The 2014 Blue Ribbon Teachers are…
47 Metro teachers earn prestigious award, cash prize
Metro Schools is proud to announce the first class of Blue Ribbon Teachers. These 47 Metro educators were nominated by their students, parents, colleagues or community members as having done extraordinary things for their students, and then were chosen as winners by members of the community.
They have earned Blue Ribbon status by proving exceptional in one or more of three categories: helping foster high academic achievement, displaying strong leadership or making a difference in students’ lives through building relationships. Along with Blue Ribbon status, winning teachers will receive a $1,000 cash prize as part of this community-wide celebration of outstanding teaching.
The 2014 Blue Ribbon Teachers represent a cross-section of Metro Schools, coming from varied grade levels, subject areas and geographic clusters, as well as neighborhood, magnet and charter schools. Nearly two-thirds were nominated for building strong relationships with students, confirming what anyone involved with education already knows: a teacher’s personal touch is vitally important.
“[My daughter] Emma came home after the first day in Ms. Rhaggianti’s class with an excitement about kindergarten that I had not seen from her,” said the nomination for Jaimie Rhaggianti of Granbery Elementary School. “Emma has flourished under Ms. Rhaggianti’s leadership and love. Emma loves learning and comes home daily with examples of how Ms. Rhaggianti cares about Emma as a person while still expecting Emma to learn.”
The Blue Ribbon Teacher Awards were developed this year under the auspices of the Steering Committee for Nashville’s Agenda. The Agenda project began in 1993 and was the first citywide goal-setting process involving several thousand citizens discussing how to “make Nashville the best it can be.” The process was repeated in 2007, with education continuing to rank high.
The Steering Committee, established in 1994, is an informal group of some 70 civic leaders who work to facilitate progress toward the goals identified in the Nashville’s Agenda processes. Lewis Lavine, President of the Center for Nonprofit Management and a member of the Steering Committee, has coordinated planning for the Blue Ribbon Teacher program.
The Blue Ribbon Teachers will be honored at a reception later this month at the Vanderbilt University Residence hosted by Vanderbilt University and Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos. The award money for honorees was privately raised.
Though facilitated through Metro Schools, all recipients were chosen by blind selection by a committee made up entirely of community, business and education leaders. No Metro Schools employees were involved in the final selection process.
“It’s gratifying to know our community values Metro teachers as much as and for many of the same reasons as we do,” said Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register. “The Blue Ribbon Teacher program is an exciting development in the advancement of the teaching profession in Nashville. It is a meaningful way for the whole community to reward and recognize the very best teachers who are guiding and inspiring our students to greater heights.”
Quality teaching is one of the key elements that will help drive Metro Schools to be the highest performing urban district in the country, a goal of the district’s five-year strategic plan, Education 2018: Excellence for Every Student. Community recognition furthers Nashville as a positive place for teachers to work. Monday night, the district recognized its Teachers and Principals of the Year, as chosen by Metro Schools leaders, at a celebratory dinner.