MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - With the help of students and staff, Interim Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray surprised three Shelby County Schools teachers with a special announcement Wednesday.
Thomas Dinson of Cherokee Elementary, Alisha Clark of Crump Elementary and Mary Mcintosh of Central High School were awarded as Tennessee Teacher of the Year District Finalists.
“Out of 6,000 teachers we have that give of themselves on a daily basis, who they go above and beyond for our students, these three stick out and they are magnificent,” said Ray.
The news came as a surprise to Ms. Clark.
"Flabbergasted. That's the perfect word to describe my emotions right now, totally flabbergasted," said Clark.
The trio is being honored for going above and beyond for their students, while producing outstanding academic results.
"Being able to work with young people and teach them to be able to be critical thinkers and critical writers is really, really I don't know.. It's a calling, it's a passion," said Mcintosh.
So what does it take to be nominated as a top teacher?
“Hardwork, Dedication, believing in myself, believing in my students and with the help of my colleagues,” said Clark.
“We do what we need to every single day. We work hard, we get to work we fight for these children. No matter where we work for Shelby county, we’re there for our kids and everything is for our kids,” said Denson.
The teachers will move on to the Tennessee Department of Education’s second round of nominations to be identified as regional Teachers of the Year in February, followed by state Teacher of the Year in May.