Awards and Programs for Teachers

Lillie Frank Fitzgerald taught English and speech at Bradley County High School for 37 years.  She was passionate about teaching, instilling into each student a love of learning and a belief that academic success was possible. She attended Carson Newman College and completed graduate work at University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

During her teaching tenure at Bradley County High School, she initiated a club for future teachers and an academic honors banquet recognizing students for their academic achievement. Mrs. Fitzgerald also developed the college preparatory English program.

Nominated by several of her former students, she was inducted into the Tennessee Teachers’ Hall of Fame located at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro in 1995. She was respected by her students for her love of and excellence in teaching. A former student, Toby McKenzie, endowed a scholarship at University of Tennessee College of Education which is given annually to an upper class education major.

In honor of Mrs. Fitzgerald, her son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Rodney and Margo Fitzgerald, have established the annual “Lillie F. Fitzgerald Excellence in Teaching Award”. This award is the highest honor at the local level to recognize and encourage teaching excellence in the classroom. 

Dr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald present the award to one teacher from either the Bradley County school system or the Cleveland City school system who is nominated by peers, students, supervisors, or parents. The Award is presented at the opening session of each school system.

Previous Recipients:
2005—Jason Robinson, Ocoee Middle School
2006—Barbara Brantley, Valley View Elementary
2007—Richard Shaw, Cleveland High School
2008—Sylvia Coates, Teen Learning Center
2009—Luajean Bryan, Walker Valley High School
2010—Victoria Pritchard, Homebound Teacher, Cleveland City Schools
2011—Bridgett C. Burris, Oak Grove Elementary School
2012—Christy Duncan, Mayfield Elementary School
2013—Dianna Johnson, Cleveland Middle School
2014---Erin Hattabaugh of Cleveland High School
2015—Jeremiah Pritchard, Lake Forest Middle School
2016—Grace Dyrek, Cleveland Middle School
2017—Abigail Duncan, Oak Grove Elementary School

Amount of Personal Award: $3,000 cash and a recognition plaque
Amount of Professional Award for Classroom use: $2,000
Restrictions on use of Personal Award:  None
Application Deadline for the 2017 Award: May 18, 2018
Announcement of Winner: August, 2018, Opening session of each school system  

Submission Guidelines here