Monday 15th April 2024

Tennessee Educator and Former FHU Student Missy Testerman Named Finalist for 2024 National Teacher of the Year


photo courtesy of Bramblett Group; designed by TTR

Henderson, Tennessee – Freed-Hardeman University celebrates the achievements of Missy Testerman, who was recently selected as one of four finalists for the 2024 National Teacher of the Year Award through the Council of Chief State School Officer’s (CCSSO) National Teacher of the Year Program. Testerman received her add-on licensure for ESL endorsement through FHU’s graduate education program in 2022, and she currently serves as the 2023-24 Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

“It is the honor of my career,” Testerman said about her recent achievement. “It has been a very humbling experience. I’m so appreciative of the opportunity to show all of the good things that go on in rural America. I’m very honored to represent our state and the teaching profession. It’s almost more than I can take in at times.”

A veteran teacher with 31 years of experience, Testerman currently teaches English as a Second Language in Rogersville City Schools in East Tennessee. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she also serves as president of the Rogersville Education Association, is a member of Rogersville City Schools’ Teacher Leadership team and participates in the Readers are Leaders Program.

Testerman stated that the training she received through FHU left her well prepared for her continued work in the classroom. “I felt like the ESL licensure did an excellent job of preparing teachers, especially in guiding students through the reading process,” she said. It also positioned her to do well on her Praxis exam, a step necessary for licensing. “I am grateful to FHU’s participation in the TDOE [Tennessee Department of Education] Grow Your Own program so that I could add an ESL endorsement to my license.”

Currently, Testerman and the other three National Teacher of the Year finalists – educators from Alaska, Georgia and New Jersey – are participating in interviews with the CCSSO selection committee. The committee will announce their selection for 2024 National Teacher of the Year later this spring.

As an experienced mentor in her own community, Testerman has some advice for those who are aspiring to become teachers themselves: “My advice to any pre-service teacher is to find a mentor – an experienced teacher who is willing to help you navigate all the things you need to know about being a teacher. From theory to everyday things, try to learn from that experience and to grow as you go.”

More information about CCSSO and the National Teacher of the Year Program can be found at

The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees. More information is available at

Photo courtesy of Bramblett Group