Congratulations to the 2022 Blue Ribbon Teacher Award Winners

We celebrate their leadership and commitment to students.

Meet the 50 outstanding teachers who are changing lives through their excellence in teaching in Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Sara Anderson

Cora Howe School

"Students need the stability and structure they should be able to receive at school. I love to teach and I truly love being part of each student's life, that has always been my motivation."

Kristyn Boone

William Henry Oliver Middle

"I have always felt that when I am in my classroom teaching is when I am recharged and excited. My students offer encouragement and motivation as they learn and are excited about their learning. The look on a child's face when they are excited about learning is priceless."

Daron Bruce

Hume-Fogg Magnet High

"I believe that the Nashville community makes the biggest impact on schools through their presence and support in our buildings. The community support is so valuable in helping teachers feel valued, seen and appreciated."

Misty Caldwell

KIPP Academy

"By students supporting and encouraging each other, success and growth are celebrated. Joy is felt by everyone that enters my classroom and it is safe space for students to grow and learn."

Annette Campbell

Department of Exceptional Education

"Students feel valued when they know that the community wants the best for them and will go the extra mile to see that they receive this support."

Erin Cochran

Stratford STEM Magnet High

"During times of uncertainty students are what keep me motivated. There is no greater motivation that waking up knowing you are someone's teacher and they are depending on you to lead their classroom today. Everything we do if so for students."

Deana Conn

John Overton High

"For me, a thriving student is one who is actively engaged in the learning activities in my classroom. A thriving student can advocate for themselves when it’s necessary. A thriving student is one who, no matter their academic ability, is consistently putting forth their best effort."

Mary Darby

John B. Whitsitt Elementary

"My faith, prayers, family, and friends keep me motivated during times of uncertainty. I try to remain positive and share that positive attitude with the people around me. I celebrate little victories to emphasize goodness in all situations."

Ellie Drennan

John Overton High

"Visiting the schools, partnering with our academies, serving as guest speakers and attending community events are all great ways to support our students. It is so important for our students to see our community members as mentors and for our Nashville community to get to know our young people!"

Ashley Egger

Harris-Hillman Special Education

"Thriving students belong and have a voice. For some this may be expressed with a smile, a giggle, an opinion, or a creative design decision guiding our next steps."

Shelby Flowers

KIPP Academy

"Though it sounds cliche, my students keep me motivated. They are the reason that I come to work each day. Seeing students being able to debate and push one another to become their best academic selves makes me appreciative of the profession I have chosen."

Sara Godshall

Amqui Elementary

"I also greatly value our community members who advocate for the best interests of students and teachers through public participation and policy work. They have an incredible and far-reaching impact on the education system and the ways in which we can effectively support our students."

Shelby Greene

Department of Exceptional Education

"Feeling valued by the community makes a great impact on educators. Educators who feel valued and appreciated go the extra mile to support students as they strive to reach their full potential."

Edward Habeck

Cora Howe School

"The support I receive from my teammates provides the biggest impact on myself and my students."

Allison Halbrook

Hume-Fogg Magnet High

"I believe education is the defining civil rights issue of our time. When we can honestly say that EVERY child is being given the same access and opportunities, then we've made remarkable gains."

Jacqueline Hanna

Glenview Elementary

"Knowing that everyday I have an opportunity to uplift the student body presenting them with new ideas keeps me motivated. I am able to put aside the uncertainties the moment students enter my classroom. It brings me pure joy diving into our musical experiences specifically when presenting new ideas to students."

Rachel Harley

Nashville Classical

"I feel lucky to work in a community of educators and families that value collaboration. We all know it takes a village, and when parents parter with us as educators, we can get so much done together!"

Charles Hawk

Metro Nashville Virtual School

"I would like to see our public schools continue on the path they are on at the present time. We are continuing to overcome the impact of the pandemic. Students and parents are becoming more involved. I believe this is the key, family involvement."

Josh Hengen

Valor College Prep

"Thriving students in my classroom display curiosity and think critically. They embrace diverse perspectives and work collaboratively. Together we investigate the patterns and processes shaping our world and embrace challenging questions, difficult conversations, and rigorous academic work."

Leslie Hester

Sylvan Park Elementary

"Students that are thriving in my classroom are completing activities that allow them to contribute their own ideas and creativity. They are prompted to think outside the box, and to find multiple ways of solving problems."

Rachel Hix

Henry C. Maxwell Elementary

"During times of uncertainty, keeping my mind on students growth and success keeps me motivated.  When students feel pride and gain confidence in their abilities to be successful it is a rewarding feeling as an educator."

Mary Horton

Glenview Elementary

"I hope that our schools will be a place where all students, regardless of where they are academically or socially, will have the opportunity of voice and choice and have access to essential educators, resources and support that they need for encouragement and enhancement that will enable their academic, social, and emotional growth."

Kevin Hritz

Valor Voyager Academy

"By focusing on the foundations of good teaching and building relationships, the path forward as an educator has always become clear."

Trey Jacobs

Nashville School of the Arts

"The most challenging time I've ever had as a teacher was during the pandemic. Trying to keep my students engaged and excited about learning online was not easy. I am so happy to share that the majority of my students grew incredibly as musicians and singers during that time."

Kimberly Johnson

Harpeth Valley Elementary

"When local businesses and community organizations give back to our school, whether it is school supplies, lunch, or words of encouragement, it makes a difference. It is very meaningful to have the community express their appreciation for the work we do."

