Johnson City Schools proudly announces that South Side 2nd grade teacher Morgan Rankin has been named the 2021-2022 Tennessee Teacher of the Year. Rankin was selected out of nine finalists on Tuesday night in Nashville during the state’s ceremony.
“We are so proud of Morgan Rankin for winning the 2021-2022 Tennessee Teacher of the Year award,” Johnson City Schools Superintendent Steve Barnett said. “Morgan is a fantastic representative of Johnson City Schools and it is an honor to call her a teacher in our district. She has distinguished herself as a leader among her peers and approaches each day in her classroom as an opportunity to nurture and shape young minds. She has an amazing work ethic and exemplifies what is wonderful about the teaching profession.”
Rankin has taught at South Side for seven years and said that it is an incredible honor to be named the Tennessee Teacher of the Year. She will now move on to represent Tennessee in the National Teacher of the Year.
“I spent time with the other eight finalists and they’re incredibly accomplished teachers and knowledgeable, thoughtful and well-spoken," Rankin said. "It’s just amazing that that is the company I am keeping and to be recognized as the teacher of the year out of that group is absolutely incredible to me. I can’t believe it.”
Rankin was quick to note that while her name is on the award, it is an honor that she shares with her South Side and district colleagues.
“They work just as tirelessly as I do,” she said. “I know they don’t know it, but I am watching the amazing things they do all the time and bringing them into my own classroom. I might be teacher of the year, but I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my colleagues and the opportunities that they have brought to me.”
Rankin is a co-founding member of the Blue Ridge Literacy Project, an initiative dedicated to delivering professional development in research-based literacy practices to Tennessee teachers. Rankin said that helping spread best practices across her peers is something that keeps her motivated.
“It’s one of my favorite projects,” Rankin said. “I really love my students, they keep me coming back every day, but the responsibility to help teachers continue to learn and grow, and pursue their passions, is something that holds a great deal of importance to me.”
Rankin also noted the different professional development opportunities provided by Johnson City Schools, including being a Technology Teacher Leader since 2016.
“Johnson City Schools has changed who I am as a teacher in really amazing ways,” Rankin said.