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|
|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.