Dr. Russell Dyer, director of Cleveland City Schools, announces that the Tennessee
Department of Education has selected Sheron Smith as one of nine finalists for 2021-2022
Tennessee Teacher of the Year. Ms. Smith is a second grade teacher at Arnold Memorial
Elementary School and has completed her seventeenth year at the school.
Ms. Smith’s principal, Mr. Mike Chai, shared this about her, “Sheron Smith works tirelessly to
ensure student mastery of the content. Her excellent knowledge of the curriculum and what
students need for success is apparent in her classroom teaching and students’ academic
Dr. Dyer also shared this about the selection, “Ms. Smith is an excellent example of the
high quality educators teaching in Cleveland City Schools. We are very proud of her selection
as a finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year. There is no doubt that she will be a wonderful
representative of Cleveland City Schools as she continues to represent us across the State of
Tennessee. We wish her well as she moves on to the finals.”
Grand Division winners and, ultimately, the Tennessee Teacher of the Year will be selected
from this group of finalists and announced during an honorary celebration this fall following a
panel interview with each finalist. 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 2021-22 school year. Finalists will also have the opportunity to serve on
Commissioner Schwinn’s Teacher Advisory Council for the duration of the 2021-22 school year.
The council is composed of "expert teachers who provide feedback and inform the work of the
department throughout the academic year."