SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Brandy Nothnagel, who grew up with two parents who were educators, originally saw herself working in communications, but that soon changed as soon as she gained experience as a leader in the classroom.
“I had a summer working with kids doing chemistry projects after I had graduated,” she said. “I just realized this is where I’m supposed to be. I ended up getting my masters at ETSU after that summer and fell in love. I feel like it’s my mission field, so it’s definitely something that has been a huge blessing to me.”
The Indian Springs Elementary educator teaches second grade social studies, reading and science in the same classroom she learned in as a child, but the sense of community does not stop there: Her husband also attended the school as a young student, and her children worked as students there as well.
“I think any time you return to the community where you grew up, there is a sense of pride there, and you want to do your very best to carry on the tradition of learning that’s been here since 1924,” said Indian Springs Principal Mark Pendleton.
Nothnagel told News Channel 11 that the building holds something beyond just its sense of community.
“I think the one words you could say is love,” she said. “This building is full of love; it’s full of family.”
She prepares lessons for her 53 students with the same love that fills the hallways of the school and lives to see the young learners’ lightbulb moments.
“I think for me it’s just that connection whether it’s text-to-text connection,” Nothnagel said. “[As in,] ‘Oh, we read that earlier or we read that last year; I remember when.’ Or event if it’s a text-to-world connection; it’s just those moments when they realize, ‘I remember that or I did that.'”
Congratulations to this week’s Educator of the Week, Brandy Nothnagel. To nominate an educator, click here.