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Brighton and Blue Bell salute Teacher of Year Candidate Becky McBride

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Brighton McBride TofY 2 Brighton McBride TofY

The chants of “McBride, McBride, McBride” echoed from the bleachers from the mouths of Brighton High School students sporting in teal.
The BHS administration, faculty, staff and students all were chanting for their Freshman English teacher as she walked the tracked in the football stadium to be recognized as one of the nine finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year.
And those cheers grew even louder when all the students found out Blue Bell Ice Cream was on hand to salute McBride and provide ice cream sandwich for everyone on behalf of her nomination.
“Today we’re celebrating being a finalist for Teacher of the Year,” McBride said. “And Blue Bell Ice Cream is bringing ice cream for the entire Brighton High School students for appreciation and recognition for the hard work they put into education as well as what I do here.”
McBride found out this past summer she was named a finalist by the Department of Education. In Tennessee, there will be a winner for West Tennessee, East Tennessee and Middle Tennessee. Those three finalist will advance for the overall award of Teacher of the Year for the Volunteer State.
The finalist are West Tennessee: Karen Vogelsang (Keystone Elementary), Kerry Newsom (Margaret Newton Elementary), and McBride (Brighton High School); Middle Tennessee: Tracy Harmon (Franklin High), Chris Simpson (Ingram Sowell Elementary), and Shannon Streett (Woodbury Grammar); East Tennessee: Cecily Williams (Cleveland Middle), Heather Burkhart (Pigeon Forge Middle), and Ashley Carter (John Adams Elementary). The Grand Division winners and Teacher of the Year will be announced this fall.
“I feel very humbled to be one of the nine finalist because there are so many great teachers out there,” McBride said. “To be recognized for your hard work and dedication, it’s something that doesn’t happen so frequently. This is a huge blessing to me. It has been a tremendous experience and something I will carry with me throughout my life.”
Part of McBride’s daily life is raising her three children Grarrison, Jackson and Madison with her husband Rodney. She has been teaching English 1 at Brighton for 10 years after three years at the small private school Lighthouse Christian Academy in Millington.
“The best approach I take is to get to know my students,” she said. “You can take that on a small platform or smaller classroom or here at Brighton High School with the large classrooms I have.
“When you understand students’ needs and love them unconditionally, expect their best effort, you set high expectations for them,” McBride added. “Those things are universal. The love, respect and high expectations are something you can carry into any school across the state and throughout the country.”
Now the Unaka High School graduate is impacting lives on the other side of the state. After growing up in East Tennessee and earning her degree from ETSU, McBride build her professional career in West Tennessee.
She went on to earn her Master’s Degree from Arkansas State University. All her academic and life lessons have taught her important methods she brings to her classroom each day.
“I think if I can made a difference in one student’s life completing the ninth grade and they’re transitioning to the rest of their high school career, then I’ve done my job,” she said. “My ultimate goal is to touch each and every one of their lives and to never accept less than what they deserve. And to do their best in everything they try.”
Doing her best has brought McBride recognition as one of the best teachers in the state.
“This is probably on of the best moments of my life other than having my children and marrying my husband,” she concluded. “This is just an incredible experience I will forever be grateful for.”

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October 2014
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