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Lacy: Knox Teacher of the Year

Wanda Lacy, a Farragut High School mathematics teacher since 1983, has been selected Knox County’s high school Teacher of the Year.

Lacy, who chairs the FHS Mathematics Department, now will compete for East Tennessee regional Teacher of the Year honors.

Teachers compete by submitting portfolios that detail their teaching credentials for judges’ consideration. Ed Hedgepath chaired this year’s Knox County Teacher of the Year Selection Committee.

One winning teacher, selected within Tennessee’s six regions, will compete for similar state-level honors at the state Department of Education. One Tennessee teacher, successful at that level, vies annually for National Teacher of the Year honors.

Lacy, a graduate of Celina High School and The University of Tennessee (1971), has taught math 24 years at FHS and has chaired the FHS math department since 2001. She began her career as a Gresham Middle School teacher in 1971 and taught math at West Memphis High School in 1971-72.

At FHS, she teaches advanced placement calculus and honors pre-calculus classes and sponsors the school’s local chapter of Mu Alpha Theta, the national mathematics honor society for high school and junior college students.

With a master’s degree earned at UT in 1991, Lacy is working now toward a doctorate in mathematics education at UT’s College of Education.

Lacy has spent 25 of her 27 years teaching in public schools. In 1998, she served as an independent contractor for Dr. Sharon Yarbrough in the Governor’s Peer Tutoring Program at The University of Tennessee.

In 2004, Lacy and her FHS math department colleagues began a new computer-generated form of SMART Board visual technology to assist their math students. The 20-square-foot devices replaced chalkboards and overhead projectors in math classrooms.

Lacy called the SMART board technology “a huge motivator for students” who now are more at ease with computerized graphic presentations than with more conventional blackboards.

Lacy, among 40 Teacher of the Year nominees at the school level, later was among 20 finalists vying for Teacher of the Year honors within the Knox County Schools.

A member of the National Education Association and its Tennessee and Knox County affiliates, she serves on the FHS data team, the FHS leadership committee and is a member of Knox County Schools’ curriculum-writing, end-of-course test-writing and textbook-selection committees. She’s also a member of the Smoky Moun-

tain Mathematics Education


Gina Byrd of A.L. Lotts Elementary School won countywide Teacher of the Year honors in the category for kindergarten teachers through fourth-grade. Holston Middle School teacher Thomas McMilland won similar honors in the grades 5-8


West Knox runnersup in the countywide contest were Kitty Menhinick of A.L. Lotts Elementary and June Frear of Farragut Primary School in the K-4 category; Karen Redher of Farragut Middle School, Leigh Ann Davis of Karns Middle School, and Beth Abee of West Valley Middle School in the category for grades 5-8; and Kristin Baksa of FHS and Virginia Thurston of Bearden High School in the high school


Knox County School Superintendent Charles Q. Lindsey will present Lacy and others a Knox County Schools certificate for her achievement during the Wednesday, March 7, meeting of the Knox County School Board.


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