NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) – Newport Grammar School has stood the test of time in Cocke County. It’s been there since 1898. It’s a special place to WATE 6 On Your Side Meteorologist Matt Hinkin, and he enlisted Lori Tucker’s help in carrying off a secret mission to surprise someone who has dedicated most of her life to the school.
The school has grown through the years to a sprawling campus and Hinkin has seen those changes. It was 1990 when teacher Carla Chambers first invited him to speak to her class about the weather. Chambers invited him back year after year and now 29 years later, she’s retiring.
She asked Matt to come back to Newport Grammar to make the science of weather fun and educational for the kids one more time, not knowing this day was really all for her.
Matt wanted to surprise this special teacher with flowers, a card from the WATE newsroom and a big hug for her years of service and for being such a friend for these past 29 years.
As cheers went up for the longtime teacher, we learned Chambers may be officially retiring, but she just can’t stay away for good.
“I’m going to work part time with students who need a little helping hand, so I get to do what I love!” she said.
The school appreciates this longtime partnership.
“Carla Chambers is an inspiration to a lot of people. She has done things over the years like bringing Matt Hinkin in that really helps to build the school and bring experiences to students that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to have because of being in an earlier grade or being in a rural area,” said Principal Michael Short.
“The children really love her, parents love her, they feel comfortable coming in talking to her sharing concerns or joys,” said Director of Schools Sandy Burchette.
Friday was one of those joyous days for this humble educator.