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Teachers of the Year
School system honors three top educators
Tina Smith, Jennifer McMillen and Suzanne Prater are teachers of the year.

The Warren County School System has recognized its teachers of the year for 2016-17, citing three educators for special honors.
“This award recognizes and honors outstanding teachers in our system,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “Teachers who are selected for this honor have been identified as teacher of the year at their respective schools before going on to be selected as the system-level teacher of the year.”
Cox said the honorees exemplify the highest standards in education. Criteria for selection include demonstrating high learning gains with students consistently over time, serving as leaders in their school and community, being exceptionally skilled in the delivery of instruction, and being knowledgeable regarding trends and best-practice models for effective teaching.
This school system recognizes one teacher in each of the following grade range categories: PreK-4 grades, 5-8 grades, and 9-12 grades.
Tina Smith, first-grade teacher at Morrison School, was selected as Teacher of the Year for PreK-4 grades. She has been teaching at Morrison for seven years. Before that, she was a pre-school teacher at The Learning House and she also taught in Mississippi.
It was noted Smith is a leader in her school and her community taking on many additional responsibilities outside of her teaching duties. She has received Morrison Ruritan’s teacher of the year (2015-2016), teacher of the month in 2014, and has achieved the 90 percent reading goal with the stu-dents in her class the past two years.
Jennifer McMillen was selected as teacher of the year for 5-8 grades. McMillen has 18 years of teaching experience.
She taught at West Elementary for several years before becoming the 6-8 grade ELA teacher at Irving College this past school year. McMillen has held numerous leadership roles, including serving as a mentor teacher, team leader, a member of standards review and pacing committees, and summer school leader.
McMillen says her favorite thing to do as a teacher is to read to her students and to share with her students how much fun reading can be.
Teacher of the year for 9-12 grades is Suzanne Prater. She has taught for 12 years and is cur-rently the culinary arts teacher at Warren County High School.
Prater’s leadership accomplishments include engagement in the following activi-ties/committees: CTE Leadership team, work-based learning coordinator, WCHS new teacher mentor, Tennessee Department of Health Advisory Committee, instructor for Johnson and Wales University College of Culinary Arts, and head advisor for the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America.
Prater and her culinary students have won several FCCLA awards including the State Leader-ship Conference and the District Star Event Gold Medals. Prater’s recognitions also include TATFACS Outstanding Community Service Award.
“Their dedication, excellence in teaching, and service to our schools and community is so wor-thy of this high distinction,” said Cox.