Tennessee Department of Education Announces 2017-18 Teacher of the Year Finalists

Tuesday, June 06, 2017 | 10:11am

NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Education today announced the nine finalists for the 2017-18 Tennessee Teacher of the Year award. The finalists represent each Center of Regional Excellence (CORE) area in the state, with three finalists in each Grand Division (west, middle, and east). Grand Division winners and the Teacher of the Year will be selected from this group and announced during an honorary banquet this fall.

"These teachers are our students’ heroes," Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “Our educators have a direct, positive influence on students every day. And, because of educators like these nine finalists, Tennessee’s future is bright.”

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 year. To qualify, 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. The nine finalists for 2017-18 Tennessee Teacher of the Year are:

West Tennessee
CORE Region Teacher School District
Shelby/Municipals Stephanie Rice Crosswind Elementary Collierville Schools
Southwest Mandy Fraley Northeast Middle Jackson-Madison County Schools
Northwest Carol Nanney McKenzie Elementary McKenzie Special School District
Middle Tennessee
CORE Region Teacher School District
Mid Cumberland Cicely Woodard West End Middle Metro Nashville Public Schools
South Central Chelle Daniels West Middle Tullahoma City Schools
Upper Cumberland Rebecca Ryan White County High White County Schools
East Tennessee
CORE Region Teacher School District
Southeast Kristin Burrus Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences Hamilton County Department of Education
East Tennessee Karen Latus Bearden High Knox County Schools
First Tennessee Nancy Miles South Side Elementary Johnson City Schools

These finalists will have the opportunity to serve on Commissioner McQueen’s Teacher Advisory Council for duration of the 2017-18 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 term during the 2018-19 school year.

For more information on the Tennessee Teacher of the Year program, visit the department’s website or contact Debby Muskar, director of human capital strategy, at Debra.Muskar@tn.gov. For media inquiries, contact Sara Gast, director of strategic communications and media, at (615) 532‐6260 or Sara.Gast@tn.gov.