Former Sylvan Director of Education named Teacher of the Year
Mar 26, 2015
In order to be considered for the award, educators must have a minimum of five years' experience. Leadership efforts, student achievement and parent involvement efforts are also given weight. Once selected, building-level teachers are in the running to become grade-level winners, representing one elementary, middle and high school.
Those three teachers then proceed as Rutherford County's representatives in the regional and state Teacher of the Year recognition program. Central Magnet math teacher Kyle Prince has been named Teacher of the Year for the Mid-Cumberland region, which puts him in the running to be named the state's top educator this fall.
This year's grade-level winners are:
• Marlene McGregor, elementary level. After spending several years as an administrator, McGregor returned to the classroom as a seventh-grade math teacher and now works as a K-5 math interventionist at Blackman Elementary.
During her 25-year career, has worked at Thurman Francis Elementary, as an assistant principal at Stewartsboro and David Youree elementary schools, serving as principal of the latter.
McGregor graduated from Smyrna High School, attended Belmont College and received her bachelor's and master's degrees from MTSU.
•Laura Schlesinger, middle level. Schlesinger has been with the district for six years and taught at Smyrna Middle before moving to Smyrna West Alternative School. Before joining the school system, she was director of education at Sylvan Learning Center and served as an adjunct English professor at MTSU.
Principal Kay Davenport described Schlesinger as "a resourceful, educator and solution-oriented educator."
"She makes English language arts challenging through a variety of probing questions vocabulary extensions, and her references to real-life scenarios creates an optimum atmosphere for teaching and learning. Upon visits to her classroom, I always come away with thought provoking information related to the lesson," Davenport said.
An accomplished dancer and actress, Schlesinger graduated from The Boston Conservatory, received her bachelor's degree from Butler University and master's degrees from Trevecca Nazarene University and MTSU.
•Kyle Prince, high school. Central Magnet Principal John Ash called Prince "a tremendous teacher" and a "great faculty member."
In his sixth year as an educator, Prince began his career at Siegel High and transferred to Central Magnet. He said his greatest achievement as an educator was having all of his honors and advanced honors Algebra II students score proficient or advanced on the end of course exam.
"He is extremely innovative and develops a love for math in his students. Mr. Prince keeps working until every child understands the material no matter what it takes," Ash said.
A graduate of Blackman High, Prince earned his bachelor's degree from Maryville College and a master's degree from MTSU. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree, expected to be complete in December.