Memphis educator wins Tennessee Teacher of the Year

Memphis educator wins Tennessee Teacher of the Year
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 10:14 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Education has announced this year’s Teacher of the Year — an educator from Memphis-Shelby County Schools!

Dr. Melissa Collins, a second-grade teacher from John P. Freeman Optional School, was selected as the 2022-23 Tennessee Teacher of the Year at the department’s annual Excellence in Education celebration.

“I represent the state of Tennessee in all educators and students. This award is for us. It’s not just about me,” Collins said. “It’s also about Memphis, the community, the district I work for. It shows with hard work and dedication; dreams can come true.”

“Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to your students,” the department tweeted.

Collins has been teaching for 21 years and represents her school as the STEM Coordinator at the district level. But her passion lies in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and STEAM.

“I’m trying my best to create students who see themselves as readers, scientists, and mathematicians.”

“It’s something magical about my students when they put on those lab coats.”

Collins serves on multiple boards and committees at the state and national level, where she collaborates with educators to develop STEM curricula and professional development.

In 2018, Collins was chosen by the Varkey Foundation as one of the finalists for the Global Teacher Prize based on her effectiveness and inspiring students to help them learn. Last year she was an Amazon Future Engineer Teacher of the Year and inducted into the National Teacher Hall of Fame.

“Teachers are the backbone of our school communities and play a vital role in helping our students learn and grow. Tennessee is fortunate to have so many incredible educators, and I am honored to recognize Dr. Melissa Collins as the 2022-23 Tennessee Teacher of the Year,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn.

“The Teacher of the Year celebration honorees strive for excellence in their classrooms each and every day and are making an impact on their students and communities, and it is my privilege to recognize these exceptional educators.”

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