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SCORE Selects McKenzie Teacher as One of 31 Educators For Tennessee Educator Fellowship

Posted 5/15/19

NASHVILLE — A McKenzie teacher is among thirty-one educators selected for the 2019-20 class of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship through a competitive admissions process, the State …

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SCORE Selects McKenzie Teacher as One of 31 Educators For Tennessee Educator Fellowship


NASHVILLE — A McKenzie teacher is among thirty-one educators selected for the 2019-20 class of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship through a competitive admissions process, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) announced.

Carol Nanney, McKenzie Elementary School librarian is among the honorees. Nanney was the West Tennessee Teacher of the Year in 2017 and a finalist for Teacher of the Year for the state of Tennessee.

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 14. She has accepted the position of librarian at McKenzie High School beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

She lives in McKenzie with her husband, Tim Nanney. They have two children, Braden, a 2019 graduate at Bethel University, and Nathan, a student at McKenzie High School.

She is an active member of the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, where she leads the Children’s Service.

“The Tennessee Educator Fellowship convenes talented and driven educators who are relentless advocates for improving student achievement through student-focused policies and practices,” SCORE President and CEO David Mansouri said. “The fellows bring unique and diverse perspectives and experiences that are invaluable as they participate in local and state-level conversations about preparing all students for success in college, career and life.”

The Tennessee Educator Fellowship is a year-long program that equips teachers, school counselors, interventionists and librarians to learn about education policy and advocate for their students and their profession. The educators chosen this year work in a variety of settings: traditional public schools, public magnet schools and public charter schools.

Since 2014, the fellowship has supported more than 180 educators to engage in critical discussions about education policy by speaking at public events, inviting policymakers into their classrooms, writing about their experiences in state and national publications, creating regional professional networks and serving on state-level policy committees.

“The 31 fellows – from different backgrounds, grade levels, subjects and regions of the state – bring diverse perspectives to policy and practice conversations with a clear focus on greater academic growth and opportunities for all Tennessee students,” SCORE Educator Engagement Associate Leigh Cooksey said.

This is the sixth year of the Tennessee Educator Fellowship. The fellows chosen for the 2019-20 cohort have a combined teaching experience of 358 years and represent elementary, middle and high schools in 26 districts across East, Middle and West Tennessee. The members of this cohort teach English language arts, math, science, social studies, STEM, construction trades and special education in urban, suburban and rural schools. The cohort also includes educators who serve as school counselors, a librarian and an educator who teaches English language learners.

The local 2019-20 Tennessee Educator Fellows are:

Linda Biggers teaches eighth-grade English language arts at Milan Middle School in Milan Special School District. Biggers has been teaching for 15 years.

Crystal Brooks teaches second-grade English language arts and math at Thelma Barker Elementary School in Jackson-Madison County Schools. Brooks has been teaching for three years.

John Graham teaches high school construction and wellness at Union City High School in Union City Schools. Graham has been teaching for seven years.

Ashley James teaches kindergarten at W.G. Rhea Elementary School in Paris Special School District. James has been teaching for 13 years.

Carol Nanney is a librarian at McKenzie High School in the McKenzie Special School District. Nanney has been in education for 26 years.

Kenya Turner is a school counselor at Humboldt Junior and Senior High School in Humboldt City Schools. Turner has been in education for 15 years.

Past fellows have led new education initiatives and worked to improve outcomes for all students. Their work has included advocating for the use of high-quality instructional materials; starting a leadership academy for students to explore a career in teaching; bringing community leaders into classrooms to discuss the importance of literacy in their careers; expanding access to early postsecondary opportunities for students; amplifying the voice, presence and support for educators of color; and much more. Fellows also have engaged in education conversations at the local, state and national levels and written op-eds and blog posts for news and education outlets, including The Tennessean, Education Post and Hechinger Report.

Throughout the upcoming year, the fellows will learn through in-person and online convenings and will serve as liaisons between their colleagues, their communities and policymakers as Tennessee continues the work of improving academic achievement for all students.

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) works with state, local and national partners to advance policies and practices for greater student success across Tennessee. We are an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan advocacy and research institution, founded in 2009 by Senator Bill Frist, M.D., former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. SCORE measures success by the academic growth and achievement of Tennessee’s students. Learn more at tnscore.org.


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