KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — A graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School returned to the same classrooms he learned in to teach.

Bryan Kerns has spent nearly his entire 17-year career as a mathematics teacher at the school.

“I enjoy teaching because it allows me an audience of young folks, and it gives me a chance to connect with them and give them hope,” Kerns said. “I think that’s what’s missing a lot in every other part of our society. It lacks hope. It’s dramatic instead of hopeful right now.”

The math teacher also launched a fire science program to teach preventative fire measures, fire behavior and fire investigation.

“When I get those students out in the field, and they actually see live fire, the light that goes on is brilliant,” he said. “It blows their minds, and sometimes I’ve seen it change kids’ careers and lives forever.”

The program has been available for three years and aims to give students hands-on experience and opportunities for after high school.

“To see something — a character trait or something that intrigues them or makes them want to get up in the morning — is really cool because that is something that will stay with them forever,” Kerns said.

Congratulations to this week’s Educator of the Week, Bryan Kerns.

To nominate an educator for our weekly feature, click here.