Educator of the Week: Vanesa Dawkins

It’s time to recognize this week’s Educator of the Week brought to you by the Tennessee Lottery.

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Vanesa Dawkins is an educator at Nova Early Learning Center in Jackson. She says she is a product of the Jackson-Madison County School System.

Dawkins said that her middle school teachers impacted her learning experience a lot growing up. Working in education was still something unexpected for her.

“I attended high school in North Side, but I ended up dropping out of school in the 12th grade,” Dawkins said.

Dawkins said years passed by before she went for her GED, but she had a big support system.

“My children also were a motivating factor. And having a church family that inspired me and motivated me and encouraged me that your dreams are possible and that you can do it,” she said.

Now she’s there to help inspire her Pre-k students.

“This is the age where they begin to dream. They have hopes, they have dreams, they have inspirations,” Dawkins said.

She says there’s never a dull moment in her classroom. She loves to laugh and have fun and wants the children to be able to express themselves.

“Just make sure that it’s something that you’re called to do and that you’re passionate. That’s how you’re going to impact the lives of our young people,” Dawkins said.

Dawkins is now eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award.

To vote for her or any other nominees, go to the Tennessee Education Lottery website.

To nominate a teacher for our weekly award, email us at

Categories: Educator of the Week