This week’s feature for Teacher of the Year is Ashley Serbin, the journalism teacher at Mt. Juliet Middle School.
Serbin is in her 19th year teaching in Wilson County, all of which has been at Mt. Juliet Middle School. She previously taught at Metro-Nashville schools for three years. She earned her degree in physical education K-12 from Cumberland University.
She said she has always loved coaching, building relationships with her players and their families. She currently coaches girls volleyball at MJMS, but she previously coached softball and Wilson Central High School and volleyball at Mt. Juliet High School.
Though she has always been interested in coaching, she believed she could reach more students and help more people by teaching.
“It was probably the best decision that I’ve ever made,” she said. She loves teaching middle school because she is able to help them develop and make an impact. “You set the framework for the rest of their life in middle school.”
This is Serbin’s first year teaching journalism at MJMS, where she previously taught physical education. Based on her background working with the yearbook at school, she was offered the chance to help build a media arts program.
“It’s been a challenge after being in physical education for 21 years, but I looked at it as a new challenge, something new to help create,” she said.
As the new journalism teacher, she came up with a curriculum that allows her students to learn about different aspects of media, such as news, blogs, photography, digital and more. Next year, Serbin hopes to introduce her students to broadcasting. She also said it’s important for students to have an outlet to express their creativity at school when they may not have the chance at home.
“I think the more opportunities we give our students, the better they are in society, the more things they can have possibilities of as they grow up,” she said.
Serbin said it was meaningful to her to be chosen Teacher of the Year because she knows that the time she puts in does not go unnoticed.
“I was totally shocked when they announced it,” she said. “I’m beyond grateful. There are so many deserving in this building. We all work together.”
MJMS is a special place, and she enjoys the support from everyone at the school, which she called “one big family.”
“I love my colleagues,” she said. “I love the people I work with.”