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Adams educator among finalists for Tennessee Teacher of the Year

July 8th, 2014 12:16 am by Rick Wagner

Adams educator among finalists for Tennessee Teacher of the Year


KINGSPORT — A local educator is in the running to be Tennessee's top K-12 teacher.

John Adams Elementary School third-grade teacher Ashley Carter is a finalist for the 2014-15 Tennessee Teacher of the Year Award, state education officials announced Monday.

Carter is among nine finalists of elementary, middle, and high school educators from each Grand Division of the state.

Grand Division winners and the Teacher of the Year will be selected from this group and announced later this fall, a news release said.

"Teachers are the biggest factor in the success of our students, and it is an honor to celebrate educators that are helping their students grow," Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman said in a news release. "We celebrate these finalists, but also the thousands of dedicated educators across the state."

Carter was the 2014 Elementary Teacher of the Year for Kingsport City Schools. She has just completed her fifth year teaching at Adams, where in 2013-14 she taught math and reading and served as a third-grade math teacher leader and was on the Adams leadership team.

For 2014-15, Carter said she would be teaching math and science to third-graders. She also has taught at the second- and fourth-grade levels at Adams.

Carter has participated in the Eastman Scholar Mathletes program and received an Eastman Putting Children First grant in mathematics.

She is pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership with administrative licensure at East Tennessee State University, where she earned her master's in teaching. A graduate of Gate City High School, she also holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from King University.

"I feel very humbled about it all," Carter said, crediting leadership and mentors including former Adams Principal Dwain Arnold, who hired her, and her family.

"My mom has always told me since I was a small child I was born to be a teacher," Carter said.

Carter and the eight other finalists will have the opportunity to join the commissioner's inaugural Teacher Advisory Council. Members of this new body will offer insight, feedback, and advice on issues that affect teachers across the state.

"Seeking feedback and advice from our Teacher of the Year finalists is a critical step in ensuring that we are learning from and listening to teachers from all regions of our state," Huffman said.

The ultimate winner from among the nine will represent Tennessee in the National Teacher of the Year competition and be an ambassador for education throughout the year.

To qualify, candidates must have been teaching full-time for at least five years, have a proven record of using creative, research-based teaching strategies resulting in measurable achievement and be effective school and community leaders, the release said.

A panel of professional educators from across the state scored applications to identify the finalists.

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