An educator from Hamblen County who is known for his creative teaching style and dedication to students was named the 2019-20 Tennessee Teacher of the Year during the Tennessee Department of Education's annual gala on Friday night.
Brian McLaughlin, an algebra teacher at Morristown-Hamblen High School West, is the recipient of this year's top honor, according to a Department of Education news release.
McLaughlin has been teaching in the state for 11 years and is a National Board certified teacher, the release states.
He is described as "dedicated, conscientious, and highly energetic."
"Teachers, like Mr. McLaughlin, are the back-bone of our education system. I've had the honor of speaking with him multiple times, and his passion for helping students learn valuable lessons that will serve them both academically and personally was readily evident. I applaud his leadership, and it's my privilege to recognize him as one of Tennessee's best educators," Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said.
Kristin Robertson, an English language arts teacher at Signal Mountain Middle/High School, was recognized as the Grand Division winner for East Tennessee.
As Tennessee Teacher of the Year, McLaughlin will become a spokesperson for teachers in our state, serving as Tennessee's representative in the 2020 National Teacher of the Year Program. In addition, he will be asked to share his insight from the classroom as part of committees and working groups with the department. The nine Teacher of the Year state finalists, who represent all regions in the state, serve on the Teacher Advisory Council during the 2019-2020 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. Additionally, to provide continuity and leadership, the three Grand Division winners will continue their term during the 2020-21 school year.