Meet the region-level finalists for the 2018-19 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 2018-19 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

  • Rachel Bearden, second grade teacher at Martin Primary School  in Weakley County Schools
  • Samantha Eaton, third grade teacher at Red Bank Elementary in the Hamilton County Department of Education
  • Cheryl Littleton, second grade teacher at Holston View Elementary in Bristol Tennessee City Schools
  • Melissa Miller, first grade teacher at Franklin Elementary in Franklin Special School District
  • Tamara Patrick, second grade teacher at Halls Elementary in the Lauderdale County School System
  • Susan Reeder, kindergarten teacher at Union Heights Elementary in the Smith County School System
  • Anthony Richardson, music teacher at Oak Elementary in Bartlett City Schools
  • Alisha Thompson, reading specialist at Midway Elementary in the Roane County School District
  • Kimberley Watkins, reading interventionist at East Coffee Elementary in Coffee County Schools

Grades 5–8 Region-level Finalists

  • Misty Davis, fifth grade teacher at Indian Trail Intermediate School in Johnson City Schools
  • Lori Farley, media specialist at North City Elementary in Athens City Schools
  • Valerie Godina, science teacher at Henry Elementary in the Henry County Schools System
  • Chasity Lowery, seventh grade reading and language arts teacher at Harriman Middle School in The Roane County School District
  • Gayle Mathis, RTI2 math interventionist at Hickman County Middle School in Hickman County Schools
  • Carlin McGlown, seventh grade teacher at Munford Middle School in Tipton County Schools
  • Natasha Medford, eighth grade science teacher at Ridgeway Middle School in Shelby County Schools
  • Angela Pope, fifth grade teacher at Erma Siegel Elementary in Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Kristy Reagan, library media specialist at Upperman Middle School in the Putnam County School System

Grades 9–12 Region-level Finalists

  • Michael Franklin, Spanish teacher at Franklin County High School in the Franklin County School District
  • Caroline Hadley, science teacher at Page High School in Williamson County Schools
  • Erick Innis, biology teacher at McMinn County High School in the McMinn County School System
  • Jeremiah Johnson, CTE teacher at Covington High School in Tipton County Schools
  • Kellie Medina, English teacher at Lake County High School in Lake County Schools
  • Michael Robinson, social studies teacher at Houston High School in the Germantown Municipal School District
  • Bryan Schultz, science teacher at L&N STEM Academy in Knox County Schools
  • Robin Scott, biology teacher at Upperman High School in the Putnam County School System
  • Amy Whaley, CTE teacher at Morristown-Hamblem High School West in Hamblen 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.