By Paula Walter
Gerald Buckles has been a consistent presence in the Johnson County School system since 1970. He has worn many different hats and served in numerous roles throughout his tenure. For the first time in 43 years, he will not be serving in any educational or school board capacity.
Buckles was born and raised in Shady Valley, attending both elementary and high school in Johnson County. He received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from East Tennessee State University. I thought about business, but I really didnt like it, he recalled. I wanted to teach. Buckles later went on to earn his masters degree in Elementary Principalship and School Administration. I wanted to be one who helps kids, he added. You remember people who helped you. If you can help someone, help them. We have all had to struggle some. I believe in mentoring. Teachers need to help those starting out. We want to help make students successful. To see students successful, thats what we should all strive for.
Buckles has touched the lives of many students in the county. He began his teaching career at Shouns Elementary where he taught sixth and seventh grade students. He then moved on to Mountain City Elementary. I loved teaching, particularly science, he stated. After teaching for 10 years, he became principal of Mountain City Elementary School from 1980 to 1992. Buckles became superintendent of Johnson County Schools from 1992 to August of 2000. During this time, renovations at all the schools were completed, programs were put in place and Roan Creek Elementary School was built. For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.
By Paula Walter