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Karla Burns is county teacher of the year
Passion for her job as a teacher is one of many reasons that Karla Burns was chosen from a field of eight to be the McNairy County Teacher of the Year. Burns will advance to compete on the district level with other West Tennessee teachers that are teachers of the year in their district.
While many feel God is no longer in our school's classrooms, Burns plainly puts God first in her work as a teacher and her daily walk in life.
"All credit goes to the Lord for everything I have done and will do," commented Burns. "She uses Col. 3:23 as one of her life verses. Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men."
Burns is in her 12th year as a teacher, all spent at Michie School. She has been a 3rd grade teacher throughout her career. Burns was Michie's TOY in 2011 in her first year of eligibility for the award.
After graduation from UTM, she spent 18 years working at Roadway prior to making a career switch to being a teacher. She got her Master's degree from the University of Phoenix to meet the requirements of becoming a teacher.
Her then 12-year-old daughter Samantha Burns Ellis signed her mother up on a pop-up ad online and the school called to tell her mother when she was on a sales call for Roadway. When the UOP called to ask about her interest, Burns laughed and said she agreed to register for the online courses.
While at McNairy Central, Burns hoped to return to her alma mater to teach Home Economics before deciding to major in Business.
She credits retired teacher Theresa Teague and all the Michie teachers for allowing her to observe them prior to her becoming a teacher.
Burns mentions her four principals at Michie (Lynda Walters, Suzanne Henson, Wayne Henry, and Dr. Matt Allred) for their guidance and help during her teaching career.
"Carolyn Giesler and Jan Woolworth have helped me many times," said Burns. "Mrs. Carolyn is smart like a wise owl. Jan taught with me several years and helped me from the start."
Henry, now McNairy County's Director of Schools, was effusive in his praise of Burns after spending three years as principal at Michie.
"Mrs. Karla is a very conscientious teacher that is very organized and passionate about being a teacher," said Henry. "She does a tremendous job every day she comes into her classroom."
Henry said he told the group that surprised Burns Thursday with the news of her award that what they saw in her classroom that morning was the same thing that happened on all school days.
"I love my students like they were my own kids," remarked Burns. "I encourage them, reward them, and discipline them to help them become better people."
Burns thanks her husband Phillip Burns and her three daughters Samantha, Rachel and Alicia Burns for their support during her teaching career.
"I told the committee during the interview that I was a Ramer Eagle at heart because I went to school there, but I love Michie School," said Burns. "My three girls all went to Michie, my fellow teachers, the support staff, and the community makes this a wonderful school to be a teacher."
She will get a gold apple, a plaque, and a ring for her TOY award.
Her daughter Samantha is a kindergarten teacher at Stigall Elem. in Humboldt. Burns' son-in-law, Ethan Ellis is a math teacher, girls assistant basketball coach, and head soccer coach. Karla is the daughter of Peggy Baldwin and the late Lamar Baldwin.
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