Independence High School Announces Teacher Of The Year

Kelli Karnish, Teacher of the Year

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MINT HILL, NC – The community of Mint Hill wants to congratulate Independence High School 2020 – 2021 Teacher of the year, Kelli Karnish. Mrs. Karnish is Chair of the Math Department and teaches Pre-Calculus and AP Calculus. Kelli is one of the most highly regarded teachers at the school. Her fellow teachers and her family admire not only Kelli’s work ethic and dedication to her career but also the connection that she makes with the students.

Mrs. Kelli Kranish is from Albemarle, North Carolina, and graduated from West Stanly High School as a part of the class of 2007. To continue her education, she then attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There she graduated as an outstanding member of the class of 2011. While at UNC-Chapel Hill, she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics and a Minor in Chemistry. From there, Mrs. Kranish completed a Master’s Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for her Master’s in Education. 



Kelli is also a wonderful wife and the mother of a two-year-old son. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her dedication to her family, friends, co-workers, and students truly speaks for why she was selected as Teacher of the Year. This is a well-deserved award to a teacher that is an outstanding role model for our future generation.

When growing up, Kelli truly admired her math teacher, Mrs. Christi Edwards. Mrs. Edwards is a very passionate math teacher. She expresses to all her students the importance of organization in all aspects of life, which helps to solve complex problems not only in math but through life. This is the foundation that Mrs. Karnish needed to inspire her to continue her education and earn a degree in Mathematics at UNC-Chapel Hill to become a teacher. Once she completed her degree, she knew she wanted to share her love of mathematics right where it started, at the high school level. Teaching at the high school level allows Kelli to be able to do the same thing for her students that her mentor Mrs. Edwards did for her.

Mrs. Kranish has enjoyed being a part of Independence High School’s program for the last ten years teaching Mathematics. Her interest in becoming a teacher at Indy was sparked when she interviewed for the position. All of the administration treated her just like family, and she knew it was a place she would call home. Each member of the math department has proven to Kelli that her instinct was true. They support each other, help each other grow, and through the challenge from the students, Kelli grows stronger as a teacher each day. These qualities in Kelli along with her drive and dedication made her stand out as an amazing teacher that deserved recognition.

The love that Kelli has for math and the content knowledge that she has developed over the years makes her a true asset to Independence High School. Her organizational skills that have been well developed since high school along with her color-coding systems that she uses for her lessons make her a unique asset to the high school math program. She works with her students to instill in them the same philosophy as Mrs. Edwards gives to her students: the encouragement to be able to solve complex content through approachable steps and understandable techniques. 

Mrs. Kelli Karnish is very humbled to accept the Teacher of the Year Award for Independence High School for the 2020-2021 school year. She accepted the award on December 18, 2020, and was very honored to receive the nomination from her peers. 

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Jessica Mentzer
Jessica Mentzer is a mother, wife, and freelance writer that loves to travel and write. Whenever she is not traveling with her family or writing she enjoys hiking, canoeing, swimming, and spending time with her two children. She is a stay at home mom and enjoys watching her children grow and learn each day. Her passion for writing and her love for travel are two things that she loves to share with friends and family.