Teachers selected for the honor included Robbie Eddings of Trimble Elementary School, Michelle Garner of Dyer County High School, Tina Greenlee of Dyer County High School, Lori Joyce of Holice Powell Elementary School, Crystal Lock of Finley Elementary School, Rhiannon Owsley of Newbern Elementary School, Terrye Palmer of Three Oaks Middle School, Jennifer Thompson of Northview Middle School and Emily Young of Fifth Consolidated Elementary School.
Three of those teachers went on to represent their district in the next step of the Tennessee Teacher of the Year competition. Greenlee, Palmer and Joyce earned the honor of representing their school system on the district level of the Tennessee Teacher of the Year program.
Tina Greenlee of Dyer County High School earned systemwide Teacher of the Year for grades nine through 12.
Greenlee, who currently teaches ninth- and 10th-grade English classes at DCHS, holds a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Special Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in Secondary Education and Music, both from Union University.
Greenlee has served DCHS students since 2003. She has taught in Kentucky and Florida and locally in Dyer County, Dyersburg City and Crockett County schools.
"Teaching is more than a job, (it is) a personal commitment or calling to help young people achieve their personal best academically as well as socially," said Greenlee in her Teacher of the Year application. "Teaching is so much more than presenting instruction and materials in a subject area. It involves being a visionary who can see past a student's outward persona to that student's intrinsic potential. I believe teaching is assisting children in becoming aware of their talents and abilities and helping them move toward excellence and success."
Greenlee is a member of the Dyer County Teachers Association, the Tennessee Teachers Association, the National Teachers Association and the Delta Kappa Gamma teachers' sorority. Also honored with system Teacher of the Year in 2007, Greenlee has been recognized for perfect attendance at DCHS, "100 Percent Club" status at La Petite Academy in Florida and assisting implementation and directing the first daycare in the nation designed specifically for homeless children in Kentucky.
"Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I had many influential role models who were teachers," Greenlee continued in her application. "These individuals, specifically my grandmothers and mother, demonstrated a love and passion for teaching which was contagious. ... Not only were my mother and grandmothers my role models as teachers, but they also instilled within me a love for learning. I love to learn and I want to teach that love to others."
Greenlee is active in her community and church. Serving in a variety of areas in her church, she has also supported the Red Cross and Life Choices and has lent her musical talents in special ceremonies for the Rotary Club, Relay for Life, Kiwanis Club and Sorghum Valley. She and her husband also support the music program at Union University, where her children now attend.
Terrye Palmer of Three Oaks Middle School earned systemwide Teacher of the Year for grades five through eight.
Palmer, who currently teaches special education in seventh and eighth grade at Three Oaks, holds a master's plus 10 hours, a Master of Science in Education - Elementary Education, Special Education K-12, and a Bachelor of Science in Education, all from the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Palmer has served Three Oaks students since 2002. Prior to that, she served at Holice Powell and Halls Elementary School, as a part-time contract employee for the state's Tennessee Infant Parent Services, and at the Northwest Counseling Center in the therapeutic nursery for at-risk or abused 3- to 5-year-olds.
Palmer's philosophy of teaching centers on the hope that one day all students with special needs will be accepted and included. The Three Oaks educator credits her inspiration for becoming an educator to her mother.
"Education started at home, was supported at school and was never expected to stop," said Palmer in her Teacher of the Year application. "All the necessary life skills and social behaviors were truly modeled appropriately by (my) mother. My goals and dreams were supported with the utmost confidence and encouragement. My mother was patient, kind and understanding at all times. She expected me to do my best and finish what I started. My mother (told me) to help others who were not as blessed. With joy in my heart for teaching and learning, I became a teacher - the 'mother' that so many children need."
Palmer has held membership in the parent-teacher organizations at Three Oaks, Holice Powell and Halls Elementary schools. She is currently a member of NEA, TEA, DECA, and the Tennessee, Northwest Tennessee and Memphis area councils of the Mathematics Teachers Association.
She was also honored as Teacher of the Year by Holice Powell in the 2001-2002 academic year, and has achieved Career Ladder Level One.
Palmer is involved in her church and her community, reaching those around her through Lake Road Baptist Church, Walk Across Tennessee, Relay for Life, Dyersburg/Dyer County Special Olympics, Agricultural Extension Service/Family Community Education, Dyer County Fair, "Friends" of TIPS, Dyersburg State Community College Booster Club, DSCC Alumni, DSCC College for Kids, Dyersburg High School Baseball Booster Club, DHS Basketball Booster Club, DHS Project Graduation, DCHS Project Graduation, Cotillion Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and various community fundraisers.
Lori Joyce of Holice Powell Elementary School earned systemwide Teacher of the Year for grades pre-K through four.
Joyce, who currently teaches fourth grade at Holice Powell, holds a master's in education with an emphasis on advanced elementary education K-8 and a Bachelor of Science in Education with a K-8 emphasis, both from the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Joyce has served Holice Powell students since 2006. Prior to that, she served at Martin Primary School and Gleason School.
Palmer's philosophy of teaching lies within her firm belief that everybody has the ability to learn.
"It is my job to help light the fire for the love of learning," said Joyce in the Teacher of the Year application. "Students must be taught to believe in themselves, to constantly strive to become better and to apply their knowledge to real world situations."
The educator, who was also honored with the Holice Powell Blue Ribbon School Teacher Award in 2009, holds membership in the Christian Educators Association International and the Character Counts committee.
