JES fourth grade teacher Andre White was recently honored as both the Johnson Elementary and FSSD elementary Teacher of the Year. Read below to learn about Mr. White’s experience and passion for teaching.


What a great honor to be nominated for teacher of the year. I am greatly appreciative and humbled by this recognition. Johnson Elementary has many outstanding teachers teaching in this building. I am proud that my fellow teachers considered me one of them. Although I am only in my second year at JES, it feels as if I’ve been here for many years. I have felt like a part of the JES family from day one. The support, kindness, and encouragement that I have felt here is truly unprecedented. I can tell you, from experience, that those things don’t happen in every school. I feel very blessed to be a part of this great school, and I thank you each of you for this nomination.


For those of you who do not personally know me, I began my teaching career over 20 years ago. I have taught multiple years in grades 3rd, 4th, 5th, and-6th. I have been both self-contained and departmentalized in each grade level. I have also always been passionately involved in both before and after school activities. Johnson Elementary has allowed me to continue this passion. I wear lots of hats both before and after school with both MAC and the Gentry Educational Foundation. A perfect example of a dream becoming a reality is the kick-off this Friday of “Gentry’s Gentlemen”, an afterschool program that will allow me to work with some of our more challenging young men to make a positive difference in their lives.


Since becoming a JES Tiger, I have stepped up when asked to play an active leadership role. I have led a district-wide break-out session, served as a mentor teacher, and worked with aspiring teachers from MTSU and Columbia State.  I currently serve as the 4th grade team lead. And, I am a member of our school-wide behavior and school leadership teams.


My philosophy of teaching has always been, “All students can learn and it is my job to find that one spark that gets their engine running.” I take pride in building a classroom culture where my all my kids know that I will challenge them, love them, push them, reward them, excite them, hold them accountable, protect them, punish them, respect them, but most of all they know I will do whatever it takes to reach them.


We all know that teachers don’t get a lot of assurances that we are doing a great job. So, for me to get nominated for teacher of the year by my peers, it truly means a lot. Thank you all for the job that you do each and every day and thank you, again, for this wonderful recognition.