Donn King earns Toastmasters recognition for service, leadership

Donn KingDonn King, associate professor of Liberal Arts, was recognized recently for outstanding service and exceptional leadership by Toastmasters International, District 63 Leadership.

King was named Division Governor of the Year for his service as governor of Division B in District 63 in 2013-2014. The district covers East and Middle Tennessee and parts of Virginia and Kentucky.

“I was so honored,” King said. “I got choked up.”

King was recognized for his dedication during a personally trying year.

“Donn faced extreme personal challenges prior to serving the district as Division B governor, including having a disabled spouse and daughter. Yet he graciously accepted the challenge and agreed to serve,” said Becky Begarly, District 63 governor, at the awards ceremony in October.

“Mid-year, Donn’s daughter’s condition deteriorated, resulting in her admission to a critical care unit and an extended hospitalization. With his personal challenges and family crisis, Donn’s ability to focus and complete his duties became a struggle, but he refused to simply quit, choosing instead to prevail. Donn finished his term gracefully and, as always, with a smile and a pleasant demeanor.”

Also at the District 63 fall conference, King won third place in a humorous speech competition for a speech about lessons learned from his students. King has taught at Pellissippi State for 24 years.

Toastmasters is an international volunteer organization dedicated to teaching leadership and communication skills through speeches and club management. There are about a dozen Toastmasters organizations in the Knoxville metropolitan area.