Nikki Sanders

Originally from Ohio, I have been a resident of Knoxville for 20 years and raised my two boys, Josh and Parker, in the area. I have worked in the field of special education in some capacity my entire career. I love teaching and working with families, and Christenberry’s staff is one of the best out there. When I am not teaching, I enjoy anything outdoors, which makes Knoxville feel like home. I also love to venture out and travel, but is always a pleasure to return back home to Knoxville.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
I have two sons that were raised in Knoxville. My oldest Josh graduated from the University of Tennessee and now resides in New York City. My youngest son is currently a student at Pellissippi State.

Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
I have worked in special education all of my work career. I have worked with families birth-3 years with the Tennessee Early Intervention System, and I currently work as a special education teacher with Knox County schools. I love working with my students and seeing the achieve and grow.

Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
I love seating on the Cafe 4 patio watching the hustle and bustle of Market Square. I also love the beauty of eating by the lake at Lakeside Tavern.

Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
20 years living…about 18 working part or full time

Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
My friend Frankie Ginnis Nance. She has experienced so many things in her life, and she uses those experiences to support and help others grow.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I have been fortunate enough to travel some abroad, but right now my dream is to travel across the country and visit National Parks.

Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
Little Miss Sunshine The Greatest Show.

Q: What advice would you give to people?
As I get older and hopefully a little wiser….to appreciate the moment you are in. It is so easy to get lost in a list of things to do, but if you can focus on the present moment , whether at work, home or wherever….that is where you will be your best. This is still a work in progress for me.

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
Traveling across the country, maybe skydiving.

Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
Fleetwood Mac.

Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
This is kind of a broad answer, but Market Square. When I first moved here it wasn’t much of anything, but now it is a go to with family and friends.

Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
Barack Obama (and if Michelle wanted to join that would be a bonus). We would meet at Cafe 4 to watch the hustle and bustle, and talk about his experiences during his presidency.

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
We are surrounded with mountains, lakes and rivers.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Teaching here in Knoxville.

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I am pretty much an open book, in high school I was the head Pom-Pom girl.

Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
Scotland in the winter.

Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
I am going to say November and Thanksgiving, because during that time I get together with family and friends.

Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
The mountains.

Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My sons.

Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?

Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Comfort, peace, relaxation.