Educators Named Region-Level Semi-Finalists

Two Weakley County Schools Educators Named Region-Level Teachers of the Year Semi-Finalists
Posted on 04/05/2024
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Weakley County Schools has received the announcement that two of the district’s educators have been selected as region-level semi-finalists for the prestigious Tennessee Teacher of the Year award. Sherri Brawner, Third Grade Teacher at Gleason School, and 8th Grade Martin Middle School Teacher Kristy Shumake have been recognized for their commitment to enriching the lives of students.

The Tennessee Teacher of the Year Program, established to honor and celebrate exceptional educators across the state, recognizes teachers who prioritize the needs of all children and demonstrate exceptional gains in student achievement. The program aims to promote effective teaching practices, engage regional teachers in education policy through the Teacher Advisory Council, and encourage participation from all areas and grade bands of teachers statewide.

Gleason School Principal Lee Lawrence praised Brawner, saying, "Mrs. Sherri Brawner's unwavering dedication to her students and her innovative teaching methods have made a profound impact on our school community. She exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding educator, and we are incredibly proud of her achievement as a semi-finalist."

Sherri Brawner smiles with Teacher of the Year Certificate and Principal Lee Lawrence

Martin Middle School Principal John Lifsey is proud of Shumake and said, "Mrs. Kristy Shumake is an educator whose dedication to her students' success is truly inspiring. Her passion for teaching and commitment to excellence make her a deserving candidate for the Tennessee Teacher of the Year award."

Kristy Shumake smiles holding Teacher of the Year Certificate with Principal John Lifsey

Director of Weakley County Schools Jeff Cupples extended his congratulations.

"Earning the Teacher of the Year distinction on any level is a big achievement. The selection of these two educators is a testament to their talent and dedication to the teaching profession. We are privileged to have such outstanding teachers in our district. We appreciate all they do for students each day and we’re thrilled that they are receiving this well-deserved recognition," said Director Cupples.

Both semi-finalists will proceed to the next phase of the selection process, which includes a rigorous application process due in May. From there, nine teachers will be selected as finalists for the State, with Tennessee Teachers of the Year and Grand Division winners to be announced this August at a ceremony in Nashville.

Once selected, Tennessee Teachers of the Year will represent their state in the National Teacher of the Year selection process, engaging in various national leadership conferences and events. Additionally, Teachers of the Year serve a two-year term on the Tennessee Teacher Advisory Council, advocating for educational issues and sharing expertise across the state.

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