Joyce is involved in her church and her community, reaching those around her through Harvest Baptist Church, after-school tutoring at Holice Powell, letters to the Armed Forces, the YMCA, daycare fundraisers and judging for pageants.
Other educators earning Teacher of the Year distinction at schools within the Dyer County School System:
Robbie Eddings earned Teacher of the Year for Trimble Elementary School.
Eddings, who currently teaches third grade at Trimble, holds Plus 30 Graduate Hours, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, all from the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Eddings has served students at Trimble Elementary since 1999. She has also taught at Yorkville Elementary School.
She held membership in the Gibson County Education Association from 1992 to 1999, serving as president of the GCEA from 1997 until 1999.
Also named Trimble Teacher of the Year in 2006, Eddings also cherishes what may be the most priceless praise of all - many handwritten notes from her students declaring her "the best teacher ever."
She serves her church and her community as church pianist, Sunday School teacher, VBS teacher and director, served on several committees, five Upward Basketball teams and organized a community "Holiday Tour of Homes" that raised over $5,000 for overseas missions.
Michelle Garner earned Teacher of the Year for Dyer County High School.
Garner, who currently teaches Spanish I and II for freshmen through seniors, holds a master's degree in teaching English as a second language from Grand Canyon University and a degree in secondary education from the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Garner has served students at DCHS since 2004. She has also taught at Crockett County High School and served as teacher mentor to new teachers in both systems.
She is a member of the Dyer County Education Association and the Tennessee Education Association. She has also served as a representative of the West Tennessee Teacher Study Council and as co-chair on various SACS and School Improvement committees.
She is active in her church and her community as a Vacation Bible School teacher, nursery worker, fill-in Sunday-school teacher, director of the children's music program, ACT prep instructor and after-school tutor.
Barry Kendall earned Teacher of the Year for Dyer County High School.
Kendall, who currently teaches economics to DCHS students, holds a master's degree in administration from Trevecca University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business/Marketing from the University of Tennessee at Martin and a Bachelor of Science in Education, also from UTM.
Kendall just completed his sixth year at DCHS and his 16th year as an educator. He has been involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the past 15 years, has coached football for the past 16 years, and served as DCHS defensive coordinator for the past five years. Kendall was just named the DCHS football team's new head coach in April.
He also taught 10 years at Obion County High School.
Kendall is heavily involved in his church, Mt. Ararat Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Troy, where he has been a member for 15 years. He has served as the youth leader and taught Sunday school, serving in one capacity or the other over his tenure there.
"I come from a history of school teachers," said Kendall. "My grandfather, grandmother and sister were, and are, all teachers. I love being around kids and coaching and trying to help them be better citizens."
Crystal Lock earned Teacher of the Year for Finley Elementary School.
Lock, who currently teaches fourth grade at Finley, holds a master's degree in the art of teaching from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Tennessee at Martin and an associate degree from Dyersburg State Community College.
She has served students at Finley Elementary since 2004.
Also named the Finley Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2008, Lock has held leadership positions with the School Leadership Team, the RTI team, as a member of the Superintendent's Teacher Advisory Board and the Principal's Teacher Advisory Board, as Data Chair of the School Improvement Plan Committee and as Renaissance Administrator for FES.
She serves her church and her community as a Sunday-school teacher and the leader of her church's puppet team, a volunteer to organize packages for soldiers in Afghanistan and Kuwait and as a volunteer for several holiday programs at local nursing homes.
Rhiannon Owsley earned Teacher of the Year for Newbern Elementary School.
Owsley, who currently teaches pre-K students at Newbern Elementary, holds a degree in early education from Jackson State Community College and a degree in human learning pre-K through 4 from the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Owsley has served Newbern Elementary students since 2005.
She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Owsley has served her community as a mentor during a job-shadowing program with Dyer County High School. She has also volunteered in food drives, Chimes for Charity and fundraising for community organizations through the J'Cettes.
Jennifer Thompson earned Teacher of the Year for Northview Middle School.
Thompson, who currently teaches seventh-grade math and eighth-grade Algebra I at Northview, holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas. She also attended the University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University.
Thompson has served students at Northview Middle School since 2006.
She is a member of the Dyer County Education Association, the Tennessee Education Association and the National Education Association. She has served her students as a cheerleading sponsor, her co-workers as seventh-grade team leader and her country as a member of the United States Army.
"Teaching has been one of the most time-consuming, stressful and often heart-breaking jobs I have ever experienced," said Thompson in her Tennessee Teacher of the Year application. "Yet it has been one of the most rewarding. After finally finding the career that I feel is my so-called 'calling', I now cannot imagine myself doing anything else."
Emily Young earned Teacher of the Year for Fifth Consolidated Elementary School.
Young, who currently teaches fourth grade at Fifth Consolidated, holds a master's degree in advanced elementary education and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She plans to attend the University of Tennessee to obtain a principal certificate in the future.
She has served students at Fifth Consolidated since 2006.
A previous member of the Tennessee Education Association, Young has led her school as a member of its Instructional Leadership team, the coordinator of the school's 504 Plan, a member of the Superintendent's Advisory Board, fourth-grade representative on the RTI team, a member of the Honor's Day committee and as an organizer of the first TCAP in Dyer County.
She serves her church and her community as a nursery and children's church teacher, and a pastor-parish relations committee member. Her heavy involvement in Dyer County Relay for Life is in honor of her best friend's daughter, who lost her battle with medulloblastoma at just 20 months old.