Cheryl Jolley

John Overton High

"I am motivated by my belief that what I do is impactful. Verification comes when I run into former students, even from more than 20 years ago, and they call me by name and thank me for helping them learn English. During uncertain and difficult times, those comments resonate in me."

Ella Junior

Nashville Classical

"Being a Kindergarten teacher and working with the most resilient humans in our building makes me so grateful for this line of work. I not only have the opportunity to teach them, but they teach me."

Kelly Larsen

John Trotwood Moore Middle

"Thriving students are at the crossroads of the past, the now, and the future, and they are constantly looking in all directions as they make solid decision about how they will continue their personal learning process whether in my classroom, my school, or any other place they go."

Brian Long

STEM Prep High

"I've been working with students for 15 years (8 of which in MNPS) and on days when I'm struggling or unsure about the future, I think of all of my former students that I've impacted and that continue to reach out to me. The connections are what makes this job manageable even in the toughest of times."

Henry Mahasi

Harris-Hillman Special Education

"I am motivated by knowing that every minute with my students is a calling and a blessing."

Meredith McGinnis

John Overton High

"Our city is bursting with innovation and opportunity. My students learn so much when they are invited out into the workplace and into the social fabric of Nashville. Helping students gain early exposure to future opportunities and postsecondary life is the best way to impact students as a community member."

Trevia McPherson

KIPP Kirkpatrick Elementary

"I stay motivated during times of uncertainty because I know that I want my students to have the opportunities that I was not granted. I did not have a teacher who truly cared about me as a student or my future.  I am motivated to be that teacher for my students and give them 100% everyday."

Anna Maria Miller

Hume-Fogg Magnet High

"My wish is that all students will have the opportunity to be in a school that recognizes the importance of educating the whole child."

Marlene Miller

Granbery Elementary

"Students thriving in my classroom are on fire for learning. They are eager, asking questions, diligently looking for answers. They are not easily deterred. I unpack the learning for the day and they take it from there. They achieve because they are empowered and are intrinsically motivated to learn."

Kim Mountjoy

Department of Exceptional Education

"Thriving students on my caseload are different in every setting. They may be self-advocates, or they may be independent technology users, but all are driven individuals who are seen for their accomplishments and personalities, not for their visual impairments."

Meggan Nave

Dan Mills Elementary

"I believe in what I’m doing and the power of positive educators. So, I choose to put a smile on my face, joy in my heart, and do the best I can even when it’s hard. I feed off the energy of my students and rejoice at every small gain along the way. My students’ precious faces, growth, happiness, and hilarious antics keep me going each day."

Sydney Omweg

Valor Voyager Academy

"I feel most re-energized when I see students making an impact on others and the community based on things they learned in class and in school."

Jason Powell

Cora Howe School

"A thriving student in my classroom is willing to come to school to work and learn and is willing to try, and if mistakes are made they deal with it and learn from it. Learning is a fun and interactive endeavor."

Maddie Ryan

Nashville Classical

"Thriving students in my classroom are scholars who are able to express both their emotions and creativity in a safe environment. My hope for my classroom is that it is a safe place to take risks, to make mistakes, and to grow. When this is true, the real learning is able to happen."

Eileen Sanderson

Valor Voyager Academy

"My students are the best part of my job, always. Even on really hard days, and in uncertain or frustrating times, I can think of interactions with students who had light bulb moments or who made the perfect joke or who shared something that took courage or who helped a friend."

Tyler Selbrade

Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet

"In my classroom, students who are thriving are constantly creating connections from classwork to current events. While teaching government, I find it imperative for students to bridge the gap between the theoretical work we are discussing in class, to the real world applications of the lessons that we have."

Judy Shepard

Cane Ridge Elementary

"During times of uncertainty I am motivated by the progress of my students. I am motivated by kids being kids with their built in optimism and fresh look at this world. Children are our future and that has always been my motivation."

Benjamin Slinkard

May Werthan Shayne Elementary

"Thriving students in my class know that I care about them and know that I'm going to help them be their best that day."

Denise Sloan

Dodson Elementary

"My students are my motivation and my ‘why.’ I look at each child and see possibilities and a future for them, not their circumstances. I never underestimate the power of investing in them and loving them, because I know it can change the trajectory of their lives."

Brandon Smith

Nashville Prep

"Thriving students feel safe and supported. They are not afraid to ask questions and make mistakes in the search for knowledge. They encourage each other and learn from each other both academically and socially."

Shayna Snider

Hume-Fogg Magnet High

"Recognizing and having gratitude for simple acts of kindness and everyday goodness are what keep me going in times of uncertainty."

Jennifer Sychareune

Hume-Fogg Magnet High

"My relationships with my students and my colleagues remind me of my purpose every day. I love my job, and I know that what I do makes a difference."

Alyssa Telang

Valor Voyager Academy

"This work is hard, but it is an honor and joy to be a champion for these kids, who are often teaching me more than I teach them."

Becky Verner

Meigs Middle Magnet

"I try to focus on the positive by writing in a gratitude journal weekly. I also give myself grace; it's ok not to be perfect. I look to my teammates for spirit lifting and encouragement."

John Womack

Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet

"I am so thankful to work in an amazing environment with excellent leadership, wonderful colleagues, and exceptional students. Each of these three categories of people are who motivate me to be my very best every day, even when we aren’t sure of what the next might bring."

Metro Nashville Public Schools, the Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee, and the Nashville Public Education Foundation created the Blue Ribbon Teacher Awards to recognize top teaching talent in our public schools.

Thank you to our program sponsors


Turner Family Foundation

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