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Two Carson-Newman alumni are finalists for TN Teacher of the Year

(July 27, 2016) – Two Carson-Newman University graduates are finalists for the 2016-17 Tennessee Teacher of the Year Award. Candidates Leslie Vines and Derek Voiles join three other Carson-Newman alumni in drawing attention this summer for their impact on education. Each hold the Master of Arts in Teaching: English as a Second Language (MAT-ESL) from the University.

Dr. Kim Hawkins, Carson-Newman chair of Education and Counseling, said Vine and Voiles have a true heart for their field.

“In addition to positively affecting children, both Leslie and Derek work to help future teachers in that both have opened their classrooms to Carson-Newman students who are working toward teacher licensure,” said Hawkins. “It is a joy to watch them work and grow professionally and to have a continued relationship with them; they are creative and caring, and they are the kind of teachers that parents want for their children.

Carson-Newman graduates earning recent honors in education include:

• Leslie Vines, English as a second language (ESL) teacher at Jefferson Elementary School. Vines is this year’s Jefferson County Elementary School Teacher of the Year, and a finalist for the 2016-17 Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

• Derek Voiles, language arts teacher for Lincoln Heights Middle School in Morristown. Voiles is also a finalist for the 2016-17 Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

• Celeste Goodwin, ESL coordinator for Adult and Continuing Education for Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky. She received the University of Louisville Teacher Excellence Award presented by Hilliard Lyons.

• Beth Lee, ESL teacher for Kingsport City Schools. She was named Tennessee Teachers to Speakers of Other Languages (TNTESOL) 2016 Teacher of the Year–Eastern Region.

• Heidi Williams, ESL Teacher for Jefferson County Schools. Williams is Jefferson County Middle School Teacher of the Year.

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