Teacher of the Year

Joy Patton posing with five high school students

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.

Applications for TPAC Teacher of the Year are open. We were unable to give this distinction last year, but thanks to Synovus Bank and their generous donation, we now can award recipients for both years.

  • To apply for this year’s Teacher of the Year, please fill out the 2021-22 application.
  • To apply for last year’s Teacher of the Year, please fill out the 2020-21 application.
  • Teachers who worked with us both years may fill out both applications.


Read about TPAC’s 2019-20 Teacher of the Year, Joy Patton , who uses the arts to inspire her students and build their confidence. She encourages her students to express themselves and find their own creative voice, ending each of her classes with the same phrase, “your words matter.”

Past Recipients

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