Tennessee Announces 2014 Teacher of the Year Finalists

Monday, July 01, 2013 | 03:08 pm

Nashville – The Tennessee Department of Education is proud to announce the finalists for the 2013-14 Tennessee Teacher of the Year Award. The nine finalists are 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.

"It is an honor to recognize educators who achieve an incredibly high-level of effectiveness with their students," said Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman. “These teachers are relentless in their pursuit of excellence. We celebrate these finalists, but also the thousands of dedicated educators across the state.”

The nine finalists for 2013-14 Teacher of the Year are:

West Tennessee

CORE Region





Melissa Collins

John P. Freeman Elementary

Memphis City


Kay Hart

Scotts Hill High School

Henderson County


Anne Moore

Dresden High School

Weakley County


Middle Tennessee

CORE Region




Mid Cumberland

Laurie Mauldin

Fred J. Page High School

Williamson County

South Central

Melissa McClure

Richland High School

Giles County

Upper Cumberland

Judy Schinbeckler

VITAL High School

Putnam County


East Tennessee

CORE Region





Christy Duncan

Mayfield Elementary

Cleveland City

East Tennessee

Wanda Lacy

Farragut High School

Knox County

First Tennessee

Christopher Bowen

Liberty Bell Middle

Johnson City


The Teacher of the Year program is sponsored in partnership with the Niswonger Foundation. The foundation provides a monetary award 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, please contact Kelli Gauthier at (615) 532-7817 or Kelli.Gauthier@tn.gov.