Introducing, the 2014-15 Tennessee Teacher of the Year

Karen Vogelsang works with a small group of fourth graders in her Memphis classroom.

A Memphis teacher known for building a student-centered classroom was named the 2014-15 Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

Karen Vogelsang, called Mrs. V by her students, is a fourth-grade teacher at Keystone Elementary in Shelby County. She is an 11-year veteran educator that is National Board Certified and serves as a school and district leader as well as a coach for her peers. Vogelsang received the state’s top teaching honor during the annual Teacher of the Year banquet on Thursday night.

“The Teacher of the Year awards not only allow us to recognize some of the best teachers in the state, but also provide an opportunity to share and learn from their inspired, effective methods of instruction,” Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said.

Vogelsang prioritizes student collaboration and evidence-based academic conversations to mirror today’s team-driven workplace, drawing from her 14 years of banking experience prior to teaching

“The first time I had an opportunity to teach it was electrifying; I knew then I had made the right decision to become a teacher,” Vogelsang said. Watch more from Vogelsang in this interview on Memphis’s Fox 13.

Parents call Vogelsang a phenomenal example of what a teacher should be to every child. Shelby County’s literacy instructional advisor, Susan Dold, describes Vogelsang’s deep commitment to learning.

“She is a learner as well as a teacher. She lives for her students-no, she lives for all students,” Dold said.

Shannon Streett, Cannon County

During Thursday’s banquet, the department also recognized finalists who earned Teacher of the Year for each Grand Division. Vogelsang was recognized as the Grand Division winner for West Tennessee.

Shannon Streett, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at Woodbury Grammar in Cannon County, was recognized as the Grand Division winner for Middle Tennessee. Streett, a 10-year veteran educator, served as a Core Coach for this summer’s training in Tennessee’s English language arts standards and actively creates opportunities for parent involvement in her school and classroom.

Ashley Carter, Kingsport City Schools

Ashley Carter, a third-grade teacher at John Adams Elementary in Kingsport, was recognized as the Grand Division winner for East Tennessee. Carter serves on her school’s leadership team and prioritizes collaborating with her peers to strengthen instruction.

The nine 2014-15 Teacher of Year regional winners and state finalists will serve on the inaugural Teacher Advisory Council during the 2014-15 school year. The three Grand Division winners will continue their term during the 2015-16 school year.

Find out even more about the Teacher Advisory Council in this post by our Teacher Ambassador, Eva Boster, and meet the rest of our fabulous Teacher of the Year finalists below.