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Rotary Teacher of the Year Award
Congratulations Amanda Varney, Rotary Teacher of the Year
Posted on 04/19/2023
Rotary Teacher of the Year

Amanda Varney, seventh-grade math teacher at Tennessee Middle School, was honored Tuesday as Bristol Tennessee City Schools most outstanding teacher by the Rotary Club of Bristol VA-TN. Kristen Wilson of Virginia High School was also honored as the representative from Bristol Virginia Public Schools.

The event at the Bristol Train Station marked the 36th Annual Frank W. DeFriece Jr. Outstanding Teacher Awards presentation.

This year, because of an anonymous donor, the two teachers also received an additional $1,000 for a total gift of $3,500. In addition, each of the recipients’ schools was awarded $1,000.

Teachers were nominated from both school districts with one teacher from each system selected as the 2023 Rotary Outstanding Teacher. Each school submitted a nomination packet that was then scored by an anonymous panel of judges composed of educators and business representatives. The following paragraphs were only a few of the comments from those who wrote letters of support for Ms. Varney:

“Whether she’s laughing with students as she volunteers to serve them at our athletic concession stand or engaging with them through her lessons and afternoon cooking club, Amanda is a positive role model for our school community and all those she encounters.”

“Ms. Varney does not just teach students; she reaches them with her heart and her knowledge. She is uplifting to all who surround her, and her spirit is extremely contagious,” a colleague stated.

One student said it best, “You inspire creative, inventive, and amazing people and students. I speak for many in saying the world is a better place because of you.”

Other teachers nominated from BTCS included the following:

Elizabeth Arnold


Tennessee High

Christy Boggs

First Grade


Lori Brown


Holston View

Allyson Dowdell

Fifth Grade


Joanne Johnson

Third Grade


April Trivett

English Language Arts


Margaret Wood

Special Education


Each nominee received a $500 cash award and a golden apple award to place in their classroom.

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