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2013 National Teacher of the Year Jeff Charbonneau

On Thursday, June 19th hundreds of educators from around the region were in Greeneville for the Niswonger Foundation's eighth annul School Success Symposium.  We were honored to have as our keynote speaker, Mr. Jeff Charbonneau, 2013 National Teacher of the Year.  This award-winning teacher, from Zillah High School, in Washington's Yakima Valley has been described as "a whirlwind on a mission."   His work at Zillah helped transform this small school into a place where nearly every student graduates with some college credit.  He is known for his innovative, enthusiastic, challenging and motivating style of instruction. 

During his keynote, Mr. Charbonneau stated, "The real impact that we have as teachers, the real thing that we do, is, we are the guardians and we are the nurturers of hope."

"We show kids what it's like to believe in themselves, to be self-sufficient, to have courage, and to know what it's like to be a productive member of society, to give them hope in themselves and in their future."

Mr. Scott Niswonger, founder and president of the Niswonger Foundation, introduced Mr. Charbonneau to the more than 800 educators in attendence.  During his introduction, Mr. Niswonger stated, "Charbonneau is the type of teacher every student deserves to have."

After the keynote, the educators had more than 80 sessions from which to choose.  Each of the learning opportunities was designed to share best practices in the region's schools.  The focus of the sessions was on continued implementation of Tennessee's Common Core State Standards.  All of the sessions were facilitated by teachers, school leaders, and other community specialists.  Mr. Charbonneau joined the sessions, and also led one on STEM.

We are thankful for the many people who worked hard to make this year's School Success Symposium a memorable event.

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