Toyota Teacher of the Year

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – A Rivermont Elementary school teacher is being nationally recognized.

Colleen Ryan was named Toyota’s National Teacher of the Year, and received a
$20-thousand dollar grant.

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Ryan and her colleagues bought a school bus, and turned it into a classroom for the community.

They call the program “The Passage.”

Using that bus, they bring the classroom to the front door of students, and their parents.



Colleen Ryan is the 23rd Toyota Family Teacher of the Year.

She had no idea she was getting the award.

“I am completely and utterly shocked. At first I was like, do I go up there, do I do I like, I just wanted to call my friends and family. I was like it actually happened. And then to see them all come out, I was just amazed and excited and honored and proud.”

The award is a partnership between Toyota and the National Center for Families Learning.

Josh Cramer is the Vice President of the National Center for Families Learning.

“We receive nominations from all over the country for teachers who do a great job in engaging families and communities. And through a rigorous selection process, Colleen rose to the top of that list.”

Organizers used the bus this past summer to make sure kids didn’t forget everything they learned during the school year.

Their goal is to have a bus in every learning community in Hamilton County.

The 20-thousand dollar grant should help them achieve that goal.