Students To Watch Teacher Graduate At UT Friday

KNOXVILLE — More than 100 Knox County students will watch their teacher’s dream come true Friday at the University of Tennessee Fall Commencement.

Melody Wagstaff, who teaches first grade at Spring Hill Elementary School here, hopes her graduation inspires her students to reach their own dreams.

She has arranged for them to attend the 9 a.m. ceremony at Thompson-Boling Arena, where she will receive her master’s degree in elementary education.

“We are considered an inner-city school, and statistically, a lot of our children will not go on to graduate from high school,” Wagstaff said. “The first-graders who see me on a daily basis will see that dreams can come true regardless of your age, income or anything else, as long as you believe that you can do it.”

Spring Hill is a participant in Project GRAD, a program that encourages inner-city students to finish high school by providing them with college scholarships if they complete 12 full years of education.

Wagstaff said Friday’s field trip is an example to her students that good things await them in the future if they stay in school.