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District and School Leaders Receive Highest Statewide Recognition

Cannon County Schools Technology Supervisor Bryan Cofer named Middle Tennessee Supervisor of the Year

Nashville, TN / Woodbury, TN: Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced the two 2021-22 Tennessee Principals of the Year and two Tennessee Supervisors of the Year at the annual Excellence in Education celebration. For the first time in recent program history, scoring for the Tennessee Principal of the Year and Tennessee Supervisor of the Year awards was so close that two outstanding educators were selected for each award. 

“As a former school principal, I’m continually inspired by the caliber of principals and district supervisors that we have across the great state of Tennessee, and after all that our leaders in our school communities have done to help their students overcome challenges associated with the pandemic, I am honored to recognize these four truly outstanding individuals this year,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “The success of our students, educators, and state depends on strong leadership, and I am grateful to all the finalists and awardees for their dedication to providing the best all for all students.” 

Dr. Chris Hampton of Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport City Schools and Mr. Tyler Salyer of West Collierville Middle School in Collierville Schools were selected as the 2021-22 Tennessee Principals of the Year out of nine Principal of the Year finalists representing Tennessee’s eight CORE regions, as well as the Shelby County-Municipals area. 

Dr. Hampton and Mr. Salyer follow the  opens in a new window2020-21 Tennessee Principal of the Year, Dr. Leneda Laing. At the time of her award, Dr. Laing served as the principal for Cleveland Middle School in Cleveland City Schools. 

Of eight Supervisor of the Year finalists representing seven of Tennessee’s eight CORE regions, as well as the Shelby County-Municipals area, Mr. Robert (Scott) Langford of Sumner County Schools and Mr. Rory Hinson of Gibson County Special School District were selected as the 2021-22 Tennessee Supervisors of the Year. 

The annual Principal of the Year and Supervisor of the Year awards recognize administrators who have helped provide educational opportunities for Tennessee students through leadership, programs, and vision. Nominations of one principal and one supervisor were accepted from the state’s school districts. Out of more than 60 applications, up to three regional semifinalists were identified by selection committees in each region, and the region-level finalists for each award were then selected by a state-level selection committee. Overall winners were identified from the finalists following a panel interview. 

The winners for the three Tennessee grand divisions were also recognized at the celebration Thursday evening.  

Autumn O’Bryan, principal of Cleveland High School in Cleveland City Schools, was named the East Grand Division Principal of the Year. Nicole Miller Olszewski, principal of KIPP Antioch College Prep Middle of the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission, was named the winner for the Middle Grand Division. Shannon Taylor, principal of Bargerton Elementary School in Henderson County Schools, was named the winner for the West Grand Division.  

Millicent Smith, supervisor for Lenoir City Schools, was named the East Grand Division Supervisor of the Year. Bryan Cofer, supervisor for Cannon County Schools, was named the Middle Grand Division winner. Zoe Bozeman, supervisor for Bartlett City Schools, was named the winner for the West Grand Division. 

This is Mr. Bryan Cofer’s 17th year working as Director of Technology for Cannon County Schools. He is originally from East Tennessee, and graduated first in his class in the College of Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1985 with a B.S. Degree in Industrial Engineering. He worked in industry for 11 years before he transitioned to K-12 education. Mr. Cofer has been in the field of technology for education for approximately 24 years now.  He was Supervisor of Technology for Morgan County Schools in East Tennessee for 7 years before transferring to Cannon County. His wife, Shirley, and Bryan have been married for 30 years.

Director of Cannon County Schools Mr. William F. Curtis stated, “Mr. Bryan Cofer does a tremendous job aiding the students, faculty, and staff of Cannon County Schools. He and his excellent staff (Senior Network Technician Timothy Davis, Network Technician Michael Medford, and Network Technician Khristian Manns ) not only supervises and maintains the daily operations of every computer and electronic device in the Cannon County School System, but has gone the extra mile during this past pandemic year. Thousands of Computers and Devices for the education of Cannon County Students, as well as, Faculty and Staff Devices all depend upon this very skilled individual.  We are VERY fortunate to have Mr. Cofer as the Supervisor of Technology for Cannon County Schools.  This past year, I told a state official and other Directors of Schools that, ‘I would put my Tech guys up against any others in the State of Tennessee, and further would place Cannon County Schools Technology against any school district in Tennessee.  Why? Just because we are a small school system, does NOT mean our Technology is small – it is Tremendous!’ Our Supervisor of Technology – Mr. Bryan Cofer does this every single day going beyond to personify OUR VISION – ‘To Actively Engage in Excellence EVERY Day in EVERY Way!’ through OUR MISSION – ‘To Create a Unified Environment That Will Provide Opportunities for All Students to Succeed and Reach Their Full Potential!’ We are celebrating with Mr. Cofer being named the Regional Finalist, representing the best in Cannon County, the Upper Cumberland Region of Tennessee, and now all of Middle Tennessee!”

The 2020-21 Excellence in Education event was postponed due to COVID-19. As a result, the 2021-22 Excellence in Education event also honored the  opens in a new window2020-21 Tennessee Principal and Supervisor of the Year finalists and the  opens in a new window2020 and  opens in a new window2021 Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) award state finalists

For information about the 2021-22 Tennessee Principal and Supervisor of the Year finalists, click  opens in a new windowhere. For more information on the Tennessee Principal of the Year award, the Tennessee Supervisor of the Year award, and the Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) award, click  opens in a new windowhere

For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact  opens in a new windowEdu.MediaInquiries@tn.govcreate new email.    

For local media inquiries, please contact Mr. William Freddy Curtis, Director of Cannon County Schools at (629) 201-4801, Ext. 10101 or at  opens in a new windowwilliamf.curtis@ccstn.netcreate new email for local Cannon County Schools information.

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