Today is Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Woman of Wilson: Candace Reed

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Love and marriage brought Candace Reed to Wilson County.

It is in Lebanon where the Silver Point native re-planted her roots and currently excels as an educator at both Southside and Tuckers Crossroads elementary schools.

Reed met her future husband, Joey, at Tennessee Tech in 1999. She had transferred to Tech from Middle Tennessee State University. The couple was introduced by mutual friends.

Reed ended up going back to MTSU to finish her degree in mass communications and graduated from the university in December 2002.

She went to work as an associate producer at News Channel 5 in Nashville soon after, which had been a lifelong dream. "I loved working at Channel 5, but realized it wasn't what I wanted to do forever," she said. "I decided to go back to school at Tennessee Tech to get my license to teach."

Reed obtained her elementary education license in May 2006.

"When I was working at Channel 5, I realized that working in news wasn't a family friendly job," she said. "I worked every holiday and went to work at 1:30 a.m. each day. After working for almost two years at Channel 5, my desire to teach and work with children prevailed."

Reed is in her 11th year of teaching. She previously taught kindergarten and third grade at Southside Elementary. Last year she earned her license to teach English as a Second Language (ESL).

"An ESL position opened up last February, and I was fortunate enough to move into that spot at Southside," Reed said. This year, she is teaching ESL at both Southside and Tuckers.

"I absolutely love teaching English as a Second Language. I feel like I've found my calling. I have the best students," she said. "They are very eager to learn and are so sweet ... I have the unique opportunity to help these children become proficient in English. It's a big responsibility, but an extremely rewarding one."

When she isn't teaching, Reed enjoys time with her family. She and Joey have been married for 13 years.

Their first child, Kylee Ann, was born on May 11, 2006 and passed away when she was 11 days old due to complications from open heart surgery.

"Kylee had a rare congenital heart defect, hypoplastic left heart syndrome," Reed explained. "We have since been blessed with two more daughters, Kellee, 9, and Joey Kate, 3."

Reed annually participates in the Jordan Hackett Foundation 5K Run in Carthage. "I always recruit a team of family and friends to run the race in memory of Kylee. Jordan Hackett had the same heart defect that Kylee had," she said. "I met Jordan's mother, Karen, after Kylee passed away. The Jordan Hackett Foundation donates money to the Ronald McDonald House, sponsors a sleep room at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and does many other amazing things."

Each May, Reed goes with Karen to the Ronald McDonald house in Nashville. The ladies deliver meals in memory of Jordan and Kylee.

"It is a way to help others and honor the memory of our children at the same time," she said.

Her other hobbies include exercising and reading.

Reed listed her mother, Margaret Crain, and late grandmother, Izella Kelly, as the two biggest influences in her life.

"I would describe both of them as intelligent, strong, caring, hard-working and very supportive," she said. "Their love was instrumental in making me the person I am today."

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