Pictured left to right: Jason Beard, Administrator of Adult Education; Burns Phillips, Commissioner of Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development; Glenda Vanderveer, Assistant Administrator of Adult Education; June Spears, 2015 Adult Education Teacher of the Year Hope Award Winner; Dee Johnson, Supervisor of VSCC Adult Education-Sumner/Macon Counties.

Mrs. June Spears recently received the 2015 Tennessee Adult Education Teacher of the Year Hope Award at a conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

This is a new state level award that was started this year for the Adult Education department. It began this spring when each supervisor submitted a teacher in their division for ‘teacher of the month’. June Spears was one of the twelve Adult Education instructors receiving this monthly honor in recognition of having met the highest standards of excellence in Tennessee Adult Education, and from this group she was picked as the Teacher of the Year.

“We had our conference in Chattanooga last week and I was presented with the award, along with $2,000,” June said. “I am going to take some of that money and start a scholarship program  for my adult education students, which we have never had before in Macon County.”

June Spears has been working as an Adult Education instructor for 11 years, full and part time. She had always wanted to be a teacher and when she was 37-years-old she enrolled in college. By 1999 she had begun her career with the Macon County School System. June was the Drug Free Coordinator & Coordinating School Health Education for many years.

The following article was written about June:

Ms. June, as she is called by her students, is a motivator, caring teacher and champion for all students. Her ability to inspire her students is unmatched. She helps her students believe in themselves when the odds are against them. The students declare their appreciation for Ms. June by volunteering stories about how wonderful she is to them and how they could not accomplish their goals without her help. She becomes their voice when they feel they don’t have one.

She asked community members, local business owners and the Macon County Commissioners to donate money to help students with their test fees. She was very successful! One business donated $250.00 and the commissioners donated $2,500 to help students become graduates.

Her friendly and pleasant personality has endeared her to her students and the entire community. She has a positive, caring attitude that shines in all she does. 

“It is wonderful to be here in Macon County and see things happen that will better other people lives,” said June. “For some reason, when people come to my Adult Education program, they had to drop out of school and when they receive their diplomas it is worth every minute of hard work to see the smiles on their faces.”

 June added, “Adult Education is very rewarding and when people come in, I like to say Welcome to Adult Education, where dreams do come true.”