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Collierville educator nominated for Teacher of the Year

A Collierville educator has been named among nine finalists for the 2017-18 Tennessee Teacher of the Year award.

Stephanie Rice, a fourth grade teacher at Crosswind Elementary School, was named last week by the Tennessee Department of Education and will represent the Western Region in the state, along with Mandy Fraley of Northeast Middle School in Jackson and Carol Nanney of McKenzie Elementary in McKenzie near Bethel University.

Grand Division winners and the Teacher of the Year will be selected from the East, West and Middle regional groups and announced during an honorary banquet this fall.

“These teachers are our students’ heroes,” Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said. “Our educators have a direct, positive influence on students every day. And, because of educators like these nine finalists, Tennessee’s future is bright.”

The final winner will represent Tennessee in the National Teacher of the Year competition and serve as an ambassador for education in the state throughout the year. To qualify, candidates must have been teaching full-time for at least three years, have a track record of exceptional gains in student learning, and be effective school and community leaders.

Rice received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Cameron University. She later received her Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Southwest Oklahoma State University.

This is her 25th year of teaching and she has taught many different grade levels. She has been at Crosswind Elementary for 12 years and she is currently in her fourth year teaching fourth grade at Crosswind.

Her husband, Jim, is retired from the Army and now works for AutoZone corporation. They have two children, both of whom are Collierville High School graduates.

In her free time she enjoys gardening, reading and going out to eat.

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