Why is Kesi a Highlander? According to Ancestry, Kesi’s most dominant ethnicity is Scottish at 38%. The Scottish came to the mountains of Appalachia seeking to improve their lives and that of their families. Kesi sees the similarities in her ancestors’ trek to the mountains for a better life and the trek of immigrants coming here now. She grew up speaking her maternal grandmother’s Smoky Mountain English along with the proper English her mother taught in Kindergarten at Pigeon Forge Primary.
Kesi was born and raised in Sevier County, TN, and learned from the best teachers in the Pigeon Forge elementary schools and Gatlinburg Pittman High School. She became a Highlander when she chose the GP Highlanders over the Sevier County Smoky Bears for high school in the days before Pigeon Forge High School. Graduating in GP’s Class of 2000, Kesi went on to graduate from the University of Tennessee in May 2004 with a BA in Spanish and a minor in English Creative Writing. It was while at UT that God answered Kesi’s prayer of Jabez. God used Kesi’s gifts as a writer in a variety of ways at different times, but the biggest way He changed Kesi’s life was by giving her the gift of speaking Spanish. After graduation, Kesi worked for a period of time as a State of Tennessee Registered Court Interpreter. For a complete list of Kesi’s experience in various areas, please see the resume page.
Kesi is currently writing a Spanish workbook to help interested individuals learn Spanish. While teaching in two Knoxville area high schools, Kesi created most of the material she used in class. While at Seymour High School, Kesi wrote the Spanish 2 curriculum with a colleague to align it with National Spanish Exam Standards.