CC Imagination Library will honor four teachers at Hall of Fame dinner

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024

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The Carter County Imagination Library Board will have its Educators Hall of Fame Celebration Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Elizabethton. Four outstanding educators will be honored for their immeasurable and lasting contributions to both their students and the community.

Two deceased educators – one each from the city and county – and two retired living educators – one each from the city and county – will be honored.

Honorees from the county include Dr. Shirley Ellis (deceased) and Kathy Jenkins from the Carter County School System and Glenda Hall (deceased) and Perry Elliott from the Elizabethton School System.

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This is the 17th year for the Educators Hall of Fame. Directing this year’s event is Creola Miller of the Carter County Imagination Library.



Dr. Ellis was born Dec, 17, 1944 in Hazelwood Hollow in Hampton. She was the daughter of Theodoroe Waycaster and Mary Hazelwood Potter. Her love for learning began when she was a student at Hampton Elementary School. She later attended Hampton High School, which she later returned to as principal. At the time she was the first female high school principal in the East Tennessee area.

Dr. Ellis after high school went to work at the original Gurney Burger in Hampton, where she earned 50 cents an hour. She earned just enough money to pay the $56 for tuition each quarter at East Tennessee State University. She often did without books for her classes, opting to study the library coup of the classroom edition.

She worked in the field of education from 1965 until 2012. She believed strongly in education and encouraged those around her to get an education.

In her 20 years as a teacher she taught at every grade level, and during her time at Hampton High School also served as girls basketball coach. She also coached softball, track, and was cheerleading sponsor.

Dr. Ellis completed her Master’s Degree in Administration in 1970. She served as a principal at all grade levels, K-12, during her career as an educator. In 1992-93 Dr. Ellis was named Secondary Principal of the Year for her work at Hampton High.

She earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from ETSU and from 1994-2006 she worked as Secondary/Vocational Supervisor and Director of Federal Programs and System-wide Testing. After serving for over 40 years in education, Dr. Ellis was named as Tennessee School Supervisor of the Year for the State of Tennessee. She also served on many SACS committees and worked for several years for the State Department of Education in Nashville. She also served two years as Director of Schools for the Carter County School System, and was the first female director since 1891.

Dr. Ellis loved her community and spoke highly of Carter County and its schools while visiting other parts of the state.

She was a follower of Christ, and for a number of years attended Beck Mountain Baptist Church and later First United Methodist Church of Elizabethton, where she was church treasurer.

She was the mother of a son, Wayne Ellis, and grandmother to twin grandsons, Jack and Wyatt Ellis.


Kathy Jenkins was selected as the living Carter County Educator.

Mrs. Jenkins spent her elementary school years at Valley Forge Elementary, and graduated from Hampton High School in 1989. She graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1972 with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

She received her first teaching assignment in January 1973 at Siam Elementary School, teaching third and fourth grades. She remained at Siam until the school’s closure. From there, she filled positions at the Central Office and at the three Happy Valley schools. She was then given a permanent position in teaching Title I reading at Central Elementary.

After teaching seven years at Central, she was transferred to Hampton Elementary, where her first assignment was teaching sixth grade. Her remaining years were spent teaching first and second grades.

Jenkins retired in 2010 after a teaching career of 38 years.

She and her husband, Tommy Jenkins, are parents of two sons, Thomas, who works for the National Forestry Service, and Jake, principal at Hampton Elementary School. She also has two daughters-in-law, who are both Carter County educators, and four granddaughters.

Jenkins is an active member of Valley Forge Christian Church, where she serves as adult Choir Director.

“God has truly blessed my life and I give Him all the glory,” said Jenkins.



Glenda Hall will be recognized as the deceased educator for Elizabethton City Schools. She spent 42 years as a teacher, of which 25 years were in the Elizabethton City Schools.

Born in 1935, she was married to John Hall, also an educator and former Superintendent of Carter County Schools. Glenda attended University High School in Johnson City (then called “training school.”) She received an undergraduate degree in elementary education at ETSU and a Master’s degree in Education from ETSU.

Mrs. Hall was a dedicated teacher for more than 40 years. Her teaching career was spent at several different schools including Independence School at Oberammergau, Germany; Tiger Valley Elementary in Carter County; Oak Park Elementary and Coquina Elementary in Titusville, Fla.; Central Elementary, and first and fifth grades at East Side Elementary in Elizabethton.

Glenda was a Career Ladder II teacher and was instrumental in starting and coaching Odyssey of the Mind, leading many of her teams to state competition.

During her teaching career, Glenda was awarded Teacher of the Year several times for Elizabethton City Schools.

Glenda died in 2005 at the age of 69. She was the mother of two sons, John Jr. and Todd Hall.

She was previously a member of First Christian Church in Elizabethton.

At the time of her death, she was living in Lady Lake, Fla.


Perry Elliott is recognized as Teacher of the Year for Elizabethton City Schools. He has taught instrumental music for 43 years, the last 30 of which were spent as Director of Bands at Elizabethton High School.

Under his directorship, the Elizabethton High Band was a five-time finalist and two-time regional class champion at the Johnson City, TN Bands of America Regional Championship. From 2005-19, the marching band was a top three finalist at the Division II Tennessee State Marching Band Championship. In 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2016 the band was awarded the Governor’s Cup for their first-place finishes.

The concert band performed at the Tennessee Music Educators Conference in 1996 and 2001. The 2001 performance was the inaugural of the Tennessee Bandmasters Hall of Fame Concert series.

Throughout his career Elliott’s Concert bands have earned superior ratings at the East Tennessee School Band & Orchestra (ETSBOA) concert assessment in classes III, IV, V, and VI. The Elizabethton band received the Tennessee Bandmasters Association (TBA) Sweepstakes award for excellence in marching and concert performances ten times during his tenure.

Elliott earned his undergraduate degree in music education from East Tennessee State University and his Master’s degree from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Ill. He was a member of the TBA, the ETSBOA, the Tennessee Music Educators Association, and the National Association for Music Education. He served on the Board of Directors of the ETSBOA on two occasions. 

Elliott was a member of Phi Beta Mu, Phi Mu Alpha, and Pi Kappa Lambda honorary music fraternities. He was an adjunct faculty member at East Tennessee State University in 1996 and was named the Director for the Senior Band at the 1999 Carson-Newman Music Camp.The National Band Association “Citation of Excellence” was awarded to Elliott in 1998 for his contributions to the instrumental music profession.

During his career Elliott was in demand as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the South. Elliott received four citations from the Elizabethton City Schools for his dedicated work in the fine arts. He was recognized as the system-wide “Teacher of the Year” in 2012 and was later named to the Elizabethton City Schools Educators Hall of Fame. The December 2012 publication of School Band and Orchestra named Elliott as one of the top 50 directors “that make a difference” in America. The TBA has cited Elliott for his “creation of, and dedication to” their band directors Hall of Fame. In 2021 Elliott was inducted into the American School Band Directors Association. 

Elliott retired in 2021 and currently enjoys his leisure time with his wife, Dr. Lizanne Elliott.


Dr. Shirley Ellis…Carter County Hall of Fame Educator

Kathy Jenkins…Carter County Hall of Fame Educator

Glenda Hall….Elizabethton Hall of Fame Educator

Perry Elliott…Elizabethton Hall of Fame Educator