Thank you to everyone who submitted inspiring stories about rising to the challenge and improving student achievement in Tennessee! We received many submissions and have narrowed the list down to four. Vote on your favorite entry by going to our Facebook page. The winner will be recognized at the SCORE Prize event on September 20!

The voting has now ended. Thanks you to everyone who participated. Watch the live stream of the SCORE prize event when the winner will be recognized on September 20th starting at 6pm CT.

Finalist 1: An administrator rising to the challenge


By: Tammy Sommers

School: Mooreland Heights Elementary, Knox County

Mooreland Heights has been quite an excellent school from a parental perspective, but most importantly, the school holds its own regarding student performance. As I sat through many sessions reviewing the Knox County School District 2009-2010 TCAP Report Card broken down by schools, I certainly sat proudly as a parent noting the “A’s” in Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies’ value added SCOREs for Mooreland Heights along with four other schools in Knox County. More…

Finalist 2: Assisting students in pursuing further education or entering the workforce


By: Mikki Williams

School: Perry County High School, Perry County Schools

The South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance is a non-profit organization which encompasses an eight county area including: Giles, Hickman, Lawrence, Lewis, Marshall, Maury, Perry and Wayne counties. In these eight counties, the SCTWA administers the Jobs for Tennessee Graduates (JTG) program in 13 high schools. The Tennessee based program is funded in cooperation with the TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Tennessee Department of Education through the South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance. More…




Finalist 3: Data-driven bulletin boards in kindergarten to chart progress


By: Kari Mullins

School: Sam Houston Elementary, Lebanon Special School District

Sam Houston Elementary is rising to the challenge by providing students the opportunity to take charge of their own learning through data driven bulletin boards. In this picture, one of my kindergarten students has chosen to work on practicing letters sounds. She knows she needs to practice because of where she is located on the letter sound graph on our class data board. She is using a pre-recorded cd to echo back letter sounds while watching her mouth form the sounds in a mirror, as well as holding up a key word picture. She can chart her progress on her own letter sounds graph in her data folder. She knows that the more sounds she knows, the higher her picture will rise on the graph. It is truly a race to the top!




Finalist 4: The incredible story of community involvement


By: Melanie Amburn

School: Eaton Elementary School, Loudon County Schools

My name is Melanie Horton Amburn and I am the principal of Eaton Elementary School in Loudon County, Tennessee. I have been an educator for 35 years with 27 of those years spent in the classroom. The last eight years I served as vice principal of Eaton Elementary and this year I moved to the principal’s position. In the fall of 2010, our school was ranked 8th out of 765 elementary schools in Tennessee by Education Consumers Foundation based on state value added achievement SCOREs. In May 2011, Eaton Elementary was named as one of the Education Consumers Foundation’s Highly Effective Schools in Tennessee. We are proud to tell the story of how that success was planned for and ultimately achieved. More…