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Rice could be state’s Teacher of the Year

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A Collierville educator is one of nine in the state to be nominated as a finalist for the 2018 Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

Stephanie Rice teaches fourth-grade math and science at Crosswind Elementary.

These nine teachers were named Region-level Teachers of the Year in June, and one of them will be named the 2017-18 Tennessee Teacher of the Year on Sept. 28.

Rice represents 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.

“By building a rapport based on mutual respect and communication,” Rice said. “I find my students rise to the expectations and challenges I place on them.”

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.

“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.”

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