The March meeting for the Tullahoma City Schools Board of Education will be nothing short of a celebration, as the board plans to honor all eight educators who were named building-level Teachers of the Year.
“The celebration of our teachers is something that the Board always looks forward to,” said TCS Board of Education Chairman Kim Uselton. “These outstanding educators are creative, enthusiastic, excellent communicators, and patient. We are honored to have them teaching our Tullahoma City Schools’ students, and we can’t wait to celebrate them on March 21.”
TCS had four elementary teachers nominated for the district’s Elementary Teacher of the Year crown. Those finalists were: Fay Patterson from Bel-Aire, Sharon Nelius from East Lincoln Elementary School, Angie Coop from Jack T. Farrar Elementary School, and Macie Honey from Robert E. Lee Elementary School.
Voting for district winners at each grade band (elementary, middle, and high school) was conducted in early January. District supervisors, administrators, and last year’s District Teachers of the Year helped select the 2023 recipients. After the votes were tallied, the winner was announced, and Macie Honey was named the 2023 TCS Elementary Teacher of the Year.
“I feel honored, and I am truly grateful to be able to work with the students and teachers here at REL,” Honey said. “As a Physical Education teacher, I get the unique opportunity to be a part of a student’s life for six years, which creates lifelong relationships. Helping students reach their full potential and watching them grow from year to year is such a blessing.”
Two candidates were nominated for the district’s Middle School Teacher of the Year, and those finalists were Tara Litchford from East Middle School and Nikki Harris from West Middle School. Following voting, this year’s TCS Middle School Teacher of the Year was named Nikki Harris.
“Working among many qualified and talented educators, I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award. It is an even greater honor to be placed in such distinguished ranks as those of the past honorees,” said Harris, who serves as a special education instructor. “Being a teacher allows me to build relationships with students and their families, be creative in teaching a concept to a student so they can learn it their own way, and celebrate all of the ‘Aha’ moments when it finally clicks. I love all this (and more) about being a teacher.”
Tullahoma High School had three finalists for the district’s High School Teacher of the Year; however, Sgt. Richard Ramirez withdrew his candidacy after retiring in December. The two remaining candidates were Brady Goodman and Erica Duke-Robinson. After voting took place, this year’s TCS High School Teacher of the Year was named Erica Duke-Robinson.
“Being named this year’s District High School Teacher of the Year is humbling for several reasons,” said Duke-Robinson, who serves as a World History and Geography instructor and a U.S. History teacher. “At THS, I am surrounded by so many excellent teachers. My colleagues consistently chase excellence in their classrooms, and our staff brings their ‘A-game’ every day of the week. This year has been very tough with the loss of my father in October. So this recognition honors the dedication and work ethic he instilled in me. I constantly strive to perfect my craft and increase my content knowledge because of my father’s influence.
“My favorite part of teaching is building lasting relationships with students. Because of the relationships and rapport, students enjoy History and are engaged – they feel confident in asking questions that lead everyone in my class to learn more, including me.”
This month’s TCS Board of Education meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 21, at TCS Central Office, located at 510 S Jackson St. The Board meeting officially begins at 5 p.m.
“We are fortunate to have amazing teachers across all grade levels in our district,” said TCS Director of Schools, Dr. Catherine Stephens. “This time of year when we honor and recognize these school and district-level Teachers of the Year is so special. I look forward to this celebration each year and can’t wait to see this group honored for their outstanding work.”
Photo: TCS Director of Schools, Dr. Catherine Stephens, celebrated the District Teachers of the Year selections. Left: Dr. Stephens is featured with Macie Honey, who was named the TCS Elementary Teacher of the Year. Middle: Dr. Stephens surprises Nikki Harris as she was voted the TCS Middle School Teacher of the Year. Right: Dr. Stephens congratulates Erica Duke-Robinson for being selected as the TCS High School Teacher of the Year.