Coach Whis Awarded Teacher of the Year

Picture of Coach Whis, Teacher of the Year
Picture of Coach Whis, Teacher of the Year
Karen Frye

Coach Whisenant, otherwise known as “Coach Whis,” wins Kettle Run High School’s Teacher of the Year award and has been nominated for Fauquier County Teacher of the Year. 

Coach Whis, the Life Fitness teacher for 15 years here at Kettle Run, was recently nominated for Fauquier County’s 2024 Teacher of the Year award. His individualized teaching style and student impact were the major contributing factors for the nomination. Numerous letters of appreciation for Coach Whis have been received from parents and students alike throughout his 30 years of teaching in Fauquier County, which led KRHS administration to nominate him for the county-wide Washington Post’s Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award on January 3, 2024.

Getting a Teacher of the Year Nomination starts by putting together an official nomination package and forwarding that on to the school division, which is later voted on and nominated by different supervisors in each subject and multiple nominations from several colleagues, and administrators. Then, take the recommendations to the nomination committee for review. Students and teachers have written a large number of letters of appreciation for Coach Whis over his years of teaching, which were at the forefront behind the school’s administrative decision to choose Coach Whis as Teacher of the Year.

A variety of attributes are considered for the nomination. According to the county’s Teacher of the Year nomination instructions, teacher candidates should: “inspire learning, encourage individual growth, demonstrate subject matter expertise, foster collaboration, and lead by example.” This entails making students excited to learn and leading them as individuals to work in a collaborative setting with their peers.

Story continues below advertisement

The teacher’s education and expertise in their field are accompanying key qualities to considering a teacher for the prestigious award. There are also two baseline requirements, the first being that teachers must have been teaching for at least a year in the county, and the second being two years of teaching experience total (Fauquier County Public School Teacher of the Year Nomination Instructions). These attributes and requirements are put in place to ensure that a good nominee is proposed for the award.

Coach Whis has a lengthy history as a teacher through his 30 years in education. When talking about those he has taught, he said “There’s people on the school board that were also my students.” After getting his Bachelor of Science at East Tennessee State University, he began teaching at Liberty High School. There, he was also teaching Life Fitness, as well as being a strength and conditioning coach.  He now works at Kettle Run, starting in tandem with the school’s opening.

Fellow teachers as well as his students have praised the individualized plans that all of his students receive. Dr. Acors said that, “everyone spoke to this individualized attention that he gave to them that made such a difference in whatever their goals were.” Coach Whis’ history as a teacher and his qualities are clearly in favor of his nomination. In the interview with Coach Whis he said a teacher should, be able to communicate among the student level as well. Bring up a positive attitude about it.¨ Keeping a positive attitude in the classroom is also something he values. When he spoke on how he believed other teachers could improve at teaching, he gave advice reminding them to stay positive and separate your private life from your work life, so your personal life doesn’t get involved with your work. 

Students enjoy his class and appreciate his teaching style. Many say his classroom is a safe space and feel they won’t be judged. Students say Coach Whis is down-to-earth and is respectful. He helps students understand how to exercise correctly and has motivated many students. When asked about Coach Whis’ best qualities, a student said, “I would say his humility, but also his respectability. He’s not a pushover, but it’s not hard to talk to him.” He is understanding and takes things into consideration, and is able to make everybody feel involved and included. A current student that we interviewed said, “he takes into account that they’re actual people and how they have feelings.” Coach Whis’ connection with his students heavily contributes to their enjoyment of his class.           

Coach Whis was nominated for the Teacher of the Year award because of his history in the school, his qualities, and the number of students he has affected. Many students and staff believe Coach Whis is an excellent candidate for Teacher of the Year. Some believe what makes him so great is how he has been here since 2008, is humble yet understanding, and willing to help others. His impact on the school and the community is exemplary and justifies his nomination for the award.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Chronicle @ Kettle Run Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content