TDOE Announces 2020-21 Tennessee Teacher Of The Year Finalists

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Tennessee Department of Education on Wednesday announced the nine finalists from across the state for the 2020-21 Tennessee Teacher of the Year award.  

The finalists represent each of the eight Center of Regional Excellence areas in the state, as well as the Shelby County-Municipals area, with three finalists in each Grand Division- West, Middle, and East.  

“The 2019-20 school year has reminded all of us how deeply communities appreciate our educators and value their work. Even in the face of uncertainty, educators across the state have continued to demonstrate their passion and commitment to our students in a new and unprecedented learning environment,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We are thankful and proud to have exceptional leaders like these finalists in our state serving our students.” 

The nine finalists for 2020-21 Tennessee Teacher of the Year are:  

West Tennessee

 

Teacher

School

District

CORE Region

Daniel Warner

East High School

Shelby County Schools

Shelby/Municipals

Candace Sanders

Halls Elementary

Lauderdale County Schools

Southwest

Katherine Madden-Bruketta

Peabody High School

Trenton Special School District

Northwest

 

                      Middle Tennessee 

 

Teacher

School

District

CORE Region

Lauryn England

Fall-HamiltonElementary

Metro Nashville Public Schools

Mid Cumberland

Samantha Stevens

Tullahoma High School

Tullahoma City Schools

South Central

Teresa Buckner

White County MiddleSchool

White County Schools

Upper Cumberland

 

         East Tennessee 

 

Teacher

School

District

CORE Region

Tonya Lee

Englewood Elementary

McMinn County Schools

Southeast

Kami Lunsford

Karns Middle School

Knox County Schools

East Tennessee

Hannah Hopper

Fairview-MargueriteElementary

Hamblen County Schools

First Tennessee


Districts were able to nominate three educators representing each of the three grade bands. Out of over 200 applications, 27 regional semifinalists were identified, and the nine finalists were selected from a CORE region selection committee and state-level selection committee. 

“Serving the state’s superintendents has afforded me the opportunity to see firsthand the incredible work happening by our district leaders and educators, especially in light of COVID-19,” said Barry Olhausen, assistant executive director of TOSS, Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents. “I am honored to support the department’s recognition efforts of our exceptional teachers by serving on the state selection committee as we all navigate a new frontier of education.”  

To qualify for Teacher of the Year, candidates must have been teaching full-time for at least three years, have a track record of exceptional gains in student learning, and be effective school and community leaders. 

Following a panel interview with each finalist, Grand Division winners and the Tennessee Teacher of the Year will be selected from this group of finalists and announced during an honorary banquet this fall. 

The final winner will represent Tennessee in the National Teacher of the Year competition and serve as an ambassador for education in the state throughout the 2020-21 school year. 

These finalists will also have the opportunity to serve on Commissioner Schwinn’s Teacher Advisory Council for the duration of the 2020-21 school year. This council acts as a working group of expert teachers to provide feedback and inform the work of the department throughout the school year. Additionally, to provide continuity and leadership, the three Grand Division winners will continue their terms on the Council during the 2021-22 school year. 

To learn more about the Tennessee Teacher of the Year award, click here.  


Williams Receives Lee’s Excellence In Teaching Award

Lee's DeLaLuz Awarded Rank Of Distinguished Professor

2020 Lee University Ledford Scholars Announced


Dr. Christine Williams has been selected as the recipient of Lee University’s 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award. President Paul Conn made this announcement during a recent virtual faculty and ... (click for more)

Dr. Paul DeLaLuz was promoted to distinguished professor of chemistry by the Lee University board of directors. This title is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a member of Lee’s faculty. ... (click for more)

Seven Lee University students were selected by the Appalachian College Association as Colonel B. Ledford Scholars. The Colonel B. Ledford Scholarship offers financial assistance to eligible ... (click for more)



Student Scene

Williams Receives Lee’s Excellence In Teaching Award

Dr. Christine Williams has been selected as the recipient of Lee University’s 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award. President Paul Conn made this announcement during a recent virtual faculty and staff meeting. The Excellence Awards are the highest honors presented to Lee faculty members and recognize advising, scholarship and teaching. The Excellence in Teaching is the oldest ... (click for more)

Lee's DeLaLuz Awarded Rank Of Distinguished Professor

Dr. Paul DeLaLuz was promoted to distinguished professor of chemistry by the Lee University board of directors. This title is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a member of Lee’s faculty. Dr. DeLaLuz is one of only 10 professors in the university’s history to be awarded the title of distinguished professor. A 1993 alumnus of Lee, Dr. DeLaLuz returned to take his ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Adds 75 New Cases, Another Death To COVID Toll

Hamilton County Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes said Friday that Hamilton County has added 75 new coronavirus cases, with the number of cumulative cases being 3,255. She said there are 2,096 recovered cases, and 1,122 active COVID patients in the community. She reported another COVID death to the total. The 37 th death was a White non-Hispanic male between 61-70 ... (click for more)

Protest Leader Takes Down Sheriff's Flag In Front Of Jail, Burns It At Miller Park

A protest leader acknowledged in an Internet post that she took down the Sheriff's Department flag from in front of the County Jail and burned it at Miller Park. Marie Mott said she did so because "I got tired of seeing it flying knowing there are black, brown and poor white people in that jail while white people are allowed not to wear a mask when we have a virus that kills ... (click for more)

Opinion

Mandates Are A Bluff - And Response (13)

Via something called an "Executive Order," the facemask mandate will go into effect in Hamilton County on Friday until Sept. 8. This is an illegal executive order and carries no legal weight. Those issuing it know this, which is why Jim Coppinger was too cowardly to issue it himself, but passed off the dirty deed to Dr. Paul Hendricks, who is not even a duly elected representative ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Some time ago The Saturday Funnies started a “CLICK HERE” section at the end of the weekly jokes and stories. With today’s magnificent media, they are easily available and now I find a good half of the “Funnies” that arrive in our emails are videos. This week I received one video that I believe should be shared with everyone in times such as this. Because I am so gleeful over ... (click for more)