FOR TEACHER Sharron Woodard, her approach to the classroom is all about making the most of every single day. The Tullahoma High School (THS) marketing teacher has worked tirelessly over the last two decades to challenge her students in a way that will help them grow and achieve a whole new level of thinking.
Teaching has been a long-time love of Woodard’s, going all the way back to her days of babysitting.
“I used to babysit quite a bit in high school, and I loved working with kids,” she said.
Her path would lead her in a different direction for some years as she would go on to work for Nashville-based retailer, Castner Knott, along with earning a degree in marketing from Middle Tennessee State University. That path would also lead her back to her love of working with children.
“I was working retail doing fashion shows, working on the chamber [of commerce] board, and several other things. And then this opened, and I thought it would be fun and rewarding,” she explained. “Karen Lawson was a teacher at the time and let me know of a marketing position that had opened and advised that I should consider it. So I interviewed and got the position.”
Along with taking over as marketing teacher for THS, she would also take over the school’s Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) club and become junior varsity coach for the girls cheerleading squad. She is now the head coach of the school’s cheer team.
“Tammy Hatfield, who was amazing, had done DECA for several years,” explained Woodard. “She had done that, taught marketing, and did Miss Tullahoma. So when she moved up into an administrative position, I took over everything she was doing. Also at that time, I believe the cheerleading coaches also left, and so they recruited my very good friend, Gina Bumbalough, for varsity. We both had girls coming up to cheer freshmen, and she asked me if I would take the freshmen. I was like, sure. And here we are 20 years later. It is still crazy to me.”
Woodard is also over the well-known Miss Tullahoma pageant, something that she is very proud of.
“It’s a strong program,” she said. “It’s a Tullahoma tradition, and we take so much pride in it. We want to try our best to keep it around for years to come.”
Whether it is through her teaching, coaching, or working the events such as the pageant, Woodard is always challenging her students to push through.
“My message is [to] always push through and to keep going,” she said. “Don’t stop until you think you’ve done enough. One of the things I say to my students is don’t ask me if you’ve done enough, because you know if you’re asking me, it’s not enough. So keep going until you’re happy with it. And you know it’s enough.”
When asked what she hopes to leave her students with, she stated that she hopes to leave them with lessons that they can carry with them for a lifetime.
“I want to make available content, conversations, and coaching by offering students valuable experiences that will aid in their growth, maturity, and next-level thinking. Hopefully, they will find something within those experiences that they can carry with them that will be of value in life,” said Woodard. GN