Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Teachers of the Year named

Washington County’s 2013-14 teachers of the year were held up as examples of why Board of Education members need to make their voices heard by state leaders.
During the Oct. 3 BOE meeting, Director of Schools Ron Dykes read a proposed resolution regarding changes to educator licensing policies.
On a motion made by Mary Lo Silvers, unanimous approval was given to the resolution stating the Board of Education’s objection to tying professional license renewal to teacher performance based solely on value-added scores.
Dykes said the resolution would be sent to government officials the next day.
“I hope Nashville will begin listening to the people who are in the trenches,” board member Jack Leonard said.
The board’s decision followed the recognition of the three county teachers who were honored in the Tennessee Department of Education Teacher of the Year Program.
Erin Eberhart, who teaches kindergarten at Sulphur Springs School, was honored as system level teacher of the year in the PreK-Grade 4 category.
Eberhart’s “A Peek at my Week” blog is shared with educators worldwide. She also co-authored a series of monthly homework packets with a fellow kindergarten teacher in Illinois.
Their most recent free unit on Martin Luther King Jr. has had more than 37,000 downloads.
Eberhart thinks of herself as much more than a teacher. “I wear many hats. I play different roles in a given day and work to do that with fluidity and grace. Like Robert Frost said, ‘I am not a teacher, but an awakener.’”
System level teacher of the year in the Grade 5–8 category is Leanne Sanders, a math teacher at Grandview School.
Sanders is an Eastman Scholar Mathlete and a member of the Upper East Tennessee Council of Mathematics. She also provides Common Core training for math teachers within the district.
This is the second teacher of the year honor for Sanders, who received the award earlier in her career while working in another system.
“My ultimate goal in teaching is to make an impact on every student that I serve in my classroom,” she said. “Knowing that I made a difference in the life of a student is the most fulfilling reward.”
Nathan Gouge, a history teacher at Daniel Boone High School, received the teacher of the year designation in the Grade 9-12 category.
In his advanced placement history classes, Gouge’s students have a 90 percent pass rate on the exam. For the last five years, he has served as a mentor teacher and chairman of the social studies department. Gouge is beginning his 12th year as a teacher at Boone.
“My best contributions and accomplishments are when I am able to have some sort of positive impact on the lives of my students and encourage them to be their best, as many of my former teachers did years earlier for me,” Gouge said.