Citizen Zach Dunnavant is a Giles County educator and coach who takes extra care with his duties. He is known for his dedication to his students as well as his colleagues, both of whom can count on him for any kind of help.
A hometown boy, Dunnavant graduated from Giles County High School in 2013. After graduation he attended Bethel University in McKenzie where he graduated in 2017 with his bachelor’s degree in education. He returned to GCHS in August that same year, joining the staff as a teacher and baseball coach.
Dunnavant could not be happier to be a part of the teaching staff at his alma mater and currently teaches sociology, weightlifting and physical education. He is also an FCA and Student Council sponsor.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending as much time as possible with friends and family, going to the gym and working out with fiancee Taylor Rose Jenkins.
“Zach loves anything outdoors and in nature, and really loves to fish,” Jenkins added.
The pandemic has had a definite effect on Dunnavant’s profession. When he found that the baseball season and school were suspended, he was disappointed to say the least, as were his students and athletes.
“Zach has missed seeing his students and baseball players during this time off,” Jenkins said. “I think he gets more out of teaching and coaching than they do from him and that has been hard for him to do without. He is one to always answer the phone when one of them calls and is always there for them when they need him, and that hasn’t changed.”
In his brief time teaching, Dunnavant has helped students in his own humble way.
“I probably don’t know half of the things that he has done or will do for his students,” Jenkins said, noting, “he has shared stories of things he has given students, clothes they need for gym, school supplies, etc... And though it may not seem like much, to these kids it can change their whole lives. And that is him, he always says, ‘I want to be there for the kids as someone they know they can count on and be a friend and not just their teacher or coach.’”
In sociology class, Dunnavant asks each student to write a paper about themselves.
“The reasons they are who they are and what their culture was like growing up — so that he can understand them a little better and know what their background looks like,” Jenkins explained. “He loves his kids and just wants what is best for them.”