. This was probably my greatest learning experience. I really bonded to that group; it’s my favorite success story,” said Holder.
Holder said it feels great to be noticed as one of the many teachers who cares about their students.
“As long as I love teaching, that’s what I want to do,” said Holder.