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Posted On:
Thursday, May 31, 2018
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Tennessee Announces 2018-19 Teacher of the Year Finalists to Serve on Commissioner’s Teacher Advisory Council

Tennessee Announces 2018-19 Teacher of the Year Finalists

Nine Finalists Move Forward for State Reco­gnition, Serve on Commissioner’s Teacher Advisory Council


NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Education today announced the nine finalists for the 2018-19 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 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.


"Teaching is some of the hardest, most rewarding work there is, and because of our educators and their commitment to an excellent education for all, more Tennessee students are prepared for their next steps in school and in life," Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “It is a great honor to recognize these educators from across our state for the ways each of them are proving what is possible in our classrooms. Because of teachers like these nine finalists, Tennessee will continue to be a national leader in student gains and outcomes.”


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 2018-19 Teacher of the Year are:  


West Tennessee

CORE Region





Michael Robinson

Houston High

Germantown Municipal School District



Carlin McGlown

Munford Middle

Tipton County Schools


Valerie Godina

Henry Elementary

Henry County Schools


Middle Tennessee

CORE Region




Mid Cumberland

Melissa Miller

Franklin Elementary

Franklin Special School District

South Central

Michael Franklin

Franklin County High

Franklin County Schools

Upper Cumberland

Susan Reeder

Union Heights Elementary

Smith County Schools


East Tennessee

CORE Region





Lori Farley

North City Elementary

Athens City Schools

East Tennessee

Bryan Schultz

L&N Stem Academy

Knox County Schools

First Tennessee

Amy Whaley

Morristown-Hamblen High School West

Hamblen County Schools


These finalists will have the opportunity to serve on Commissioner McQueen’s Teacher Advisory Council for the duration of the 2018-19 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 2019-20 school year.