Carol Nanney Is West Tennessee Teacher of Year
NASHVILLE — Carol Nanney, librarian at McKenzie Elementary School, was recognized as the Teacher of the Year Grand Division winner for West Tennessee.
The honor came during the 2017-18 Tennessee Teacher of the Year banquet held in Nashville on Thursday, September 28.
Through the Teacher of the Year program, the Tennessee Department of Education recognizes and honors outstanding educators in the state. Nine teachers were selected from each grade division (Pre-K-4, 5-8 and 9-12). Those nine advanced to compete for Region-Level Teacher of the Year, with one being selected from each region.
“These teachers are our students’ heroes,” Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “Our educators have a direct, positive influence on students every day. And, because of educators like these nine finalists, Tennessee’s future is bright.”
In an interview with The Banner, Nanney expressed her gratitude. “We have fabulous teachers in our district, and to be selected from them, along with the rest of West Tennessee, is very humbling and a huge honor for me.”
“The banquet was amazing,” she continued. “It was a wonderful program. There was a very nice reception followed by a dinner, with many from the Tennessee Department of Education present.”
With the honor, Nanney will serve for the next two school years on the Commissioner’s Teacher Advisory Council, which provides feedback and advice on issues that impact teachers and help communicate information with teachers in their region.
She was complimentary of her fellow finalists. “They are all amazing educators,” she said, noting that she became very good friends with the East Tennessee Teacher of the Year Nancy Miles and will be working in conjunction with her on some projects. “It’s going to be a really fun year to be on the committee with them.”
She expressed her thanks to the entire McKenzie community, school administrators, her students and their parents, her family and “God, for making teaching my path in life.”
Nanney graduated from McKenzie High School in 1989. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1993 and her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 1996, both from Bethel College. She continued with her Masters in Education at Cumberland University, then achieved her Librarian’s Certification from Union University in 2003.
She taught second grade at McKenzie Elementary for 12 years, and has been the librarian for another 12.
She lives in McKenzie with her husband, Tim Nanney. They have two children, Braden, a student at Bethel University, and Nathan, a student at McKenzie Middle School.
She is an active member of the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, where she leads the Children’s Service.
The nine finalists for 2017-18 Tennessee Teacher of the Year were:
Stephanie Rice, Crosswind Elementary, Collierville Schools; Mandy Fraley, Northeast Middle, Jackson-Madison County Schools; and Carol Nanney, McKenzie Elementary
Cicely Woodard, West End Middle, Metro Nashville Public Schools; Chelle Daniels, West Middle, Tullahoma City Schools; and Rebecca Ryan,White County High, White County Schools
Kristin Burrus, Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences; Karen Latus, Bearden High, Knox County Schools; and Nancy Miles, South Side Elementary, Johnson City Schools This council acts as a working group of expert teachers to provide feedback and inform the work of the department throughout the school year. Additionally, to provide continuity and leadership, the three Grand Division winners will continue their term during the 2018-19 school year.
A Metro Nashville Public Schools teacher known for her communication and leadership skills was named the 2017-18 Tennessee Teacher of the Year during the annual honorary banquet on Thursday night.
Cicely Woodard, an eighthgrade mathematics teacher at West End Middle School in Nashville, is the recipient of this year’s top honor. Woodard has been teaching for 13 years in Tennessee and, in addition to serving in many leadership roles within her school and district, she has also served as an adjunct instructor at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, from which she holds a master’s degree.
“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.
Viewed as a teacher leader throughout Middle Tennessee, fellow educators seek Woodard’s expertise in helping students grasp challenging mathematics concepts and developing meaningful classroom assessments. Woodard is always looking for new ways to grow and challenge herself as a teacher leader and, in addition to being chosen for numerous awards and honors, she seeks new opportunities to both lead and participate in professional development.
“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.
At the banquet, the department also recognized finalists who earned Teacher of the Year titles for each of Tennessee’s three Grand Divisions. Woodard was recognized as the Grand Division winner for Middle Tennessee.
Nancy Miles, a third-grade teacher at South Side School in Johnson City Schools, was recognized as the Grand Division winner for East Tennessee. Miles believes that it is important to meet the needs of all students, so she strives to embed a variety of strategies, skill practice, and student choice in her lessons.
As Tennessee Teacher of the Year, Cicely will become a main ambassador for teachers in our state, serving as Tennessee’s representative in the National Teacher of the Year Program. In addition, she will be asked to share her insight from the classroom as part of committees and working groups with the department.
For questions about the Teacher of the Year program in Tennessee, please contact Paul Fleming, assistant commissioner of teachers and leaders, at Paul.Fleming@tn.gov. For media inquiries, please contact Sara Gast, director of communications, at Sara.Gast@tn.gov or call (615) 532-6260.