Educator Wins Distinguished New Teacher Award

  • Maggie Zeillmann

    Published October 13, 2020

    A Ravenwood High educator is being recognized by the Tennessee Education Association (TEA) for her excellence in the classroom.

    Social studies teacher Maggie Zeillman is the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished New Teacher Award. This award is given to teachers with less than five years' experience in the classroom who demonstrate qualities that distinguish them in the profession. Only five educators across the state are selected for this award.

    "It is an affirmation of the work I have done in my career so far to hone my skills and learn from more experienced educators," Zeillman said. "I know I would not be half of the teacher I am today without the many teachers who mentored me during my undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt, my student teaching and first several years teaching in Metro Nashville Public Schools and the past year at Ravenwood High School."

    Zeillman says she stays motivated by knowing the impact a teacher can have on a student's life.

    "I believe that access to a strong and equitable education can empower students with the tools to be successful in whatever they choose to do after high school and to be engaged members of their communities," said Zeillman. "High school is such an important time of self-discovery and exploration, and I feel so lucky to be part of that time for my students."

    The award will be presented during the Teaching and Learning Symposium in November. During the symposium, Zeillman hopes to learn from other educators across the state.

    "I hope to connect with other passionate teachers and learn best practices to bring back to my classroom," she said. "Teaching during a pandemic presents many new challenges for educators but also many opportunities to learn. I have certainly expanded my skillset this year to include many new technology tools to increase student engagement, and I look forward to learning even more from the Teaching and Learning Symposium."