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APSU to host Tennessee Teacher of the Year symposium

April 8, 2002

Austin Peay State University will host the Tennessee Teacher of the Year Symposium on Thursday and Friday, April 11 and 12 in the University Center.

The symposium will focus on the importance of mentorship between new and experienced teachers and give Austin Peay's education students the opportunity to network with past Tennessee teachers of the year.

"This event grew out of a partnership that was formed a year ago with the Tennessee Teachers of the Year Organization," said Dr. Ron Groseclose, chair of the department of education at Austin Peay. "There is a wealth of knowledge and talent among these outstanding teachers that we not only wanted to recognize but to share.

"By linking our students with the state's best and brightest in a forum where they can ask questions and glean valuable lessons from shared experiences, they are exposed to the quality of teacher they can become and learn what it takes to get there."

Dr. Melinda Day, Tennessee's current teacher of the year, will open the symposium with a keynote address. Day is a fifth grade teacher at Lenoir City Elementary School in Lenoir City, Tenn. Her seven years in education have taken her to Wales and Japan through Fulbright programs. Day received her bachelor's, master's and education specialist degrees from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville.

A reception, co-sponsored by the Tennessee Educators Credit Union, will follow.

Dorene Lowery, last year's teacher of the year, will speak on Friday. Lowery is the principal of Michigan Avenue Elementary School in Cleveland, Tenn., and has been an elementary school teacher in Bradley County for nearly two decades. She has received numerous awards throughout her career and in 2001 published "Gold Box Stories," a humorous collection of non-fiction children's tales.

Former Tennessee teachers of the year also will give workshops during the symposium. Topics include classroom management, special and secondary education and testing issues.

"Mentorship is an important part of becoming an effective teacher," said Groseclose. "I believe every student who graduates from our program has the potential to become a teacher of the year, and this symposium will bring that aspiration to life."

For more information about the symposium, telephone 7190.