Looking Ahead to 2019

Recently, we asked members of our Teacher Advisory Council to share their proudest moments from 2018, and you can read their responses in a recent blog post here.

We also asked these teachers what they are most looking forward to in 2019, and here’s what they had to say about their plans for this year.


Lori Farley

Lori is a media specialist at North City Elementary in Athens.

“I am eager to continue to fuel my students’ drive for critical thinking, creativity, and leadership! My students amaze me every day with their ideas and problem-solving approaches. When I look at them, I see future leaders, and I’m blessed to be a part of their journey. These students are going to lead amazing lives, and I look forward to watching them continue to learn and lead with boldness!”

Bryan Schultz

Bryan teaches high school science at L&N STEM Academy in Knoxville.

“I am most looking forward to supporting the growth of K-12 STEM education and post-secondary opportunities for students through my collaboration with other educators, stakeholders, and fellow UTK Earth & Planetary Sciences Advisory Board members.”

Amy Whaley

Amy teaches career and technical education at Morristown-Hamblen High School West in Morristown.

“In 2019 I most anticipate watching students learn skills in my CTE classes that they can apply in college AND the workforce. I’m excited to continue exposing students to careers they don’t know about. If you can see it, you can be it.”

Melissa Miller

Melissa teaches first grade at Franklin Elementary School in Franklin.

“One thing I always look forward to as the new year begins is seeing the growth in each and every student! We set goals at the beginning of the year. We revisit those goals and set new goals as the year progresses. There is nothing that makes me happier than the pure joy on a child’s face when they have reached their goals, moved up reading levels, crushed their math target, gone above and beyond what they thought they could, and when they see the evidence of belief, vision, and action as they conquered their own personal mountain no matter where they started on their journey. Those smiles, those cheers, the sparkle in their eyes, and that belief that fuels their enthusiasm is what I look forward to the most as we journey together this year!” 

Nancy Miles

Nancy teaches third grade at South Side Elementary School in Johnson City.

“I am looking forward to creating more authentic science investigations for my students. The new state standards call for an in-depth understanding of topics for our grade. In helping students explain natural and man-made scientific phenomena in their world, I want to provide time for student-directed experiments so that they are using their own data to understand science concepts. By designing real-world projects and making connections with scientists in the workplace, I hope to inspire these young learners to yearn for more knowledge about our world and make them aware of STEM careers. “ 

Cicely Woodard

Cicely teaches seventh and eighth grade math at Freedom Middle School in Franklin.

“When I look at my students, I not only see them for who they are now, but I also see them for what they will become in the future. I am excited to help my students prepare for whatever it is they want to do in the future. I am hopeful that after every day at school in 2019, students are a little closer to being ready to live their dreams!”

Valerie Godina

Valerie teaches art at Henry Elementary School in Henry.

“Now that I am teaching art in our school and creating our curriculum, I am so very excited that I will continue to teach every student within our school. I have always taught middle school before this year, but this new opportunity has opened my eyes into how the ‘littles’ think and work as well as the ‘bigs.’ They are all such a blessing, and I am truly fortunate to be able to continue something that I love and lead my students will learn to love art as much as I do.”

Carlin McGlown

Carlin teaches seventh grade social studies at Munford Middle School in Munford.

“In 2019, I am looking forward to continuing the journey of helping my students to become life-long learners.  I want to ensure that when they leave my classroom they will always continue to search, to read, and to grow.”

Michael Robinson

Michael teaches high school social studies at Houston High School in Germantown.

“In 2019, if I am being completely honest, I (like my students) look forward to unexpected snow days and our spring break. However, the day I look forward to the most is the first class meeting after my students’ AP human geography exam. It is a day where we can all relax and discuss what the students have been able to accomplish throughout a year of hard work and preparation.”