Tennessee Announces 2019-20 Teacher of the Year Finalists

Nine Finalists Move Forward for State Recognition, Serve on Commissioner’s Teacher Advisory Council
Monday, June 17, 2019 | 04:34pm

NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Education is pleased to announce the nine finalists for the 2019-20 Tennessee Teacher of the Year award. The finalists represent each of the six Center of Regional Excellence (CORE) area in the state, with three finalists in each Grand Division (West, Middle, and East). Grand Division winners including the Teacher of the Year will be selected from this group and announced during an honorary banquet this fall, following a panel interview with each finalist.

“I have visited classrooms in every region, and we have so many passionate and highly effective educators in Tennessee,” Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said. “Kids never forget their best teachers; they carry the lessons with them for the rest of their lives. These teachers are changing the trajectory of their students’ lives.”

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 2019-20 school 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 2019-20 Teacher of the Year are:  

West Tennessee
CORE Region Teacher School District
Shelby/Municipals Amanda Tutor Bartlett 9th Grade Academy Bartlett Municipal School District
Southwest Holly Cooper Lexington High School Henderson County Schools
Northwest Tina Greenlee Dyer County High School Dyer County Schools
Middle Tennessee
CORE Region Teacher School District
Mid Cumberland Sarah Chumney Cason Lane Academy Murfreesboro City Schools
South Central Mary Pack Loretto High School Lawrence County Schools
Upper Cumberland Mary Lindsay Spain Prescott South Elementary Putnam County School System
East Tennessee
CORE Region Teacher School District
Southeast Kristin Robertson Signal Mountain Middle High Hamilton County Schools
East Tennessee Cristina Hasha Jefferson Elementary Jefferson County Schools
First Tennessee Brian McLaughlin Morristown-Hamblen High School West Hamblen County Schools

These finalists will have the opportunity to serve on Commissioner Schwinn’s Teacher Advisory Council for the duration of the 2019-20 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 2020-21 school year.