KNOXVILLE—The board of trustees of Johnson University will present Pat Robinette with an honorary doctorate in educational leadership Feb. 20, 2018. Robinette is being honored for his partnership in the teacher education program and leadership in educational training.
Robinette said the real honor is getting to work alongside the teacher education program faculty and staff at Johnson.
“Just having a chance to be a part of this special place for over 30 years, working with Dr. [Chris] Templar and teacher ed. and 14 years now actually being on campus, that is honor enough for me,” he said.”I really appreciate the trustees, Dr. Weedman, Dr. Smith and Dr. Miller for allowing me to feel so honored.”
A South Knoxville resident, Robinette has been in the field of education for several years. He was the principal at Bonny Kate for 24 years and was brought to Johnson 14 years ago to work alongside Templar as the intern coordinator of education.
“She [Templar] kinda adopted me and Bonny Kate at the same time,” Robinette said. “I considered our adoption by Johnson Bible college the best possible business adoption because it had nothing to do with money and everything to do with people.
Robinette’s initial business partnership with Templar soon shifted toward an ongoing admiration for the University’s educational work and advancements.
“I’ve always admired Johnson Bible College — now Johnson University — mainly because of the good people here and because of the good work that has been done here for all those years. To be privileged to be a part of it, to me is honor enough,” Robinette said.
Robinette has continued the mission of the Templar School of Education to give undergraduate students hands-on classroom experience in schools throughout the greater Knoxville area. He is currently in the process of placing his largest number of students yet.
“I’m trying to place 34 students this spring, the most I’ve ever had the privilege of placing with our partner schools in Knox, Sevier and several Christian schools as well,” he said.
Robinette said he hopes to add more partnerships to accommodate all 34 students for the spring. He also recognizes that the expectations of teachers have changed over the 30-year time span.
“What’s expected of teachers — it’s a very different game than it was when Dr.Templar and I were working 30 years ago — now we have to train our students in very different ways,” he said.
For his interns, Robinette strives to implement teamwork skills and wants them to find the good in every student.
“I want them to be good team players,” he said. “Teamwork is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity in education.
“Teachers have to learn to work with other teachers to make good things happen for the kids in their school,” he added.
Robinette said he tries to be humorous and focus on positives with his students.
“Humor is good medicine, and I try to encourage my students [interns] to find the humor in every day and to look for the good in their students,” Robinette added.
Once Robinette receives his doctorate, he said he has no specific plans other than continuing his role as an educational leader and intern coordinator.
Robinette will officially receive his honorary doctorate at the evening service of Homecoming. A reception sponsored by Templar School of Education will follow in the private dining of the Gally Commons.