published Thursday, March 14th, 2013

2013 Hamilton County Teacher of the Year nominees are named

ABOUT PHYLLIS COPELAND

Kindergarten teacher at Barger Academy of Fine Arts, grades K-4 division

• 38 years' teaching experience; eight years in Tennessee public schools

• Bachelor of science in education, Georgia College; master's degree, West Georgia College

• Grade level leader/team leader

• Graysville Elementary Teacher of the Year for 1984, 2005

• Golden Apple Award, 2005

ABOUT LORRIE HOLLAND

Sixth-grade math teacher at Loftis Middle School, grades 5-8 division

• 25 years' teaching experience

• Bachelor's degree in elementary education, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; master's degree from Tusculum College

• Member of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

• Osborne Fellow Initiative Partner

• News Channel 9 Teacher of the Week, 2011

ABOUT NESHAWN CALLOWAY

Vocal music teacher at Center for Creative Arts, grades 9-12 division

• 17 years' teaching experience; 12 years in Tennessee public schools

• Bachelor's degree in music education, Memphis State University; master's degree from UTC

• National Association of Music Educators

• Founded and directed the Chattanooga Youth Chorale for area high school students, 2005-11

• Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts Outstanding Teacher Award, 2004 and 2008

Three Hamilton County teachers recognized as the county's top educators will be honored Friday.

The nominees for 2013 Hamilton County Teacher of the Year and their principals will be guests at a luncheon at the Broad Street Grill at The Chattanoogan Hotel, where one winner will be named.

The nominees are:

• Phyllis Copeland from Barger Academy of Fine Arts;

• Lorrie Holland from Loftis Middle School;

• Neshawn Calloway from Center for Creative Arts.

All three teachers are competing at the regional level for educator awards.

"It is very special when we honor outstanding teachers for their dedication to our students," said Stacey Roddy, district director of elementary math and science. "The greatest asset any school system can have is outstanding teachers."

Copeland said she encourages her students to become good citizens.

"Education is not only the mental and academic growth of a student but also the social and emotional development of the whole individual," Copeland said. "I set high expectations and encourage students to do their best."

Holland said every child has the ability to learn.

"It is my responsibility to help them reach their potential," she said. "Watching a student experience an 'Aha!' moment and [seeing] the lightbulb in their head go on is exciting."

Calloway said as a teacher, "it is my job to find the best in all of the students I encounter; to meet them at their level and push them and encourage them to excel."

She said teaching is a "calling."

"I want to make sure my students leave my class empowered musically, personally, academically and to expose them to new ideas, varied musical experiences and different cultures," Calloway said.

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