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Liv Detwiler believes in strong neighborhood schools for Kingsport

Amy Millhorn Leonard • May 13, 2019 at 10:30 AM

“It is very important to find what you are passionate about and what you are good at and then use that in service to others. That was instilled in me by my parents,” Liv Detwiler says.

Liv’s passion is education. She knows that as a Kingsport Board of Education member she can use that passion to contribute to the continued success of Kingsport schools.

How did Liv acquire that passion? Liv attended K-12 public schools that followed an “open” model, focusing on experiential learning and community engagement. For 15 years, Liv was involved at the Concordia Language Villages, a world-renowned language and culture immersion program for youth, starting as a Spanish student and building to dean of the program.

“I credit my skills, passion and growth in my field to the powerful educational experiences I had and the critical roles that my mentors played,” shares Liv. She is now a Spanish lecturer and Spanish Program Coordinator at East Tennessee State University.

As a school board candidate, Liv believes in involving students, parents, educators and the community in open communication with the Kingsport BOE and encourages collaboration. She was thrilled to be a part of the first annual student-led Kingsport Board of Education candidate forum conducted by the mayor’s youth council, “Youth Engaged in Leadership and Learning” or YELL. She says, “Experiences such as these empower students to engage in community discussions that impact them.”

As a teacher, Liv feels strongly in bringing the community into the classroom and taking the classroom into the community. In her capacity as a Spanish instructor at East Tennessee State University, Liv brings in guest speakers and coordinates Latino community scavenger hunts and “coffee dates” between her students and Spanish speakers out in the community to enhance cultural connections and effective communication. She encourages students to take advantage of opportunities to travel abroad. For those students who cannot travel, it is important for educators to create similar experiences locally.

Kingsport City Schools are known for excellence, but there is always opportunity for improvement. Recently, the Kingsport BOE has been discussing “Portrait of a Graduate” and what their schools can do to best prepare our students for life beyond graduation. Liv is excited to participate in these discussions on what this “portrait” looks like. She knows it is critical to impact leaners from the beginning.

“We need to teach and provide our youngest kids with strategies for positive achievement especially in the areas of behavior and literacy,” she said.

Liv is very concerned with maintenance of schools, facilities and playgrounds and proposes creation of a long-term funding plan for that purpose for all system schools.

“Well-maintained spaces for the community to enjoy are a source of pride. It is the BOE’s duty to actively ‘level the playing field’ for all Kingsport students,” she said.

She strongly feels that “every student should feel safe” and is a proponent of strengthening school safety. She proposes care with handling the possible acquisition of Sullivan North High School, taking into consideration the students and families who will be impacted.

More about Liv Detwiler

Liv earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and secondary education from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. After college, she adventurously relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, where she began teaching at Needham High School and later taught at North Hampton High School in Western Massachusetts. She taught Basic through AP Spanish and was advisor to a graduating class and various student clubs. Liv earned her master’s degree in Hispanic linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she met her husband Andrew. She joined the faculty at ETSU in 2011 and is Spanish Program Coordinator.

In 2011, the Detwilers moved to the Tri-Cities when Andrew started his work at Eastman. They fell in love with Kingsport and moved here in 2012.

“Kingsport has a wonderful neighborhood feel. We are centrally located in town with sidewalks where we can run and walk with our kids. We are within walking distance of our neighborhood elementary, middle and high schools that our children will soon attend. We love having all four seasons and an extended gardening time for many varieties of wildflowers and vegetables,” says Liv.

She serves as board president of the church day care where both of her young children currently attend. Her oldest child will start kindergarten in the fall.

Liv Detwiler – educator, mother, neighbor, leader – believes in strong neighborhood schools. Learn more about Liv at www.liv4kingsport.com or email her at [email protected] She would appreciate your vote for Kingsport Board of Education on May 21. Early voting is underway in Kingsport and Blountville.

Paid for by the Detwiler Campaign Committee, A. Detwiler, Treasurer.

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