Nominations are accepted from all schools and then one teacher is selected from each academic level.
“Cheatham County is a district filled with caring, motivated and highly-qualified teachers. To be selected as a district-wide winner is a distinguished honor for an educator,” said Director of Schools Dr. Cathy Beck. “The three finalists represent the exemplary teaching that goes on every day across our district. They truly inspire their students and colleagues, and we are fortunate to have educators like these in our county.”
The 2017-2018 District Wide Teachers of the Year are:
High school: Maggie Mason, Sycamore High School fine arts teacher. Mason has taught for 25 years and has been with the district for 23 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University and master’s degree from Austin Peay State University. Mason started her teaching career in 1992 at Portland Middle School. Two years later, she joined the district as the general music and choir teacher at Sycamore Middle School. She has been at the SHS building since it opened in 1996 and was on staff during its transition from a middle school to high school. At SHS, she has taught a variety of classes, including English, general music, choir, creative writing, introduction to fine arts and dual enrollment music history. Mason currently chairs the school’s Fine Arts Department and serves as a Fine Arts Mentor Teacher and on the District Advisory Committee. She has been named the SHS Employee of the Month three times during her tenure. She is a member of the Sycamore Chapel Church of Christ.
Middle school: Matthew Shuff, Sycamore Middle School eighth-grade science teacher. Shuff has taught for four and a half years – all at SMS. He earned his associate’s degree from Nashville State Community College and bachelor’s degree from Austin Peay State University. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in school counseling from the University of Tennessee at Martin. Shuff is the school’s wrestling coach and has been named the SMS Employee of the Month twice during his career. He currently serves on the District Advisory Committee and has been a member of the school’s discipline, textbook and bullying committees.
Elementary school: Kristin McQueen, Ashland City Elementary School K-4 STEM teacher. McQueen has taught for five years and has been with the district for four years. She is the only educator in the district that teaches STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as a separate class at the elementary level. McQueen earned her bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Tech University and master’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Before joining the district in 2014, she taught for one year at St. Bethlehem Elementary School in Clarksville. McQueen has received three A.O. Smith grants, and she currently serves as the Grade Level Chair representative at ACES and on the district’s Teacher Advisory Board. She led a six-week STEAM Robotics summer camp in 2017 at Lipscomb University and Pellissippi State. For the past three years, she has been the assistant softball coach at Cheatham County Central High School. In August, McQueen was selected as one of 45 educators across the state to serve on the inaugural Tennessee Rural STEM Collaborative.
The 2017-2018 School Level Teachers of the Year are:
Ashland City Elementary School: Kristin McQueen
East Cheatham Elementary School: Melissa Barr
Kingston Springs Elementary School: Amy Brown
Pegram Elementary School: Nathan Anderson
Pleasant View Elementary School: Amber Pennington
West Cheatham Elementary School: April Long
Cheatham Middle School: Megan Hunter
Harpeth Middle School: Brittney Burgess
Sycamore Middle School: Matthew Shuff
Cheatham County Central High School: Susie Kephart
Harpeth High School: Alesia Beshears
Sycamore High School: Maggie Mason
Riverside Academy: Doug Hungate
“I want to congratulate all who were nominated. This nomination is a commendation for your leadership, your commitment to excellence and dedication to our students, our schools and our district,” Beck said.
All of the winning teachers will be recognized at a banquet in April.