Sheri Hamilton spent many years as a newscast director with WJHL-TV, the local CBS affiliate. That might be enough excitement for most people, but she decided to seek a new challenge as a middle school classroom teacher.
A Johnson City native, Hamilton left home for Virginia to attend Washington and Lee University in Lexington and earned an undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communication. Her next step was a master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University. Employment at WJHL followed.
At the television station, Hamilton was in charge of the technical production of the morning and noon shows. Although she loved working with the people at WJHL, she says, “I knew the field was not for me . . . so I decided to change to teaching.
“I thought I wanted to pursue teaching on the collegiate level in journalism and communications, but I felt pulled toward a younger classroom — the middle grades,” she says.
Now enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program in the Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education, Hamilton says, “I think my best experience at ETSU has been the people, especially those in the College of Education. I am a graduate assistant in the dean’s office, so I have had a chance to work with and interact with everyone, from the students to the dean. I feel the faculty is very supportive, something that is especially important to me, since I am returning to school after being away for a while, and I am changing careers.”
The recipient of a Claudius and Kathleen Clemmer Scholarship, Hamilton was also awarded a prestigious James H. Quillen Scholarship, created through a bequest to ETSU by the late James H. Quillen, who represented Tennessee’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, she joined the Student Tennessee Education Association and finds the organization “very helpful” in guiding her career path.
For her residency placement, Hamilton only needs to walk across campus to University School, and she notes, “I love that ETSU has a laboratory school available to those of us in the College of Education.” She is well on her way to her new career.