Amber Bingen – Anderson County Schools
Amber Bingen served for several years as a classroom teacher at Norris Middle School in the Anderson County Schools. In 2018, Ms. Bingen was appointed as an academic coach at Norwood Middle School, where she supports teachers, facilitates professional learning communities, and provides targeted professional development. Amber holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in elementary education, as well as a Master of Science Degree in Teacher Education, both from the University of Tennessee.
Yecenia Cigarroa – Johnson City Schools
Yecenia (“Jesse”) Cigarroa has served as a classroom teacher at North Side Elementary School in Johnson City since 2006, and has taught students in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades as well as teaching Kindergarten in her current role. Ms. Cigarroa has taken on a variety or leadership roles, including School Improvement Committee Chair and After School Remediation and Enrichment Director. Jesse holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, A Master of Arts degree in Teaching and a Master of Arts Degree in Reading Education all from East Tennessee State University as well as an Educational Specialist Degree in Instructional Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University.
Jessica Estepp – Jefferson County Schools
Jessica Estepp currently serves as a School Counselor at Jefferson County High School in Dandridge. Ms. Estepp serves on several school-wide leadership committees, and earlier in her career she worked at the Niswonger Foundation as a College and Career Counselor. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Learning and a Master of Art degree in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, both from East Tennessee State University.
Heather Hobbs – Kingsport City Schools
Heather Hobbs is currently an Associate Principal at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Kingsport. Ms. Hobbs serves in a variety of leadership roles, including as a member of the Diversity and New Teacher Committees, and was the 2017 Teacher of the Year at Johnson Elementary School. Heather earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from East Tennessee State University, and Master of Education degree in Instructional Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University.
Phillip Richardson – Morgan County Schools
Phillip Richardson currently holds the unique position of Physical Education teacher and Assistant Principal at Petros-Joyner Elementary School in the Morgan County Schools. Mr. Richardson has also been a Title 1 Technology teacher at Sunbright School in Morgan County, and began his career before education as a correctional officer at the Morgan County Corrections Department. Philip graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education.
Lucretia Stephens – Johnson City Schools
Lucretia Stephens is currently an elementary teacher with experience in the early grades at Fairmont Elementary School in the Johnson City Schools. Ms. Stephens has served as a Mentor Teacher working with student teachers since 2008, and she actually began her educational career as a special education assistant and then a Head Start teacher in Johnson City. Lucretia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Child and Family Studies, and a Master of Education degree in Early Childhood, both from East Tennessee State University, as well as an Education Specialist degree in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Shannon Tufts – Lenoir City Schools
Shannon Tufts is a teacher and the 2nd grade team leader at Lenoir City Elementary School. Over the past several years, Ms. Tufts has served the Lenoir City School district as a TIGER evaluation coach and mentor, and held state-level roles as an English Language Arts CORE Coach, as well as a Tennessee SCORE teacher fellow. Shannon graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Tennessee Technological University.
Nathan Wade – Anderson County Schools
Nathan Wade currently serves as Assistant Principal at the Anderson County Career and Technical Education Center. Through his career, Mr. Wade has held a variety of instructional and administrative positions at both the middle school and high school level in Anderson County Schools as well as Union County Schools. In 2017, he was selected to be a fellow in the Governor’s Academy for School Leadership. Nathan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from Brevard College in North Carolina, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Education Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University.
Sara Wallingford – Kingsport City Schools
Sara Wallingford is an Associate Principal at Andrew Johnson Elementary School in the Kingsport City school district. Ms. Wallingford previously served as an English Language Arts teacher and Instructional Design Specialist at Dobyns-Bennett High School, and has been selected to serve on the state’s TN Ready Item Review Committee. Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Milligan College and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Carson-Newman College.
Jared Walker – Blount County Schools
Jared Walker is the newly appointed Assistant Principal at Eagleton Middle School in the Blount County Schools. Prior to this role, Mr. Walker served as a history and government teacher, athletic coach, Student Leadership Academy Coordinator, and Administrative Dean of Discipline at William Blount High School. Jared holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, and Master of Science degree in Teacher Education both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as well as an Education Specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University.