Teacher with local ties receives national award

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Greenbrier High School Renaissance Coordinator Samantha Grimes has been selected as the Jostens Renaissance Coordinator of the Year from the Smokey Mountain Coalition of Renaissance Coordinators.

One of only four selected nationwide, Grimes is only the second to have ever been selected from Tennessee. She has served as a Coordinator for six years, during which time she has helped build partnerships with businesses, community and other district schools.

Utilizing the Renaissance program, Grimes has helped to bring recognition to number of students who otherwise might have gone unnoticed.  She has been the inspiration behind such things as honorary diploma days, faculty luncheons and people's choice awards nights.

A recommendation letter from a coworker said of Grimes, "The Renaissance Program here at GHS has been instrumental in recognizing students who do the things that will make them successful as they step out in the "real" world. Before these incentives were implemented, we tended to focus on stopping self-destructive behaviors instead of encouraging positive behaviors like good attendance, honoring rules and working hard academically. Samantha Grimes has been the spark that has ignited first the Faculty Leadership Group and then the school as a whole. Without someone like her with endless positive energy and can-do spirit, many incentives would have withered away or lacked effectiveness."

For her part, Grimes said the Renaissance program has made her a better teacher and person.

"Jostens Renaissance is a great way for all stake holders to not only show but give respect as well," she said. "It creates a more positive learning environment.

"Personally, Renaissance has given me a passion and a focus. It is a way I can improve Greenbrier High School and Robertson County Schools outside of my classroom because I am able to reach more than the students in my classroom."

Samantha is a 1996 graduate of Magoffin County High School and a 2000 graduate of Western Kentucky University. She is the daughter of Ronnie and Carol Gullett of Salyersville and is married to Dr. Justin Grimes. They are the parents of Tyler and Alexandria. Her family is very proud of her accomplishments.