Kimetra S. Barnard wins CTE Teacher of the Year


Photo Courtesy of Kimetra S. Bernard

Ms. Kimetra S. Bernard was selected as CTE Teacher of the Year for 2020-2021.

Jaycee Hudson interviewed Kimetra Barnard for CTE Teacher of the Year via email.

JH: How long have you been teaching?

KB: I have been teaching at Tupelo High School for 3 years.
What subjects do you teach? I am a Career Technical Education Teacher, and I teach Law and Public Safety.

JH: Was being a teacher your dream job?

KB: No, it fell into my lap. After being in the Memphis Police Department-Communications Department as an 911 Police Radio Dispatcher for 16 years I wanted to educate others about the law and public safety industry, so It was a blessing in disguise.

JH: What traits do you think you need to be a teacher?

KB: You need to be compassionate, a sounding board, a strong communicator, display empathy and most all have patience.

JH: What kind of qualities do you look for in students?

KB: I look for a positive attitude towards learning, the ability to think and work independently, self motivation, and someone who believes in themselves by knowing anything is possible so as long as they apply themselves,

JH: How has high school changed since you were in school?

KB: I would say high school has changed by the accessibility of technology. Technology is endless now. From promethean boards to take home chromebooks. During my time in high school our forms of technology were typewriters, desktops computers (where AOL was the first form of internet), overhead projectors and telephone homework hotlines.

JH: Is there anything you would change about your teaching career, if so what?

KB: One thing I would maybe change is I would have started sooner. I began my degree in elementary education, then I switched to Criminal Justice and African American Studies. After working for more than 10 years in the industry of public safety and speaking with my counselor from my undergrad time at the University of Memphis, I went back into the field of adult education where I earned my Master’s degree. That is when I knew it was time for me to come back to education.

JH: How long did it take you to get your teaching degree?

KB: It took me 2 years to receive my masters of education and then it took me about 2 years to receive my teaching license to teach in the state of Mississippi

JH: Have you won any other awards?

KB: I was award Employee of the Month in August

JH: Is the glass half empty or half full?

KB: The glass is half full, I always like to shed positive light– that good things will happen and to always think positive. With determination, hard work, the possibilities are endless. It was instilled in me in the industry that teamwork makes the dream work, and I live by this motto and I let my students know this as well.