Meet the region-level finalists for 2019-20 Tennessee Teacher of the Year

Melissa Miller, 2018-19 Tennessee Teacher of the Year

Our Tennessee Teacher of the Year program recognizes and honors outstanding educators in Tennessee. We applaud teachers who are dedicated to instructional excellence, demonstrate exceptional gains in student achievement, and keep our students at the center of all they do.

We are thrilled to introduce you to the 2019-20 region-level Tennessee Teacher of the Year finalists for grade bands pre-K—4, 5—8, and 9—12!


Grades Pre-K—4 Region-Level Finalists

  • Rhonda Shaver, teacher at Anderson Elementary School in Bristol City Schools
  • Melinda Carroll, library media specialist at East Chester Elementary in Chester County Schools
  • Michelle Miller, interventionist at Bailey Station Elementary in Collierville Schools
  • Melinda Hutcherson, special education teacher at Dyersburg Primary School in Dyersburg City Schools
  • Shannon Bass, second grade teacher at Minor Hill School in Giles County Schools
  • Sara Pratt, fourth grade teacher at Apison Elementary School in Hamilton County Schools
  • Cristina Hasha, fourth grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School in Jefferson County Schools
  • Sarah Chumney, ELL teacher at Cason Lane Academy in Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Lindsay Spain, second grade teacher at Prescott South Elementary in Putnam County Schools

Grades 5-8 Region-Level Finalists

  • Emily Raper, seventh grade ELA teacher at Cleveland Middle School in Cleveland City Schools
  • Elizabeth Terry, teacher at Three Oaks Middle School in Dyer County Schools
  • Dinah Wade, library media specialist at Freedom Intermediate School in Franklin Special School District
  • Kristine Howell, special education teacher at Houston Middle School in Germantown Municipal School District
  • Heidi Kane, sixth grade teacher at Indian Trail Intermediate School in Johnson City Schools
  • Beth Marks, sixth and seventh grade ELA teacher at Unity School in Lincoln County Schools
  • Wendy Bowman, sixth grade math teacher at Fort Loudon Middle School in Loudon County Schools
  • Amanda Vaughn, seventh and eighth grade teacher at Defeated Elementary School in Smith County Schools
  • Jennifer Pera, seventh grade social studies teacher at Brighton Middle School in Tipton County Schools

Grades 9-12 Region-Level Finalists

  • Amanda Tutor, art teacher at Bartlett Ninth Grade Academy in Bartlett City Schools
  • Linda Parris, CTE and FACS teacher at DeKalb County High School in DeKalb County Schools
  • Tina Greenlee, teacher at Dyer County High School in Dyer County Schools
  • Brian McLaughlin, math teacher at Morristown-Hamblen High School West in Hamblen County Schools
  • Kristin Robertson, eighth, ninth, and twelfth grade ELA teacher at Signal Mountain Middle/High School in Hamilton County Schools
  • Holly Cooper, tenth grade ELA teacher at Lexington High School in Henderson County Schools
  • Alice Carson, math teacher at Powell High School in Knox County Schools
  • Mary Pack, CTE and business teacher at Loretto High School in Lawrence County Schools
  • Frank Cathey, Jr., CTE and information technology teacher at LaVergne High School in Rutherford County Schools

These teachers will move on in the selection process for region-level Teacher of the Year. Nine region-level Teachers of the Year will be selected, one from each of the eight CORE regions plus one from the districts within Shelby County. These region-level Teachers of the Year are finalists for Tennessee Teacher of the Year. They will be recognized at a banquet in the fall and will work together during a year of professional learning and recognition. You can learn more about the Tennessee Teacher of the Year program here.

The Tennessee Teacher of the Year serves as an ambassador for education in Tennessee and moves on in the selection process for National Teacher of the Year.