As we kick off Teacher Appreciation Week, I hope you’ll join me and the entire SCORE team in celebrating the dedicated educators who work tirelessly to support our students and ensure their success.   

Teachers are the foundation of a great education, shaping the minds of future leaders, preparing students for successful careers, and instilling a love of learning that transcends the classroom.

I know you, like me, can immediately name the teachers that had a transformational impact on your life. I think of Sarah Bayrd, John Bush, and Wes Adams — three educators in Williamson County Schools who fostered in me a love of reading and writing, a passion for American government and history, and a sharpened intellectual curiosity.

To Tennessee’s educators: THANK YOU! Your passion and commitment to student success inspire us all, and we are grateful for the positive impact you make on the lives of students.

At SCORE, we recognize the critical role great teachers play in advancing our mission to catalyze transformative change in Tennessee education so that all students can achieve success. That’s why we advocate for policies and practices that strengthen, empower, and elevate the teaching profession. We know that great teaching is the most important in-school factor in advancing student learning.

From studying the dynamics of the educator labor market and championing scholarships for future teachers, to leading and convening networks that connect educator preparation programs (EPPs) with school districts, SCORE is working to ensure Tennessee’s educators are well prepared and have the supports needed to foster student success.

As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, please take the time to tell an educator in your life how much they mean to you. Tennessee educators deserve our gratitude for lighting the way to a more promising future for students.