ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — This International Women's Day, a teacher at Grand Oaks Elementary School in Anderson County is spreading an important message.
Kendall Lovingood has been teaching for five years. She was recently crowned Mrs. Knoxville and is using her experience as a teacher to advocate for children across the state.
"I have always wanted to be a teacher. Children have a big place in my heart, and so I've just always felt like this was my calling," Lovingood said. "As a teacher, I feel like I am a voice for kids. I just think that being a voice for those children who really don't have someone to be a voice for is just such an important thing."
#EmbraceEquity is this year's International Women's Day theme. Lovingood said embracing equity and challenging stereotypes is something she strives for every day in her classroom.
Lonvingood added that perseverance, ambition and optimism are some of the qualities she hopes to instill in her young students, especially young girls. "Dream big," she said. "No matter what you set your mind to or what you want to do in life, as long as you work for it, and you just keep on dreaming, you can always reach those goals."
International Women's Day is dedicated to affirming and continuing the fight for women's rights across the globe.