WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – He calls it fate after a man from California stepped up as the physics teacher at Green Hill High School in Wilson County.
“My wife said it was very much of a fate driven almost like destiny, deciding to sell the house, turning on the tv on the Residents Inn and it said, ‘We need a physics teacher,’” Ed Cunningham said.
Ed Cunningham said he and his wife moved over 2,000 miles away, jobless. While staying at a hotel in Franklin, they came across a headline on the news.
“The first story was teacher shortage in Tennessee blah blah blah, and so she woke up. She said ,’And they need a physics teacher. You should apply for the job; you should call,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham hasn’t been in the classroom since he ended his teaching career in 2003 after he started a physics course at a high school in Orange County, California.
“The best way to improve children’s education is to get high quality teachers, and I think there are a number of teachers out there like me,” Cunningham said.
He said, unfortunately, that teacher shortages goes beyond Wilson County.
“We felt the stain significantly just as many other school districts have; fortunately we have closed the gap,” Bart Barker, Public Information officer for Wilson County Schools said.
As for Mr. Cunningham, the gap was closed through social media and the news shining a light.
“And for Mr. Cunningham to come as far away as he did, in the way he found it out, it really is quite the story,” Barker said.
“There are people leaving the profession based on the challenges they faced the past couple of years and do they want to get back into it? It’s very much a vocation and my wife is very excited about me being here because she knows teaching is something that made me very happy when I was younger,” Cunningham said.