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Supervisor of the Year

Each year an outstanding public school supervisor earns distinction as the Tennessee Department of Education Supervisor of the Year (SOY).  This honor is reserved for leaders who demonstrate
superior abilities in:

  • managing and motivating students and faculties;
  • evoking high standards;
  •  demonstrating a commitment to excellence;
  • implementing innovative programs; and
  • having a track record of exceptional gains in student learning.

The winner is honored annually at the Principal and Supervisor of the Year Banquet.

2020-21 Supervisor of the Year


The 2020-21 Tennessee Supervisor of the Year is Dr. Kay Martin of Rutherford County Schools.

Dr. Kay Martin has been an educator since 1999 when she started as an eighth-grade Language Arts teacher at Walter J. Baird School in Lebanon. She joined Rutherford County Schools in 2002 as a Language Arts teacher at Siegel Middle School and later taught at LaVergne Middle School, where she became an assistant principal in 2006. Martin served as principal at Walter Hill Elementary in 2009, joined Central Magnet School in the fall of 2013, and moved to the district level in 2017 to serve as Rutherford County’s Secondary Coordinator. She was named DNJ Ruthie Favorite Principal of the Year in 2010 for Rutherford and Cannon County, served as a Principal Common Core Coach twice for the state of Tennessee, and has been a leadership mentor with Lipscomb University and Tennessee Tech University for aspiring administrators. Dr. Martin has had 14 years of administrative experience ranging in all grade levels PreK-12 and at various academic settings including a Title I school, an all-academic magnet school, and now serving the fourth largest district in TN. Throughout her life, Dr. Martin’s heroes have always been her teachers. Their belief in her and encouragement inspired her to reach beyond her ambitions and opened her world. She now has a strong desire to invest in students and teachers, as others did for her, and to motivate them to dream without limits and become more than they could ever imagine. Dr. Martin will always consider her greatest contribution to be her students and their legacy.

Benefits of Participating in the Tennessee Supervisor of the Year Program

What are the benefits to supervisors?

By participating in the Tennessee Supervisor of the Year program, district leaders have the opportunity to:

  • be celebrated and honored for making exceptional district-wide gains with students,
  • expand knowledge of education policy and participate in local, state, and national policy discussions,
  • serve as spokesperson and advocate for the education profession, and
  • become inducted into an amazing network of statewide awardees, and become connected to an impactful, ongoing body of work that engages you as a professional long after an awardee’s service year.

What are the benefits to schools and districts?

By participating in the Tennessee Supervisor of the Year program, districts have the opportunity to:

·         attract local, state, and national attention,

·         allow the district’s honorees to serve as a voice for the education profession, thus elevating the district and attracting educators and leaders to the district, and

·         celebrate excellence in education by honoring hard working, successful district leaders.

What does the Tennessee Supervisor of the Year do?

·         Respond to and fulfill Tennessee Supervisor of the Year speaking requests, presentations, etc.

·         Share their expertise with the department.

·         Identify and advocate for educational issues.

Eligibility & Selection Process

A Supervisor of the Year nominee must:

  • Have a minimum of five (5) years of professional experience in public schools.
  • Have a minimum of one (1) year of experience as an administrator.
  • At all levels of recognition, must be employed as a supervisor in a Tennessee public school system.

Directors of schools will nominate one supervisor from the district using the online Principal and Supervisor of the Year Nomination Form.

The 2020-21 nomination deadline is Jan. 31, 2021.

Projected 2020-21 Timeline

Dates Process
By 11:59 p.m. CT 
Jan. 31

Directors of schools (or their designees) submit the nomination form for Supervisor of the Year (SOY).

Feb. 1 Department sends nominees the link to the electronic Supervisor of the Year application.
March 14 Supervisor of the Year nominees submit part I application online.
April 14 Department sends region-level semi-finalists the link to the electronic Principal of the Year part II application.
By 11:59 p.m. CT on June 1 Supervisor of the Year region-level semi-finalists submit part II application online.
June A panel of independent reviewers with representatives from each CORE region selects one supervisor from each CORE region and the Shelby County-Municipals region to advance as a finalist to the interview process.

Announcement of the nine Supervisor of the Year finalists

Interviews held at the Andrew Johnson Tower in Nashville

Fall 2021 Supervisor of the Year and Principal of the Year recognition banquet in Nashville

Application Resources

  • Supervisor of the Year Part I Application: This document contains all questions listed in the electronic part I application. Districts are encouraged to use this document as a foundation for their own district-level Supervisor of the Year applications. Applicants are encouraged to use this document to draft and revise application responses prior to submitting via the online form.
  • Supervisor of the Year Part II Application: This document contains all questions listed in the electronic part II application. Applicants are encouraged to use this document to draft and revise application responses prior to submitting via the online form.
  • Application Guidance: This document contains tips and tricks for how to improve your Tennessee Supervisor of the Year application. While referencing this document will not guarantee a successful outcome in the selection process, this document is useful for refining your responses to ensure they align to the application prompts.

Past Recipients

Year Recipient School System
2020-21 Kay Martin Rutherford County
2019-20 Michelle Goad Gibson County SSD
2018-19 Maria Warren Loudon County
2017-18 Stacia Lewis, Ed.D. Sevier County
2016-17 Jennifer Brown Sumner County
2015-16 Sharon Griffin Shelby County
2014-15 Timothy Parrott Anderson County
2013-14 Marcia Melton Cannon County
2012-13 Bobby Cox Warren County
Year Recipient School System
2011-12 B.J. Worthington Clarksville-Montgomery County
2010-11 Dianne Williams Cheatham County
2009-10 Connie Campbell Jefferson County
2008-09 Dr. David Timbs Johnson County
2007-08 Glee Moore Sumner County
2006-07 Nancy Wagner Kingsport City
2005-06 Charlotte Britton Hawkins County
2004-05 Dr. Shirley R. Ellis Carter County
2003-04 Paul Coggins Wayne County
2002-03 Susan Bunch Henderson County
2001-02 Eleanor Hayes Sevier County
2000-01 Judith Beaty Monroe County
1999-00 Harriet Shelby Lauderdale County
1998-99 Thomas Parks Maury County
1997-98 Minnie Miller Johnson County
1996-97 Sue Boyer Knox County
1995-96 Debra Cline Sevier County
1994-95 Dr. Christine Ejlali Washington County
1993-94 Juanita Henson Lawrence County
1991-92 Dr. Bruce Mays McNairy County
1991-92 Bobby Snider Henderson County
1990-91 Georgia Sullivan Williamson County
1989-90 Dr. Jane Qualls Alcoa City
1988-89 Dr. Hilda Nason Paris Special
1987-88 Margaret Salsbury Murfreesboro City
1986-87 Thelma Seavers Milan Special
1985-86 Betty Sparks Monroe County
1984-85 Mary Hopkins Fayetteville City
1983-84 Joe Minor Tennessee Department of Education
1982-83 Beecher Clapp Knoxville City
1981-82 Kathleen Wright McNairy County