Cherry joins the spartan staff



Katelyn Cherry stands in front of her seventh period class. The lights were off because she was showing the students a powerpoint.

The walls and ceiling of Katelyn Cherry’s classroom show previous students’ art work. Some of these students graduated, but their art still added creativity to the room.

With Rachel Kannady, former sociology and anatomy teacher, taking on new opportunities, Katelyn Cherry fills the teaching role she left behind. Cherry is now teaching anatomy, physiology and sociology. This is her first time teaching a class, and her journey has begun almost halfway through the school year. 

Cherry grew up in Halls, Tenn. and has lived in Memphis for about six years.

“There is a big difference from where I’m from,” Cherry said. “I’m from a very, very small town, where we did not have more than one building … and the other thing that shocked me was the amount of teachers and what their loads are.”

Since Cherry took this job in the second quarter of the school year, adjusting has been a challenge. Even though students have not been in online school for over a year, effects on students’ education are still lingering. 

“Coming into teaching this class, I was under the impression that they’ve been in this class since August; they’re gonna know some stuff,” Cherry said. “… Because of COVID, the seniors and juniors that I have took biology online, so they didn’t learn anything from it. So not only am I going all the way back to chapter one, I’m going back to biology stuff, which does involve anatomy and physiology, but it should have been stuff that we’re flying through.”

Cherry took on this job driven by personal connections she had to her own teachers. At first she was looking for a job working with smaller children, but ultimately figured high school suited her best.

“I’ve always wanted to work with kids,” Cherry said. “Whether it was high school or little kids. Then I came from the D.A.’s office as a victim witness coordinator. I worked with little kids there, and I realized working with little kids was not it for me. I’ve always wanted to make an impact on  high school kids just because … I got my impact from… my teachers and college professors.”

One of the things that surprised Cherry was how many classes the teachers at White Station teach simultaneously. She is currently juggling three different subjects. Cherry enjoys the subjects she teaches and likes learning with her students.

“I have always loved the anatomy of the body as a whole and being able to show that to other kids, who can also teach me at the same time,” Cherry said. “I’ve had so many already that are asking me questions that I might not know the answers to, but it’s because it’s stuff that’s foreign depth, or because I haven’t been in high school for a long time. It’s stuff that makes me go back and look at everything. Then, sociology, I took that as a course in college, and it was one of the most interactive classes I took … and everything that’s involved in sociology is out there in the real world.”

Cherry plans to not just teach, but to also be deeply involved in getting to know her students. She enjoys sports and wants to become a part of extracurriculars.

“I don’t want to just come in here and say, ‘Well, I’m here to teach, and then, I’m going home,’” Cherry said. “I want to be a part of things. It is going to take me a little while to get adjusted to that because I am new to teaching, and I do want to focus on the teaching aspect. Then I’ll start getting into outside of school, even if it’s school activities.”