Local Teacher Selected as Teacher of the Year State Finalist


Murfreesboro City Schools teacher, Sarah Chumney, has been selected as the Teacher of the Year state finalist for Mid-Cumberland region. Chumney joined Murfreesboro City Schools in 2011 and most recently served as an English as Second Language (ESL) teacher at Cason Lane Academy. Chumney is a military veteran with thirteen years of classroom experience serving in ESL and Intervention.

The Tennessee Department of Education is pleased to announce the nine finalists for the 2019-20 Tennessee Teacher of the Year award. The finalists represent each of the six Center of Regional Excellence (CORE) area in the state, with three finalists in each Grand Division (West, Middle, and East). Grand Division winners including the Teacher of the Year will be selected from this group and announced during an honorary banquet this fall, following a panel interview with each finalist.

“I have visited classrooms in every region, and we have so many passionate and highly effective educators in Tennessee,” Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said. “Kids never forget their best teachers; they carry the lessons with them for the rest of their lives. These teachers are changing the trajectory of their students’ lives.”

In addition to MCS teacher Sarah Chumney, the finalists include: Amanda Tutor with Bartlett Municipal School District, Holly Cooper with Lexington City School System, Tina Greenlee with Dyer County Schools, Mary Pack with Lawrence County Schools, Mary Lindsay Spain with Putnam County School System, Kristin Robertson with Hamilton County Schools, Cristina Hasha with Jefferson County Schools and Brian McLaughlin with Hamblen County Schools.

The final winner will represent Tennessee in the National Teacher of the Year competition and serve as an ambassador for education in the state throughout the 2019-20 school year. To qualify, candidates must have been teaching full-time for at least three years, have a track record of exceptional gains in student learning, and be effective school and community leaders.

Finalists have the opportunity to serve on Commissioner Schwinn’s Teacher Advisory Council for the duration of the 2019-20 school year. This council acts as a working group of expert teachers to provide feedback and inform the work of the department throughout the school year.