JTG teachers are referred to as”Specialists” – but really, what we call them are Superstars. This fall, we are featuring all of our superstars from across the state of Tennessee to tell us what JTG means to them and the impact they have on the students that walk into their classrooms each year. This week, we feature Columbia Central High School’s Chana Lymon.
My name is Chana Lymon, and I have been a passionate advocate for over 31 years. I received my Bachelor’s from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN, and I received my teaching certificate from TN State University. I have been teaching for 17 years, 10 at my current post as JTG Instructor at Columbia Central High School.
I joined the Jobs for TN Grads team in June of 2008. I trained that summer for three weeks and started teaching in the classroom the last week of July. I taught the first year one block at Central, and the next year I added a second block 17 miles down the road at Mount Pleasant High School. The next year they added a second block at Central, and JTG took off in a big way in Maury County. In 2015 my health got the best of me and traveling between schools became difficult. I chose to go to CHS full-time and replacement was hired at MPHS.
The love and respect I get from my students at the end of the school year makes it all worth it!
One of my most notable accomplishments is having a selected class, seven students in Mount Pleasant one semester and 27 the next, and having to turn some away because they wanted to be in that class with the cool, strict black lady! I had no idea I had that many cool points. We did very well with competitions that year and the schools combined well. Another time was when I combined Central and Mount Pleasant together for the very first time. It was like oil and water, but by the time the field trip was over it was like chili cheese fries. Interesting combo but very good! My other accomplishment and most memorable moment was my last year with both schools; I went all out with the I and I that year because I also felt it was maybe my last year teaching JTG as well. It was an emotional bonding moment with my students. The performance was perfect. Both schools combined perfectly and only rehearsed together once. I was so caught up I forgot to tape it.
On a personal level, I spend my free time shopping, reading, and traveling. What I really enjoy most is being the LaLa (grandma) to my three grandgirls. The thing that I enjoy the most about JTG is having the space and support to connect with young lives and when possible making a positive impact in their lives even if it’s in a small way.
I have several particularly successful students I enjoy following up with: Cameron Porter, who made significant strides during and after being in my class with his attitude and working with others; Desmiana Sharpe, who decided now was the time to make a change in her life and get away from what she felt was a generational curse of poverty and or progress. She took a chance and moved to New Jersey and she has never been out of Middle TN. I’m also proud of Montana Cairns, who went to school in St. Louis on a football scholarship, and Demontrae Frierson, who received the Young Entrepreneur Award from me in 2017 and is living his entrepreneurial dream working, attending school, and doing well.