46 Metro Teachers Chosen for Blue Ribbon Award

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The Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee, the Nashville Public Education Foundation and Metro Nashville Public Schools are teaming up once again to recognize outstanding teaching in Metro Schools by naming 46 of the district’s best educators as Blue Ribbon Teachers for 2016. The award is part of a larger, citywide effort to recognize and honor public school teachers.

“There is no ingredient more important to great schools than great teachers,” said Mayor Megan Barry. “It is imperative that as a city and a community we do more to recognize and reward everyday teaching heroes working in classrooms across the city. The Blue Ribbon Teacher Award brings much-needed community support for outstanding teaching and is a great example of the kind of public-private partnership I want to encourage more of across Nashville.”

Since its creation in 2014, only 99 teachers have been honored as Blue Ribbon Educators. With this year’s honorees, the total comes to 145. This year, in addition to a $1,000 cash prize and an event in their honor hosted at the Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Residence, educators will be celebrated in an ad campaign.

“Having great teachers in every classroom is at the heart of our city’s ability to strengthen and improve,” said Tom Sherrard, chairman of the Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee and a member of the NPEF Board. “There is simply nothing more important than recruiting, retaining and better supporting our best teachers. This year we really want to drive that point home with a more visible tribute. We want great teachers to know just how much we appreciate the work they do and the contributions they make to our city.”

This year’s 46 honorees were chosen from among 707 nominations by students, parents, colleagues and members of the community in one or more of three categories: leadership, impressive data or relationships with students. Each nominee was evaluated through a blind screening process that culminated with the selection of the 46 winners by a panel of community and business leaders from various backgrounds.

“The large number of nominations received this year shows that Nashville’s teaching ranks are filled with dedicated professionals who go above and beyond to care for their students and see them succeed not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well,” said Chris Henson, interim director for Metro Schools.  “We appreciate those involved with Nashville’s Agenda and the Nashville Public Education Foundation who have committed their time, money and resources to celebrate and recognize our teachers.”

The Blue Ribbon Teacher awards program began in 2014 and is a joint project of the of the Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee, The Nashville Public Education Foundation and Metro Nashville Public Schools. Funding for this initiative includes support from the HCA Foundation, Ingram Industries, Dan and Margaret Maddox Charitable Fund, Memorial Foundation and The James Stephen Turner Family Foundation, as well as this year’s corporate sponsor, First Tennessee Bank.

The Blue Ribbon Teacher Award is distinctly different from the Teacher of the Year program. The Teacher of the Year program is an internal celebration that recognizes teachers selected by colleagues in their schools, while the Blue Ribbon Teacher Awards are a community-wide celebration of great teaching. In addition, no more than 50 teachers are honored each year as Blue Ribbon Teachers based on a rigorous selection process.


The 2016 Blue Ribbon Teachers are:

Julie Adams Bellshire Elementary
Kelly Aldridge Bailey STEM Magnet
Misty Ayres-Miranda Nashville School of the Arts
Sean Bethune Whites Creek HS
Rhonda Burgess Julia Green Elementary
Will Butler Hillsboro HS
Chaz Carothers Una Elementary
Jessica Cola Two Rivers MS
Donna Michelle Copas Glencliff HS
Christian E “Beth” Cyrus Hickman Elementary
Jeremiah Davis Whites Creek HS
Claudeen Bryant Denning Rose Park Math & Science Magnet
Caroline DuBois Head Magnet
Theresa DuLaney Bellevue MS
Paige Elliott Hillwood HS
Lauren Fredericksen East End Prep
Kathleen Fuller Antioch MS
Amanda Funderburk Bellevue MS
Lindsey Garcia Oliver MS
Lori Green J.T. Moore MS
Vickie Irowa Nashville Big Picture HS
Sandy Irwin Bellevue MS
Jill Ivey Harpeth Valley
Winston Ly Margaret Allen Middle Prep
Melissa Martens LEAD Academy HS
Adrienne Mayo Cane Ridge HS
Ryan O. Murphey Nashville School of the Arts
Lonny Nelson Hillsboro HS
Mindie Norman KIPP Academy
Wesley Roberts Hume-Fogg
Meaghan Berry McGavock HS
Shauna Russell Purpose Prep
Hannah Sacco Nashville Academy of Computer Science
Caroline Sharp Oliver MS
Catherine Shull Harpeth Valley
Leticia Skae Hillsboro HS
Danielle Stein Julia Green Elementary
Beverly Alisa Taylor Stratton Elementary
Brittany Tharrington Hillwood HS
Christina Theodoru Intrepid College Prep
Kimberly Townsend-Christian Gateway Elementary
Deborah Weakland Hattie Cotton STEM Elementary
Rebecca Welch Dan Mills Elementary
Dana Westveer DuPont Elementary
Franklin Willis Madison MS
Karen Dorris Wolfson Bailey STEM Magnet


About Metro Nashville Public Schools

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools is the nation’s 42nd largest district, preparing more than 86,000 students to excel in higher education, work and life. With the goal of being the first choice for Nashville’s families, Metro Schools is committed to providing a high quality education to every student. The district is earning a national reputation for urban school reform, its commitment to social and emotional learning and rising academic achievement. Its strategic plan, Education 2018: Excellence for Every Student, sets the goal of becoming the nation’s top performing urban school system by 2018. The governing body for Metro Schools is the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education, a nine-member elected body. For more information, visit www.mnps.org.


About the Nashville Public Education Foundation

The Nashville Public Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to pulling together the vast intellectual, creative and financial resources of the Nashville community to create a shared vision of the city’s education system and provide the needed targeted resources to make it a reality. For more information, visit. www.nashvillepef.wpengine.com.


About Nashville’s Agenda

The Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee, established in 1994, is a group of 80 civic, business and community leaders. Their mission is to aid the city’s progress toward 21 goals established in citywide, grass-roots visioning projects in 1993 and updated in 2007. Over the years Steering Committee members have facilitated creation of the Nashville Housing Fund, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, The Davidson Group race relations initiative, and Project RESET.