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Press Release

NEA member named 2024 National Teacher of the Year

Pringle: Missy epitomizes the core values of an exemplary educator
Published: April 3, 2024

WASHINGTON—NEA member Missy Testerman, an English as a second language (ESL) teacher at Rogersville City School in Rogersville, Tenn., is the 2024 Teacher of the Year. 

"Missy epitomizes the core values of an exemplary educator, dedicated to the welfare of every student who enters her classroom, especially our most vulnerable students,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. “She stands up for those students who feel unseen, unheard, unappreciated, and undervalued in America. On behalf of the NEA’s more than three million members, we congratulate Missy for creating an inclusive environment where every student feels welcome, no matter their race, background, or ability. Every student in every public school in this country deserves a teacher like Missy no matter their ZIP code or their circumstances.”

As a member of Rogersville City Schools’ Teacher Leadership program, Testerman serves as a mentor for new teachers. As Tennessee’s State Teacher of the Year, she partnered with the University of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University to inspire and assist pre-service teachers as they prepare to enter the profession.

"We are incredibly proud of Missy for this well-deserved recognition," said Tennessee Education Association President Tanya T. Coats. “Missy's dedication to her students and her rural Appalachian community is truly inspiring. For 32 years, she has gone above and beyond to help students succeed and empower her community to thrive. As President of the Rogersville Education Association, Missy embodies the best qualities of Tennessee's educators, and we are honored to have her represent our state as the 2024 National Teacher of the Year.”

A Tennessee native and first-generation college graduate, Testerman has been teaching for 31 years. At Rogersville Elementary Testerman prioritizes instruction that ensures her students have the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve.  

“There is often a misconception in education that we can love kids into achievement,” she said. “Make no mistake: loving and caring for our students is important, but it is not enough. If we love them, we must teach them in a way that gives them the skills they need and allows them to meet high expectations and have a future.” 

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced the four finalists for the 2024 National Teacher of the Year in January. CCSSO’s National Teacher of the Year program identifies exceptional teachers, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, engages them in a year of professional learning, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.

To read more about Missy visit

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, students preparing to become teachers, healthcare workers, and public employees. Learn more at  





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National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.