Celina native honored as state’s teacher of the year

Wanda Napier Lacy

Wanda Napier Lacy

NASHVILLE-A Knoxville teacher and Clay County native known for leading student, department, and district collaboration has been named the 2013-14 Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Department of Education.

Wanda Napier Lacy, who grew up here in Celina and is an Advanced Placement calculus teacher at Farragut High School, is a 30-year veteran educator who was inspired to teach because her parents–the late Earl and Marie Napier, didn’t have the opportunity to earn a college education.

Despite that, her parents were successful business owners locally, owning and operating Napier’s Restaurant in Celina for many years.

The Celina High School graduate and wife of another Clay native–Raymond Lacy, received the state’s top teaching honor during the annual Teacher of the Year banquet held last week in Nashville.

“The Teacher of the Year awards not only allow us to recognize some of the best teachers in the state, but also provide an opportunity to share and learn from their inspired, effective methods of instruction,” Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said.

During her six years as the AP calculus teacher at Farragut High, every one of Lacy’s students has taken the AP calculus exam, and 97 percent have earned college credit. Knox County Mathematics Supervisor Gary Petko describes Lacy’s AP calculus results as some of the top scores in the state.

“She moves students past seeking only the correct answers and on to the why of learning,” said Farragut High School Principal Michael Reynolds.

Lacy’s teaching philosophy centers on high expectations for every student and maximizing student’s individual mathematic ability. Students in her classes regularly work together to investigate, analyze, and solve problems with real world applications.

Tennessee’s Teacher of the Year awards and banquet are sponsored by the Niswonger Foundation, a Greenville-based organization that provides cash prizes for each of the nine regional finalists.