Golden Apple Award: Debbie Aytes, Hickory Valley Christian

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – Most classrooms are filled with students of all different abilities. Whether they need a little extra help or a more challenging assignment, Debbie Aytes has a knack for reaching each one of her kids at Hickory Valley Christian. That level of versatility earned her the Golden Apple Award.

Emma Beys is the Principal at Hickory Valley Christian School.

When asked about Debbie Aytes, Principal Beys says, “She is amazing. She actually was my kids’ kindergarten teacher many years ago, and now she’s up here in third grade, and she is just very patient, very loving, very hands-on. The kids just love her.

When asked to describe herself, Ms. Aytes says, “I am a third grade teacher at Hickory Valley Christian School. I taught kindergarten here for 14 years, and I home-schooled my son for several years. I was able to tutor some during that time.”

She continues, “And then I was blessed last year that an opening became available for me to return to Hickory Valley Christian and teach third grade. Today, is our fall party day so the kids get to dress up in their costumes. I love children. I love to see them learn new things. I love to see that their confidence to build her confidence.”

Lily Tuss is a 3rd Grade at Hickory Valley Christian School

She says, “I love Mrs. Aytes because she’s always nice to us. and she always helps us learn. When we don’t get it, she always explains to us.”

Other students add, “She’s sweet and kind. A fun teacher. She’s funny.”

“She makes it a lot funnier by um, like, if we practice really, practice really a fun way sometimes.”

“She plays games with us and makes it funner to learn.”

Ms. Aytes concludes,”For me, the most rewarding thing with teaching is building relationships with students, and just being able to give them a positive safe and nurturing environment in order for them to learn so that they enjoy school and, most importantly, I want them to know that they are loved.”



Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Golden Apple Award, Golden Apple Award 2022-2023, Hamilton County, Local News