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Students Rise to the Challenge Winner Announced Feb 28, 2014
SCORE Prize Event Oct 27, 2014
The SCORE Prize will be awarded to the school district, elementary school, middle school, and high school to recognize outstanding growth in student achievement. Laura Turner Concert Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
The Progress Continues
Norman Smith Elementary
Frank P. Brown Middle School
Dr. Penny FergusonMaryville High School, Maryville City Schools
11th-grade English teacher
Penny Ferguson employs a creative, motivational, interactive teaching style that excites and encourages students to do more, to learn more, to be more. Her interdisciplinary approach to learning – using projects that link American literature and American history — enables young people to make connections and to synthesize information. Imagine a classroom without walls — where students from two different disciplines interact on a regular basis and come in frequent contact with the community. In this classroom the students learn from teachers, from family members, from experts in the community, from primary sources, and from each other.
Several interdisciplinary projects unite her American literature class with that of her teammate in the American history class as they take an unconventional approach to bridge larger, abstract subjects with cultural and historical education. Each of these activities is designed to introduce more technology into the curriculum, to foster cooperation and joint planning between teachers in different disciplines, and to provide opportunities for students to participate in interdisciplinary projects that teach and reinforce a variety of skills. Dr. Ferguson staunchly believes that teachers must continue to be lifelong learners. She wishes to emulate Michelangelo, who at age 87 said, “Ancora Imparo” (I am still learning). Therefore, no matter what new initiative in education appears on the horizon, she advises other teachers to “stick your toe into the abyss” and take the lead.
Bio: Dr. Penny Ferguson teaches 11th-grade English at Maryville High School in Maryville, Tennessee, where she has been since 1970. Since 1991, she has also taught prospective educators as part of a teacher education program at Maryville College. In all, Dr. Ferguson has taught for 44 years and has received numerous awards and recognitions for her devoted service to education. Among Dr. Ferguson’s most distinguished accolades are the 2008 National Teachers Hall of Fame, the 2003 Disney American Teacher Award, the 2007 Tennessee Education Association Teacher of Excellence, the 2003 National Education Association Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, and the 2002 Chevy Malibu / TIME Teaching Excellence Award. In 2006 she was also recognized as a National Facilitator by the National School Reform Faculty, and in 2003, she received an honorable mention as USA Today’s All-American Teacher Team.