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2011 Tennessee Teacher of the Year Finalists announced

Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Education is proud to announce the finalists for the 2011 Tennessee Teacher of the Year Award. The nine finalists are comprised of elementary, middle and high school educators from each grand division of the state. Grand Division winners and Teacher of the Year will be chosen from this group this fall.

“I am very proud to have such outstanding teachers in this state,” Education Commissioner Timothy Webb said. “These teachers were instrumental in implementing the Tennessee Diploma Project this year and are examples of the kind of support we will need to successfully implement our Race to the Top efforts statewide. Teacher of the Year is about just one teacher, but I want to thank all of our teachers for the tremendous work in ensuring the success of every single Tennessee student.”

The nine finalists for 2010 Teacher of the Year are:

  • Lisa Bell — Camden Elementary, Benton County
  • Deborah Chancellor — Minglewood Elementary, Clarksville-Montgomery County
  • Cheryl Deaton — Pigeon Forge Primary, Sevier County
  • Davis Falvey — Snowden School, Memphis City
  • Janey Jackson — Germantown High School, Shelby County
  • Karen Kelley — Pigeon Forge High School, Sevier County
  • Jason Robinson — Ocoee Middle School, Bradley County
  • Dianne Sawyer — Tullahoma High School, Tullahoma City
  • Debbie Vaughn — Castle Heights Upper Elementary, Lebanon Special School Dist

Clarksville Montgomery County School System Teacher Deborah Chancellor is one of nine Tennessee Teacher of the Year finalists selected by the Tennessee Department of Education. Deborah has been teaching first grade at Minglewood Elementary School for the past 15 years and has been selected as teacher of the year at the school level six times.

The Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Niswonger Foundation. A partner for nearly seven years, the foundation provides $21,000 in monetary awards to encourage professional development, graduate study, higher student outcomes and mentoring. As a show of appreciation and encouragement for teacher excellence, the foundation sponsors a banquet each fall for finalists.

The final winner will represent Tennessee in the National Teacher of the Year competition and is an ambassador for education throughout the year. To qualify, candidates must have been teaching full-time for at least five years, have a proven record of using creative, research-based teaching strategies resulting in measurable achievement and be effective school and community leaders. A panel of professional educators from across the state scored applications to identify these finalists.

For more information, contact Amanda Maynord Anderson at (615) 532-7817 or Amanda.Anderson@tn.gov.


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