category: Alumni

C-N graduate named statewide ‘Teacher of the Year’

(Oct. 8, 2019) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — A Hamblen County math teacher and 2008 graduate of Carson-Newman University has received the prestigious “2019-20 Teacher of the Year” designation from the Tennessee Department of Education.

Brian McLaughlin, an algebra teacher at Morristown-Hamblen High School West, is lauded in the announcement as “a dedicated, conscientious and highly energetic instructor who sets high standards for his students, both in and out of the classroom.”

As a respected school leader, he never misses the opportunity to infuse a message of integrity and strong moral values into every lesson he delivers,” according to the TDOE.

Upon learning of the announcement, Dr. Kim Hawkins, dean of the University’s School of Education and Counseling, said a cheer went up in the department. Some of McLaughlin’s former students, now current C-N students, happened to be there.

“His students attested to his success as a teacher; they gushed with compliments about their former teacher and agreed the award was well deserved,” Hawkins said. “Brian is the third Carson-Newman graduate to receive this prestigious award in the past eight years (Byron Booker in 2011 and Derek Voiles in 2017), and we couldn’t be prouder.”

During his 11 years teaching, McLaughlin has earned Level 5 status every year, designating that his students make significant progress beyond the statewide growth standard.

McLaughlin said it was seeing how Carson-Newman brought together people from so many different walks of life that drew him to attend the University.

“My four years at C-N were some of the happiest of my life. It was truly a God-appointed period of time for me to pick up the skills I would need as an educator,” McLaughlin said. “I also received a stellar education in mathematics that prepared me to teach math to my students in Hamblen County. C-N provided me with a safe space to learn to be myself, while also holding me accountable to reach for my potential. I truly believe that my friends and I had one of the most beautiful college experiences ever enjoyed by any people on the face of the planet. I promise I’m not exaggerating.”

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The University is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and has over 2,700 students. Carson-Newman offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Brian McLaughlin, named the “2019-20 Teacher of the Year” by the Tennessee Department of Education, assists a student in his classroom at Morristown-Hamblen High School West. McLaughlin is a 2008 graduate of Carson-Newman University.

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