Knoxville native, Amanda Ballard, is a 1998 graduate of Carter High School who went on to attend and graduate from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. While working as a summer daycare instructor at Central Baptist Fountain City during college, she quickly recognized her calling to teach and how God had effectively equipped her to work with children. After graduating with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Elementary Education, she took her first teaching position at Halls Elementary in Knoxville where she taught for seven years.
In 2010 God led Amanda to Grace Christian Academy for a visit and soon an interview for a teaching position. At the time, she says, “I was not aware of the impact that Christian education would have in my life and the lives of my own children.” Amanda quickly became passionate about the mission and vision of Grace Christian Academy, whose greatest endeavor is to equip the next generation to be devoted followers of Christ.
When Amanda thinks back to her first day as a teacher at GCA, she remembers what an impactful experience it was. “I was in tears during the prayer overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude at how God had orchestrated my path to be there. Elementary school age children are extremely impressionable and the importance of these formative years is foundational in developing their worldview.”
Because Grace Christian Academy seeks to be a distinctively Christian school, Amanda has relished the opportunity to integrate Biblical truths into her teaching and to help shape young minds not only academically, but spiritually. “I enjoy teaching 2nd graders how to become better readers and writers. We learn about God’s world and His attributes in all subjects. We also like to laugh and have fun in 2nd grade. We make lasting friends and memories.” And perhaps most importantly, Amanda shares her desire for all of the students in her care each day. “I want my students to feel confident and safe in my classroom. I want them to realize God’s unconditional love for them.”
Amanda and her husband, Joseph, have been married for fourteen years after first meeting in high school. Their two children, Anna and Landon, have attended Grace since they were in the preschool program. As Amanda reflects on their experience at GCA, she emphasizes, “I am invested in this school and believe in its mission. I am looking forward to seeing them graduate from GCA.”
Amanda Ballard, her husband, and their children are members of Grace Baptist, where Amanda sings in the choir. She is also the Food for Kids Director at Grace Baptist, where she oversees a partnership between the church and Second Harvest to provide food for children in need by providing non-perishable food items during the school year and summer months. Amanda’s passion for children and her concern for their physical, mental, and spiritual development make her classroom environment one where her students know they are loved and are free to thrive.