Ken Senter, anÂ Advanced Placement United States history teacher at Oak Ridge High School, has been named Star 102.1 Educator of the Month. The award was announced December 2.
Here is more information from an Oak Ridge Schools press release:
Ken Senter has been an Advanced Placement United States History teacher at Oak Ridge High School for the past two decades. He is known for the rigorous preparation he gives to students for the AP exam, even writing and publishing his own work to help students make meaningful connections to their nation and its history.
It is no surprise that one of his current students, Becky Hanaver, was moved to publicly celebrate his success. Becky reflected, â€œI was listening to the radio while driving home from school, when I heard about the Educator of the Month contest. They said to go to the Star 102.1 website to nominate someone, and Mr. Senter immediately came to mind.â€
The radio station teams up with Huntington Learning Center to celebrate educators who make a difference in East Tennessee. On the Star 102.1 website, the nomination form reads, â€œIf you’d like to nominate a local educator who has made a difference in your life, or the life of your child, please tell us in 250 words or less why this educator deserves to be the Star 102.1 Educator of the Month.â€Â This is exactly what Becky did. Her nomination letter was read aloud during the December faculty meeting.
When asked if Senter had any idea of this nomination, in his natural humility, he stated, â€œI was completely surprised. I had no idea Becky was nominating me. She is quiet in class and kept it secret as did her friends. I did not know until the gentleman from 102.1 announced my name, which I couldnâ€™t believe!â€
He continued: â€œSuch a moment made me immediately reflect on Beckyâ€™s progress and how much she has committed to the high academic rigor in my class. Some students ignite a passion for learning once they are confronted with the serious issues that face our nation through seeing how we got where we are. She is a clever girl with a great sense of humor, and I was reminded once again how privileged I am to teach this type of student. I am honored, of course, to have a student think highly enough of what we do in class to tell others how it is impacting her life.â€
In Beckyâ€™s letter of nomination, she quipped that even though she stays up until 3 a.m. every night doing journal entries that the students affectionately call â€œSenter Logs,â€ that he is still her favorite teacher. Senter said this was his favorite part of the letter for its hyperbolic reference. â€œThat was hyperbole, wasnâ€™t it?â€ he asked with a note of knowing hope.
The award included several prizes: a 102.1 T-shirt, a giant Hersheyâ€™s chocolate bar, a pizza party for the class from Marcoâ€™s Pizza, two tickets to Dolly Partonâ€™s Dixie Stampede, four tickets to a Smoky Mountain Palace show, four seats in Gatlinburgâ€™s mountain roller coaster, and a $50 Food City gift card. Senter expressed his thanks to all the sponsors for the support they are extending to education. He added, â€œOak Ridge has a lot to celebrate.â€
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