Proud Moments from the Classroom in 2015

We asked members of our Teacher Advisory Council to share their proudest moments from 2015. Here’s what they had to say about the incredible work being done in our schools across Tennessee.

Regina Peery

Regina teaches kindergarten at McDowell Elementary in Maury County.

My proudest moment in 2015 was when I was able to step back into my classroom and teach. This past July, I was involved in a severe cycling accident leaving me hospitalized. I knew that I had to work hard to get back to life and to one of my greatest passions – teaching.

Regina will be sharing more of her story in a blog post coming this January.

2015 Teacher of the Year nominee Karen Kelley from Pigeon ForgeKaren Kelley

Karen teaches social studies and psychology at Pigeon Forge High School in Sevier County.

My proudest moment from 2015 was when my AP Psychology students received their AP Exam scores and 19 out of 21 earned college credit.

Shannon Streett

Shannon teaches English at Cannon County High School in Woodbury, TN.

My proudest moment of 2015 would have to be when my students asked me where the Self-Regulated Strategy Development writing strategies had been all their lives. To see students overcome fear of writing has been a really important part of this school year, and these tools have helped them along this journey.

Ashley Carter

Ashley teaches third grade at John Adams Elementary in Kingsport City Schools.

My proudest moment in 2015 was when one of my struggling math students decided she wanted to be a math teacher. She said she always struggled with math, but I taught her in a way that helped math make sense. I contribute this compliment to the changes we have made in teaching math and the training we’ve received by the state, which has made me a better teacher.

2015 Teacher of the Year nominee Rebekah Haren from Dobyns-BenneBekah Haren

Bekah teaches English and journalism at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport City Schools

My proudest classroom moment of 2015 was receiving the news that 40 of my students passed their AP Literature and Composition exam, earning college credit for English.

Cathy Whitehead

Cathy teaches third grade at West Chester Elementary in Chester County and is the 2015-16 Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

My proudest moment from 2015 was when my third graders participated in the Hour of Code with our high school computer coding class.  I know that these are skills that are critical for their future success, and times like this give them confidence, knowing that they are able to contribute meaningfully to work that kids twice their age are doing.

Read more about the Hour of Code in Chester County in our previous blog post, here.

Kyle Prince

Kyle is a math teacher at Central Magnet School in Rutherford County and is the 2015-16 Middle Tennessee Grand Division Teacher of the Year.

My proudest moment from the classroom in 2015 happened when I gave my students a challenging math task. My students not only made a connection between mathematical concepts, but they also sought out the most efficient strategy instead of assuming it was the one I had shown them in previous examples.

Adam Moss

Adam teaches math at Arnold Memorial Elementary in Cleveland City Schools and is the 2015-16 East Tennessee Grand Division Teacher of the Year.

My proudest moment of 2015 happened just before Thanksgiving. A Ukrainian family with five elementary age children immigrated to our area and our students welcomed them with open arms. They were genuinely excited to welcome these new students and have gone out of their way to show love, patience, and grace. 

With the right support – academically, emotionally, and socially – these students will be ready for middle school next year. Their peers will accept nothing less. I am so proud of them!

Karen Vogelsang

Karen teaches fourth grade at Riverwood Elementary in Shelby County and was the 2014-15 Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

My proudest moment of 2015 was in February of this year, when our 4th grade students presented live book reports on famous African-Americans. One of my students who struggles to connect to school gave a report about an African-American cowboy and former slave from Tennessee named Nat Love. He dressed up like a cowboy and his live report was nothing short of phenomenal; he didn’t read from any notes during his presentation – he knew his subject deeply. I was so proud of him!