Rutherford County Schools announces 2020-2021 Teachers of the Year

Feb 01, 2021 at 10:30 am by Voice Wire

Rutherford County Schools announces 2020-2021 Teachers of the Year

Their paths to Rutherford County Schools are as diverse as their personalities and interests, yet Wendy Walker captured the common attraction of this year’s three districtwide Teachers of the Year to a career in education: “It sounds hokey, but it was a calling.”

Walker, a math interventionist at Smyrna Elementary, is this year’s elementary level Teacher of the Year, while Dr. Thurman Tucker will represent the middle schools and Dr. Emily Hines will represent the high schools.

Tucker, who authored the book “Powerful Co-Teaching: Special Education and General Education,” is a special education teacher at La Vergne Middle. Hines has taught computer science since 2018 at Central Magnet School after teaching mathematics since fall 2010. She was admitted to the Aspiring Leaders Academy in 2019.

“I tried to go into a different field all together,” said Walker, a math interventionist, who has taught in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, “but I kept being called back into it. Once I started, it became clear that this is what I was meant to do.”

She added, “Now, I cannot imagine doing anything else.”

Hines grew up attending a small rural school from kindergarten through high school. She said it was like a second home and her teachers always encouraged to do her best. She credits them with her effort to get accepted to Vanderbilt University.

“I wanted to be like my teachers,” Hines said, “someone who could make such a difference in a person’s life that it changes their trajectory.”

Tucker, who previously received several awards including being honored by then Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in 2013 with a senate joint resolution letter, got into teaching “to help children understand the importance of educating themselves, so they understand their duty to make our society a better place to live in.”

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The following is a complete list of Teachers of the Year for all 49 schools. Each of these educators will be individually recognized and celebrated as part of a Twitter campaign throughout the months of February and March.

District-level Teacher of the Year for elementary, middle and high school are in bold.

Mary Beth Scango, Barfield Elementary

Felicia Thompson, Blackman Elementary

Geneva Cook, Blackman High

Ali Humphrey, Blackman Middle

Megan Maguigan, Brown’s Chapel Elementary

Ashley Simmons, Buchanan Elementary

Aleck Pitner, Cedar Grove Elementary

Dr. Emily Hines, Central Magnet

Stefanie Edgell, Christiana Elementary

Stephanie Jones, Christiana Middle

Theresa Canada, Daniel McKee

Tara Tyus, David Youree Elementary

Leslie Trail, Eagleville School

Jessica Knight, Holloway High

Jillaine McHenry, H.P. Campus School

Kelli Cessac, John Colemon Elementary

Crystal Gay, Kittrell Elementary

Angel Hollandsworth, Lascassas Elementary

Erin Alverado, La Vergne High

Rachel Gaither, La Vergne Lake

Dr. Thurman Tucker, La Vergne Middle

Donna Haley, McFadden School of Excellence

Kevin Carroll, Oakland High

Jonathan Jordan, Oakland Middle

Amanda Jones, Riverdale High

Holly Pearson, Rock Springs Elementary

Lacey Burgess, Rock Springs Middle

Jonelda McCall, Rockvale Elementary

David Matikke, Rockvale High

Toni Salmon, Rockvale Middle

Stacey Martin, Rocky Fork Elementary

Logan Tubb, Rocky Fork Middle

Brittany King, Roy Waldron Elementary

Annie Williams, Rutherford County Virtual School

David Picklesimer, Siegel High

Culley Phillips, Siegel Middle

Wendy Walker, Smyrna Elementary

Kimberly Clemons, Smyrna High

Lindsey Mears, Smyrna Middle

Amber Janes, Smyrna Primary

Matthew Alan Joines, Smyrna West

Kathryn O’Neal, Stewarts Creek Elementary

Alina Tompkins, Stewarts Creek High

Anna Marguerite Duncan, Stewarts Creek Middle

Debra Marshall, Stewartsboro Elementary

Emily Hartley, Thurman Francis School of the Arts

Amber Layhew, Walter Hill Elementary

Darla Massey, Whitworth-Buchanan Middle

LaTasha Anderson, Wilson Elementary


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