Grade 8 American history teacher John Frizzell was named one of 9 finalists for the award.
GERMANTOWN, Tennessee – They say teaching is its own reward, but for a teacher with the Germantown Municipal School District (GMSD), a more tangible honor could come to him.
John Frizzell, the 2021 GMSD Teacher of the Year for Grades 5-8, has been named one of nine finalists for Tennessee Teacher of the Year for 2021-2022. Frizzell teaches American history in grade 8 at Riverdale.
“I am delighted to congratulate John Frizzell as a finalist for the Tennessee Teacher of the Year Award,” said the chair of the Senate Education Committee. Brian Kelsey. âHe is a shining example of the dedicated teachers who inspire Tennessee students every day. “
This is what GMSD wrote about him after being named teacher of the year for that school district for 2021:
One parent wrote of John Frizzell: âHe has a shining star in Riverdale. This is an accurate assessment, as he has only been working with GMSD for four years and was quickly recruited to several leadership positions in the school and district. His positions range from PLC Manager, Cross Country Sponsor, Poetry / Book Club Sponsor, TEAM Teacher Evaluator, Social Studies Content Manager, to GMSD Diversity and Inclusion Coach. Frizzell is a talented teacher with a zeal to help his students discover a love for history.
âStudying history may not help you balance your checkbook or understand chemical reactions, but it does something far more important. It forces us to put ourselves in the shoes of the people who came before us and to learn from their lives. History requires us to practice perspective and empathy, âhe explained.
Aside from his passion for the subject matter in the classroom, it is evident that Mr. Frizzell cares deeply about each of his students. He instituted an annual âStudent Appreciation Dayâ in which he wrote handwritten and personalized notes to each student. We have been fortunate to read nearly a dozen letters from current and former students and their families about the tremendous impact some of the personalized notes have on students.
A strong supporter of the student voice, Mr. Frizzell also draws inspiration from his students by using student exit interviews to continue to hone his teaching skills. âI listen to my students’ comments because the best teachers never stop being students themselves,â said Mr. Frizzell.
Today (June 3, 2021), the Tennessee Department of Education announced the nine statewide finalists for the 2021-2022 Tennessee Teacher of the Year award.
The nine finalists represent each of the state’s eight Regional Center of Excellence (CORE) regions as well as the Shelby County and Municipalities region, with three finalists in each major division: West, Middle and East.
âThrough their persistence, determination and commitment to providing all of our students with a high quality education, our educators in Tennessee have gone above and beyond the call of duty this past school year,â said Commissioner Penny Schwinn . âI am delighted to honor these nine teachers for their incredible work that has led to this moment and especially the past few months. Our state is home to dedicated teachers who embody the spirit of volunteerism and give their all for our students every day.
The finalists for 2021-22 Tennessee Teacher of the Year are:
Teacher of the year candidates must have taught full time for at least three years. Additionally, they are assessed based on their track record of exceptional gains in student learning and being effective school and community leaders.
âEarning the Tennessee Teacher of the Year Award meant I could use my voice for teachers and students in our state, and it meant a lot to me,â said Kami Lunsford, 2021 Tennessee Teacher of the Year and music teacher, Karns Middle School. . âIn every community, especially in Tennessee, teachers are powerful agents of support, resources and change. This school year the teaching profession has taken on unique challenges in history and, as usual, teachers have shown everyone how to lead, serve and shine!
The Grand Division winners and ultimately Tennessee Teacher of the Year will be selected from this group of finalists and announced at an honorary celebration this fall following an interview with each finalist.
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 2021-22 school year.
Finalists will also have the opportunity to serve on Commissioner Schwinn’s Teachers Advisory Council for the duration of the 2021-2022 school year. The board is made up of expert teachers who provide feedback and inform the work of the department throughout the school year.