Meet the Region-level finalists for the 2017-18 teacher of the year!

The Teacher of the Year program recognizes and honors outstanding educators in Tennessee. We applaud teachers who care about children, who devote their professional lives to enriching the lives of Tennessee children, and who demonstrate exceptional gains in student achievement.

Below, you can get to know the 2017-18 Region-level Teacher of the Year Finalists for grade bands pre-K–4, 5–8, and 9–12.


Grades Pre-K–4 Region-level Finalists

  • Jessica Willings, fourth grade science and math teacher at Talbott Elementary in Jefferson County Schools
  • Nancy Miles, third grade teacher at South Side Elementary in Johnson City Schools
  • Emily Partin, fourth grade math teacher at Mt. Juliet Elementary in Wilson County Schools
  • Carol Nanney, librarian at McKenzie Elementary in McKenzie Special School District
  • Stephanie Rice, fourth grade teacher at Crosswind Elementary in Collierville City Schools
  • Wendy Wilkerson, elementary speech and language teacher at Jack T. Farrar Elementary in Tullahoma City Schools
  • Joyce Snyder, second grade teacher at Ingleside School in Athens City Schools
  • Hayley Cloud, third grade teacher at West Chester Elementary in Chester County Schools
  • Rachel Davis, kindergarten teacher at Homestead Elementary in Cumberland County Schools

Grades 5–8 Region-level Finalists

  • Mary John Wilson, fifth grade math teacher at Rush Strong School in Jefferson County Schools
  • Marsha Buck, eighth grade science teacher at Ross N. Robinson Middle School in Kingsport City Schools
  • Cicely Woodard, eighth grade math teacher at West End Middle School in Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Charleigh Stephens, media specialist at Martin Elementary in Weakley Elementary
  • Keri Eldridge, sixth grade teacher at Houston Middle School in Germantown Municipal School District
  • Chelle Daniels, sixth grade science teacher at West Middle School in Tullahoma City Schools
  • Kristin Burrus, seventh grade science teacher at Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences in Hamilton County Schools
  • Mandy Fraley, sixth grade social studies and English language arts teacher at Northeast Middle School in Jackson-Madison County Schools
  • Myra Elliot, fifth grade math and science teacher at Doyle Elementary in White County Schools

Grades 9–12 Region-level Finalists

  • Karen Latus, Spanish teacher at Bearden High School in Knox County Schools
  • Clarissa Schmal, English language arts teacher at Johnson County High School in Johnson County Schools
  • Kristi Neuroth, human geography teacher at Ravenwood High School in Williamson County Schools
  • Tina Greenlee, English language arts teacher at Dyer County High School in Dyer County Schools
  • Jessica Minton, science teacher at Houston High School in Germantown Municipal School District
  • Jack Jean, English language arts teacher at Lincoln County High School in Lincoln County Schools
  • Ryan Lewis, engineering teacher at South Pittsburg High School in Marion County Schools
  • Warren Smith, chemistry teacher at Munford High School in Tipton County Schools
  • Rebecca Ryan, math and ACT prep teacher at White County High School in White County Schools

These educators will move on to compete for Region-level Teacher of the Year. One Region-level Teacher of the Year will be selected for each CORE region plus one from the districts within Shelby County. Region-level Teachers of the Year are finalists for Tennessee Teacher of the Year. They are recognized at a banquet in the fall and form the Commissioner’s Teacher Advisory Council who share feedback and advice on issues that impact teachers and help communicate information with teachers in their region.