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Martin vies for Teacher of the Year award
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What started as Teacher of the Year at Hickory Creek Elementary has turned into a possible statewide award for Tenara Martin. She is now among the finalists for Tennessee Teacher of the Year for grades preK-4.
After winning Teacher of the Year at Hickory Creek, Martin was named Teacher of the Year for grades preK-4 for all of Warren County. She then advanced to regional competition where she won the distinction for the entire Upper Cumberland area. Next up is more paperwork and an interview process before state Teacher of the Year is announced in May.
“Tenara has been a great asset and the latest in a long line of educators in her family,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “My own daughter had her for a teacher at Hickory Creek so I can speak as a parent and a school official when I say she does an excellent job as a teacher and is a great role model.”
Martin’s classroom achievements have certainly been noticed by Hickory Creek principal Vickie Dodd, who was quick to praise the fourth-grade teacher.
“Tenara is a teacher who looks at students on an individual basis and meets individual needs every day to get those students where they need to be,” said Dodd. “She is certainly doing something right.”
Dodd said Martin is always quick to volunteer anytime a school-related project needs to be tackled. She said Martin arrives at school 30 minutes early each day to teach early morning enrichment beginning at 7 a.m.
“If we need something done here at school, she is the first one to raise her hand,” said Dodd, who noted Martin was originally nominated as Hickory Creek Teacher of the Year by her fellow teachers.
“I feel really honored to make it to this level and be representing Warren County,” said Martin. “There have been a lot of applications to fill out, paperwork and questions about my philosophy of teaching and the leadership roles I’ve held.”
Martin describes herself as very involved with the students in her classroom and as a teacher who likes to accentuate positive results. This is her sixth year of teaching after graduating from Tennessee Tech with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She also has a master’s degree in instructional leadership from Tech.
“I’m a very active teacher who really works to motivate the kids and make them believe in themselves,” said Martin when asked about her philosophy. “I use positive reinforcement in the classroom and always emphasize their daily accomplishments.”
Other educators honored as Teacher of the Year in Warren County include Joanna McNeal Carden in the 5-8 grade category. She is a teacher at Eastside.
Paddi Smith claimed Teacher of the Year honors in the 9-12 grade category. She is a computer applications/ business teacher at WCHS.