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Memphis educator named Tennessee Teacher of the Year

Karen Vogelsang, a fourth-grade teacher at Keystone Elementary, received Tennessee’s top teaching honor during the state department of education’s Teacher of the Year banquet Thursday evening.

Vogelsang is the Grand Division winner for West Tennessee, one of three regions in the state.

An 11-year teaching veteran, Vogelsang is National Board Certified and serves as a coach for her fellow teachers.  Before entering the teaching profession, Vogelsang worked in banking. She said that she draws from that experience to teach her students the value of of collaboration, which is used in many workplaces today.

“The first time I had the opportunity to teach it was electrifying; I knew then I had made the right decision to become a teacher,” Vogelsang said.

Those who know Vogelsang call her a phenomenal example of what a teacher should be to every child.

“She is a learner as well as a teacher. She lives for her students—no, she lives for all students,” said Susan Dold, Shelby County’s literacy instructional advisor.

Other educators recognized during the banquet include Middle Tennessee’s Grand Division winner Shannon Streett, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at Woodbury Grammar in Cannon County, and Ashley Carter, a third-grade teacher at John Adams Elementary in Kingsport, who is the Grand Division winner for East Tennessee.

The nine 2014-15 Teacher of Year regional winners and state finalists will serve on the state’s inaugural Teacher Advisory Council during the 2014-15 school year. The three Grand Division winners will continue their term during the 2015-16 school year.