NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Three Metro Schools teachers have been selected as finalists for Teacher of the Year in the middle school category.
The annual Teacher of the Year awards program seeks to recognize educators who have been selected by their peers as among the best.
The winners will be announced at a celebration on Monday.
Finalists for Teacher of the Year in the middle school category are: Amy K. Cate, who teaches Spanish and serves as IB coordinator at John Trotwood Moore Middle School; Scott Hale, band teacher at West End Middle School; and Cindy Tarkington, a sixth-grade language arts/reading teacher at Antioch Middle School.
As a Vanderbilt pre-med student, Cate failed her first chemistry class. Her advisor suggested an education class.
She tried it and "the first moment I was with kids, I was like, ‘This is it. This is what I love.'"
"I just think working with kids is what I'm supposed to do," she said.
Tarkington said as a child, "I was one of those readers that read until 3 o'clock in the morning with the flashlight under the covers."
"I think teaching is a craft: The longer you do it, the better you get," Tarkington said. "I want to differentiate my teaching so that I can reach a struggling reader and an advanced reader."
"I enjoy middle school because you start them from the beginning," Hale said.
As a young person, he figured out that music was his calling.
"There are so many teachable moments in music class, beyond music," he said. "That's why I love it so much."
"I really believe the kids know that I care about them and know what I expect," he said.
The three teachers selected as Teacher of the Year for Nashville's public school system will advance to statewide competition.
On April 14, the district will also recognize three Principals of the Year.
In related news, 12 people will be inducted into the school district's Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday. The 2008 inductees who will be recognized at a private ceremony are:
Tommy Bolton, graduate of Antioch High
Austin Denney, graduate of Donelson High School
Jimmy Edwards, principal of Donelson High School (posthumous)
Dianne Frierson, graduate of Hillwood High School
Margaret Sexton Gleaves, graduate of Bellevue High School (posthumous)
Roy Herald, graduate of Howard High School
Ronnie Lawson, coach at Cameron High School/graduate of Pearl High School(posthumous)
John Mitchell, graduate of John Overton High School
Harold Rice, graduate of Cameron High School (posthumous)