NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Several Tennessee teachers were recognized for their achievements in the classroom at the annual Teacher of the Year banquet Thursday night, but one teacher stood out amongst them all.
The Tennessee Department of Education recognizes finalists who earned Teacher of the Year titles for each of the state’s three grand divisions. From there, the department picks an overall winner to be the Teacher of the Year for the state.
Cicely Woodard, an eighth-grade math teacher at West End Middle School, was the recipient of the Middle Tennessee and the Teacher of the Year honor for 2017-18.
Woodard has been teaching for 13 years in Tennessee. In addition to serving in many leadership roles within her school and district, she also served as an adjunct instructor at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, where she also received her master’s degree.
“Teachers who cultivate a passion to lead develop professionally and improve education for students. I want teachers to know that teacher leadership does not have to mean leaving the classroom to serve in an administrative role,” Woodard has said.
Nancy Miles, a third-grade teacher at South Side School in Johnson City Schools, was honored as the grand division winner for East Tennessee.
Carol Nanney, a librarian at McKenzie Elementary School in McKenzie Special School District, was recognized as the Grand Division winner for West Tennessee.
“It is my privilege to honor this outstanding group of educators from across our state. I am fortunate enough to know Cicely and am incredibly proud that we now have an opportunity to honor her as our Tennessee Teacher of the Year. She is a remarkable teacher leader in her school and district, as well as throughout the state,” Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said.
As Tennessee Teacher of the Year, Woodard will become a main ambassador for teachers in the state, serving as Tennessee’s representative in the National Teacher of the Year Program.