Sandra Howard Teacher of the Year Finalist
Posted on 06/16/2023
Sandra Howard Teacher of the Year Finalist (Chattanooga, Tenn.) - Hamilton County Schools (HCS) teacher Sandra Howard qualifies as a finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

Howard, an English teacher at the Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts (CCA), has been recognized as the Southeast Finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

“Great teachers are the foundation of every great school district,” said Robertson. “Sandra Howard is an excellent example of how great teachers help our students thrive. We are proud of her accomplishment and look forward to supporting her journey for this achievement. Sandra is a great reflection of our belief that all students can learn and should have access to top-tier educators.”

Sandra Howard has been an educator for 23 years and has spent her last 16 years at CCA. During this time, she taught English and language arts and communications to middle and high school students. For the last two years, she has focused on sixth grade. Howard is passionate about ensuring her students seek for their writing and art to be read, presented, and understood. Howard strongly believes in the importance of arts in all schools, referencing the drive and determination students learn while practicing their arts often transfers to how they learn academically and emotionally.

“Our Rock Point learning community is so excited for Ms. Howard’s recognition as a finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year! In reflecting on my multiple visits to Ms. Howard’s classroom at CCA throughout the year, what continues to stand out most is her focused efforts on aligning her planning with the teaching and learning that took place each day while cultivating a classroom where students felt cared for and connected. Ms. Howard is so deserving of this recognition and we wish her the very best as the selection process continues!”

While teaching her students at CCA, Howard has continuously searched for opportunities to connect students’ writing and art to the community while providing valuable feedback for growth and learning. She has done this by connecting her students to contests and publications that allow them to gain local, regional, and national recognition while also gaining mentorship from professionals and published authors. Howard strives to create a sense of community and connection for her students and herself. She stated connections to families, other teachers, community partners, and students help people feel cared for as they work to overcome obstacles.

“The climate Sandra creates in her classroom each year is positive, caring, and allows her students to learn to the best of their ability,” said Dr. Jill Levine CCA Principal. “She meets each and every student where they are when they enter her room, differentiating her teaching to meet their needs with enthusiasm and skill. Every child in her room knows that Sandra both cares about them as individuals and cares about their growth as readers and writers.”

Howard believes students learn best when they are empowered and confident, and she is constantly looking for ways to provide her students with opportunities to build these values within them.

“I am honored and thrilled to be recognized as a finalist,” Howard stated. “There are so many amazing, wonderful teachers in our district and across the State; representing them is a privilege. We all hope to create a drive and passion for learning in our students to help them become active, engaged citizens.”