December 2021 Star Of The Month Kendra Bacon

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Sometimes we don’t know our “calling” right away. Kendra Bacon found hers after graduating from college in a completely different field.

Bacon is a special education teacher at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna. She initially wanted to pursue a broadcast journalism career. However, her heart steered her in a different direction.

“I always had a passion to work with kids who have special needs,” said Bacon. “I spent an entire year as a substitute teacher in special education classrooms and immediately knew this is what I wanted to do.”

After finishing her master’s degree in special education at the University of Illinois, Bacon spent five years teaching in Kansas before coming to Tennessee in 2017. While at Stewarts Creek, she has worked with two different programs in the Rutherford County School District that help students transition out of high school after receiving their special education diploma.

One program is the Transition Academy, which exposes students to a variety of community experiences as well as independent living skills that would not be possible in the traditional school setting.

Another program is Project Search, which is a work internship program for students who are ready to go to work.

“I’m so thankful that our school district has these types of programs in place for our students to learn and grow,” said Bacon. “These are true life experiences that they can’t get in a traditional classroom.”

She thinks these programs can be educational for others to see people with special needs working in society.

“I want society to be exposed to people with disabilities in the community,” said Bacon. “I want others to treat them like a human being and not be afraid. People with disabilities are people, they just have different things going on…but we all have things going on.”

Bacon is thrilled at the prospect of Nashville having its own Major League Baseball franchise, not just for her students, but for her own two boys.

“My husband and I have a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old, and we just took them to their first (Chicago) Cubs game over the summer,” said Bacon. “Seeing their reactions when they saw the stadium, the players on the field, the gigantic video boards…they’ve been talking about it ever since. I can’t wait for a time when we can take them to games here on a regular basis.”

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