A 25-year veteran, Lovell’s work is not limited to the four walls of her classroom. “Whenever you see her class coming down the hall or waiting in line for the cafeteria, they are reciting their multiplication tables, or they are answering trivia questions related to what they are studying at the moment. She is always teaching,” said her principal, David Esslinger, Ed. D.
In fact, her constant quest for teaching and learning was one of the most important selection criteria considered, according to Sharon Ladner, Associate Director for Teaching and Learning. “The eligibility criteria are very specific and Mrs. Lovell met or exceeded every standard requested by the State contest,” she said. She will go on to the State level to compete against other district-level teachers of the year at the elementary level.
“Mrs. Lovell is an amazing educator,” Esslinger said. “She truly has the ability to see each child as a unique human being. She is constantly reading, learning, and questioning methods and strategies to determine what best meets the needs of every child in her classroom. She never forgets that she is working with eight-year-old children who need to be loved, nurtured and entertained every day.”
One of her most impressive traits is her willingness to help new teachers as they gain real-world experience in the classroom. She has served as a mentor with the district’s Beginning and New Teacher Induction Program (BANTIP) for the past three years. “Teaching is a huge responsibility and often overwhelming for even veteran teachers,” she wrote in her application. “I think it is part of my responsibility as a professional educator to encourage new teachers.”
In addition to mentoring new teachers throughout the year, she has shared her expertise during summer training sessions for the past six years. “I focus on working with paraprofessionals, dealing with challenging students, and students with Individual Education Programs (IEPs),” she wrote.
While new teachers appreciate her help, those who have worked within the system for many years also rely on her leadership. She is a member of the FSSD Design Team, which helps to shape professional development and curriculum decisions across the district. She is an active member of this team, which has come to rely on her years of expertise and ability to express teacher concerns. She also speaks on behalf of her colleagues in her own building as a valuable member of the School Leadership Team.
As the third-grade team leader at Franklin Elementary, Lovell facilitates learning among her colleagues as they develop differentiated lesson plans. She leads two meetings every six days, working hard to ensure a positive collaborative climate and focusing on student needs. With her guidance, the team works to create unique learning experiences for each student, designing unit plans with the end in mind and tailoring them to each student’s ability level, so they are challenged and extended throughout the school year.
Touching the lives of children is a passion for Lovell, who also serves in many capacities at her church. She chaired her church’s Administrative Council and the Staff Parish Relations Committee and co-chaired the capital campaign. In addition, she teaches junior high school students in Sunday School, leads the children’s choir summer camp, as well as weekly musicals performed by children.
Lovell attended Vanderbilt University, where she double majored in special education and elementary education, graduating magna cum laude. In addition, she took most of the hours required to earn a master’s degree in educational supervision, however she put that degree on hold to have a family. She has been named FSSD Teacher of the Year once before and this is the third time that she has been chosen as building-level Teacher of the Year.
FSSD Building-Level Teachers of the Year Selected
Ms. Lovell was selected as FSSD Teacher of the Year from a talented and well-respected group of educators who were elected to represent their individual schools as Teachers of the Year. They are the following:
- Tinna Dodson: Freedom Intermediate School, 5th Grade
- Renessa Genoble: Poplar Grove School (K-4), Kindergarten
- Colleen Hooper: Johnson Elementary School, 1st and 2nd Multi-age
- Judy Jackson: Liberty Elementary School, 1st Grade
- Tammy Lovell: Franklin Elementary School, 3rd Grade
- Elizabeth McKinney: Moore Elementary School, Kindergarten
- Jennifer Morgeson: Poplar Grove School (5-8), 5th Grade
- Susan Nash: Freedom Middle School, 7th and 8th Grade Language Arts
All of the FSSD Teachers of the Year will be recognized at the March 8, 2010, Board of Education meeting, to be held at Freedom Intermediate School at 6:00 PM. A reception in their honor will also be held 30 minutes prior to the Board meeting.