The Friend of Education Award is presented to an outstanding individual and an organization from a list of nominees submitted by our local associations throughout the state. The TEA Board of Directors created the Friend of Education Award as an annual recognition of a person and an organization whose leadership, acts and support have contributed significantly to the improvement of public education on a local or state level.


A nominee should reflect philosophies and principles supportive of a strong, high quality system of public education. Nominations submitted for the Friend of Education Award will be evaluated on the basis of award criteria, leadership, acts and support of public education that establishes the nominee as a true friend of public education. Individuals and organizations will be judged separately. An award will be presented in both categories and is presented at the TEA Representative Assembly annually. Deadline for nominations is February 2.






All nominees recommended for the Award should meet the following applicable criteria:

  1. Be a person or an organization that has made outstanding contributions of statewide or local impact on public education, students and/or teachers in Tennessee; 
  2. May not be a practicing educator; 
  3. Must be a structured and recognized organization.

The contribution should be of significant stature and the nominator(s) should provide specific reasons as to why the nominee should receive the award. The nominator's statement on the nominating form will have substantial bearing on the ultimate selection of the recipient. What was done to justify the nomination should have local or statewide impact while documentation should support the activities performed. The award may be conferred upon a person or an organization in the political, business, or civic community, or upon any other individual of statewide stature.



Any TEA affiliate may recommend a candidate by completing a nomination form and mailing it to:


Tanya T. Coats 
TEA President
801 Second Avenue North 
Nashville, TN 37201-1099


Nomination Forms

The nomination forms are in PDF format and can be filled out on your computer, printed and mailed to TEA.
Click here for the Individual Application Form

Click here for the Organization Application Form


Selection Process
The TEA Friend of Education Award Selection Committee, which is appointed by the TEA president, will consider all nominations and make its recommendation to the TEA Board of Directors, which will have final approval.  


Deadline for Submitting Nominations

All nominations must be postmarked or received in the office of the president on or before 4:30 p.m. February 2.





Winners of the Friend of Education Award are chosen for their leadership, acts of kindness and the support they contribute to improving public education on a local and/or state level.


2019 Recipient

Bank of Lincoln County — Nominated by Lincoln County Education Association


2016 Recipients

Tennesseans Reclaiming Education Excellence (T.R.E.E.) — Nashville, TN


2015 Recipients

Representative Gloria Johnson — Nominated by Knox County Education Association Homework Hotline — Nashville, TN