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Boy Scouts honor Knoxville educators

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Many of us are familiar with the Boy Scouts of America program. In Knoxville, there’s one district that focuses on the needs of boys in the inner city.The Chehote Champions District serves more than 500 boys year round. 

The scouts will grow up with the experience of camping, learning to swim and gain a sense of patriotism. They honored three educators Thursday night who’ve made an impression on these youth at a special dinner.    

Melissa Johnson is the principal at Christenberry Elementary. She is one of three to receive the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award. 

Johnson says she sees her job as an investment in the community.    

“A lot of the students that I have had here as a teacher they now have their own children at the school. We've seen those families come full circle. We've seen a lot of our students grow up and do great things with their lives,” says Johnson. 

Renee Kelly is the director of Emerald Youth Academy, where she guides and nurtures students and parents to do their best. 

“This is not about me. I represent a whole community of educators that every day really work hard to give children an opportunity to reach their personal potential. So I am here being recognized for doing what I think everyone should do and that's to pay it forward,” says Kelly. 

Finally, Kim Wilburn-Cullom is the principal at Maynard Elementary where she says the Boy Scouts’ teachings have a lot to do with the way of life at her school. 

“Those were things really apply to education. You know you have got to be prepared every day. Not only students but teachers as well. Do your best. That starts at the top. I am coming in every day doing my best. I want my teachers to do so,” said Wilburn-Cullom. 

Examples of why the Chehote Champions are saluting these woman for instilling scout values in their students. 

The Chehote Champions also presented the Whitney M. Young Jr Service Award for those who help to improve conditions for at-risk youth. The honorees are John Hooper and Pitts & Lake, P.C. 

Good Morning Tennessee anchor Tearsa Smith served as emcee for the ceremony. 

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