Teacher of the Year

students with their teacher in TPAC Lobby

TPAC is proud to honor excellence in education with our Teacher of the Year award. Each year, we accept applications from teachers who participate in our education programs and connect their students to the arts. The award includes a $1,000 grant for the recipient’s school and is presented in the spring.

Read what TPAC’s exceptional Teacher of the Year recipients for the past two years have to say about the impact of arts integration for their students.

two women, one with award plaque

2021-22 TPAC Teacher of the Year – Joyce Platz of Sumner Academy

~ also pictured at top with her students and colleague Sheree Zobi

“I choose to participate to add to my toolbox. I am still teaching the same skills and content but in a more engaging way. I was lucky enough to have had a childhood that valued the arts, exposed me to the arts, and let me know that I could make art. I want to ensure that every student that I have contact with has the same experience.

When the students create something individually or collaboratively they pay more attention to the material from start to finish. When their work can be compared to or related to a professional work they gain confidence and increase their sense of self value.”

two women, one with award plaque

2020-21 TPAC Teacher of the Year – Stephanie Higgs of Crockett Elementary

“As a Middle Tennessee native, I have the utmost respect for TPAC and still visit annually on treasured mother-daughter excursions. I grew up with a deep appreciation for the performing arts, taking a variety of music and dance lessons from elementary through high school. Some of my favorite childhood memories involved field trips to TPAC from the elementary school I attended in Maury County. It was a full circle moment in my career as I reflected on the enchantment I experienced when witnessing a TPAC performance for the first time as a child. Experiencing the magic as a teacher who was exposing my students to arts integration opportunities at the very same venue I enjoyed as a young student has been one of my best full-circle moments in education.”

Past Recipients

Joy PattonRenaissance High School2019-20
Adam ProutyWarner Elementary Arts Magnet2018-19
Miya RobertsonGower Elementary School2017-18
Caroline SharpWilliam Henry Oliver Middle School2016-17
Allison BrazzelGlencliff High School2015-16
April GunterOakland High School2014-15
Nelda SturgeonRobertson Academy2013-14
Debbie ShannonLighthouse Christian School2012-13
Lauri Kaye BurnsSpring Hill High School2011-12
Kenneth KingHume-Fogg High School2010-11
William MannSeigel High School2009-10
Meghen SandersStratford High School2008-09
Rita ReadEast Robertson High School2007-08
Elaine HoffertNortheast High School2006-07
Kim HowardMerrol Hyde Magnet School2005-06
Paul E. SmethersBeech High School2004-05
Dr. Pat ClarkAlcoa High School2003-04
John ShulerJones Paideia Magnet School2002-03
Lynn ColvinSpringfield High School2001-02
Lois McGonigalBlackman High School2000-01
Natalie CampSequatchie County High School1999-00
Josie McCamishRiverdale and Smyrna High Schools, Gifted Education1998-99
Sandra JoynerFranklin High School1997-98
Jaque ScarboroughBeech High School1996-97
Vicki KeithSanta Fe School1995-96
Marva NettlesPage Middle School1994-95