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Mt. Juliet Middle School Teacher of the Year

Lauren Gribble teaches seventh grade social studies at Mt. Juliet Middle School, where she has been for 10 years. She started as an interim teacher for a year before coming on full time at the school.

Gribble received a history and geography degree from Cumberland University and was licensed to teach through the education program. She also played basketball at Volunteer State Community College and golf at Cumberland.

Her interest in teaching began with her desire to coach and be in the school environment. Before teaching at MJMS, she was an assistant basketball coach at the high school. She started coaching again last year and is now the boys and girls golf coach.

She knew she wanted to teach history or geography because she had some great history teachers growing up that influenced her. Going through school, she was best at those subjects because that’s what she was interested in.

Her favorite historical subject is U.S. History and World War II, though she doesn’t currently teach it. She also enjoys teaching the renaissance period, which her students also enjoy.

Gribble said that many students don’t like learning history because they don’t understand how it directly affects them.

“It’s fun to teach this material in a way that makes them [understand],” she said. “They always think it’s so disconnected when really it influences probably everything they do.”

One way she engages her students is by having them learn about how the country’s democratic institutions were founded. They also learn how many aspects of their daily life were influenced by events from the past, such as Martin Luther paving the way for them to go to church.

Relationships mean everything to Gribble and are the driving force behind everything she does, which is why the people she works with make MJMS special.

“We are a literal family, a lot of us have been together for years,” she said. “We can depend on each other, rely on each other.”

Her relationship with her students are also important to her, and she knows that she won’t reach her students if she doesn’t establish that.

It means everything to her that her colleagues chose her to represent MJMS. She said she works hard every day is grateful to be recognized. She was also shocked to be chosen by her colleagues because there are so many great teachers at the school.

“At the end of the day, and whenever this career ends for me, my hope is that I have influenced as many people as I can in a positive way,” said Gribble.

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