Jefferson Award honoree: Christie Pennington

CHESTER COUNTY, Tenn. — Every month WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News will honor a community member with the Jefferson Award. The national Jefferson Awards Foundation in partnership with Leaders Credit Union honors local people who impact others in a positive way.

Christie Pennington

Honorees can range from elementary school students to senior citizens. We asked members of the community to nominate everyday heroes who strive to make the world a better place.

This month, we are honoring Christie Pennington. She used to work at an attorney’s office for 12 years until she says God led her down a new path.

Pennington now spends her weekdays teaching seventh grade math at Chester County Junior High School in Henderson.

“God kind of laid it on my heart to move to teaching,” she said.

“She is a very good teacher, and she teaches very well,” said Emma Grace Miller, a seventh grade student at Chester County Junior High.

It was inside the classroom where Pennington got the idea to start something bigger to help her students.

“Helping the kids, and I think really seeing the needs the kids and the community has, and I think that’s what led me to start the soup kitchen,” Pennington said.

Christie started the Henderson Community Soup Kitchen back in May to serve students, families and first responders in need.

“And they come in and they get so excited just for a meal or they get excited for a toothbrush,” she said. “People that don’t feel loved in the community, they really start to open up. They can show their love back to us.”

Her love for others is why many West Tennesseans nominated Christie for November’s Jefferson Award, an award that represents the best of public service.

“I think she deserves it because she works really hard,” student Emma Grace said.

Christie says she plans to keep serving the community in years to come.

Christie has been teaching for six years and says she has a new gratification for her students.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Jefferson Award, you can do so with the nomination form here.