JTG Superstar Specialists – Chana Lymon

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.


By |2018-09-26T16:13:11+00:00September 26th, 2018|Academics, Specialist Stories, Uncategorized|Comments Off on JTG Superstar Specialists – Chana Lymon

About the Author:

Call it John Dwyer 2.0 After 29 years as a TV Broadcaster, Dwyer is President & CEO of Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG). JTG, an affiliate of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), is a non-profit organization dedicated to stewarding at-risk high school students toward graduation with follow through toward post-secondary education and/or job opportunities. Associated with JAG since 1981, JTG consistently obtains a graduation rate above 90-percent with a full-time job rate at nearly 70-percent. The most vulnerable, socioeconomically challenged young men and women, graduate with self-esteem with the realization and skill set to achieve success after high school. Does it get much better than that? Dwyer, is a resident of the Nashville area since 1996. He was sports director and/or a news anchor at TV stations in Nashville, Jacksonville, Florida; Ft. Myers, FL and his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. He is a 10-time Mid-South Region Emmy Award winner, along with winning numerous other awards. He is also a former Heisman Trophy voter. John is a 1985 graduate of Butler University, where he majored in Radio/TV while minoring in journalism. An avid running (or “plodder” as he likes to call himself), Dwyer runs in Nashville’s annual marathon. (Current tally: 7 Full, 10 Half). He accomplished a goal, once thought out of reach, be qualifying and running in the Boston Marathon in 2009. Married to Lynley, Dwyer resides in East Nashville with his wife and dog Lola. Dwyer served on the Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee board from 2006-2012, and was board chairman for three years.

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COVID-19 Update

JAG and JTG Statement in Response to COVID-19

 As we are all feeling, COVID-19 has shifted how the world operates in a way that is unprecedented for our generation, and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG), one of 39 JAG state affiliates, are no exception. The impact of the coronavirus and the immediate danger it presents has closed our education system, directly affecting students and their families. This is especially detrimental to JTG students, who often look to their JTG Specialists and classmates for steadiness and security in their lives.

We also recognize that our students and their families are disproportionately affected by the closure of restaurants, stores, bars, and other service-industry places of work. These jobs often provide the entry-level opportunities our students need to enter the workforce. A difficult environment is likely to continue for some time, so we are in the process to reposition our training and support to make the best case for our JTG students to be considered for employment.

At a time when we must social distance ourselves to protect each other, the thousands of JTG students we serve need us more than ever.  We are responding to and encouraged by the requests from many JTG Specialists to access online learning modules and platforms provided by JAG educational partners like the Skills to Succeed Academy, EverFi, and Tallo. We are excited to see the interest in the JAG Genius and the use of virtual connectivity and the online sense of community – something we all need in these times.

Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG) recognize we need to modify the way we provide support and deliver competencies to our students during this time of uncertainty. In response to the way business and education are adapting (in real time) to COVID-19,  JAG National is establishing new protocols and processes to ensure full, virtual engagement with our young people to ensure they have the competencies they need to meet the very competitive job market ahead. That is why JAG is providing the immediate recommendations below that are of highest priority, which impact the day-to-day lives of our students and Specialists. Like our world right now, please know that these are in real-time and subject to change.


Moving forward, we will have ongoing recommendations that will be built into new practices that will serve as both short- and long-term solutions to continue JAG’s data-driven model. This will help us remain accountable to our students, our partners, funders, and each other.