State of Our Schools – Reporter still gets recognized

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

Pain can be powerful motivation, though that’s not the only thing that led former WCBI reporter Terry Abernethy to a classroom.
His neck sometimes bothers him, and he blames that on years of camera work.
“With the old job, it was nice getting out and meeting people and going to different places,” he said. “But it could be physically demanding, especially carrying the camera and tripod.”
He studied broadcast journalism at the University of Mississippi and spent years on television.
At 39, he considered his options. He felt like he’d gone as far up the WCBI chain of command as possible. After talking with family, as well as with friends who were teachers, he signed up for a three-week summer course at Itawamba Community College in Fulton.
“It was a lot of classroom management and general teaching,” Abernethy said. “They taught you about assessments and lesson plans.”
History, geography and economics were always his favorite subjects, so he took the social studies version of the Praxis II test.
“The biggest thing at first was classroom management,” he said. “At that time, my own kids were small. I wasn’t used to dealing with kids who were 14, 15 or 16 years old.”
Abernethy, 47, made the transition and is now in his seventh year at Tupelo High School. He teaches Mississippi studies and world geography.
“There are still people who remember me from TV, but I run into a lot of former students. It’s both,” he said. “It’s good to hear from former students. Some of them you get very close to, and they like to update you on their lives.”