2015 Teacher Of The Year Finalists Include Cleveland Teacher

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Tennessee Department of Education announced the finalists for the 2014-15 Tennessee Teacher of the Year Award, including one from Cleveland, Tn. The nine finalists are elementary, middle, and high school educators from each Grand Division of the state. Grand Division winners and the Teacher of the Year will be selected from this group and announced later this fall.

"Teachers are the biggest factor in the success of our students, and it is an honor to celebrate educators that are helping their students grow," Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said. “We celebrate these finalists, but also the thousands of dedicated educators across the state.”

These finalists will have the opportunity to join the commissioner’s inaugural Teacher Advisory Council. Members of this new body will offer insight, feedback, and advice on issues that impact teachers across the state.

“Seeking feedback and advice from our Teacher of the Year finalists is a critical step in ensuring that we are learning from and listening to teachers from all regions of our state,” Commissioner Huffman said.

The nine finalists for 2014-15 Teacher of the Year are:

West Tennessee

CORE Region





Karen Vogelsang

Keystone Elementary

Shelby County


Rebecca McBride

Brighton High

Tipton County


Kerri Newsom

Margaret Newton Elementary

Lake County

Middle Tennessee

CORE Region




Mid Cumberland

Tracy Harmon

Franklin High

Williamson County

South Central

Chris Simpson

Ingram Sowell Elementary

Lawrence County

Upper Cumberland

Shannon Streett

Woodbury Grammar

Cannon County


East Tennessee

CORE Region





Cecily Williams

Cleveland Middle

Cleveland City

East Tennessee

Heather Burkhart

Pigeon Forge Middle

Sevier County

First Tennessee

Ashley Carter

John Adams Elementary

Kingsport City

The final winner will represent Tennessee in the National Teacher of the Year competition and is an ambassador for education throughout the year. To qualify, candidates must have been teaching full-time for at least five years, have a proven record of using creative, research-based teaching strategies resulting in measurable achievement, and be effective school and community leaders. A panel of professional educators from across the state scored applications to identify these finalists.

For more information, please contact Kelli Gauthier at (615) 532-7817 or Kelli.Gauthier@tn.gov.

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