Educator of the Week: Tina Rich

JACKSON, Tenn. — It is time to recognize this week’s Educator of the Week, brought to you by the Tennessee Education Lottery.

Tina Rich

Tina Rich is a kindergarten teacher at Parris South Elementary School in Savannah. Rich has taught for 24 years.

Fourteen of those years were as a preschool teacher in a private school, and another 10 years were in public education.

She says her mom inspired her to become an educator.

“She was a teacher for 41 years, and I saw daily the impact she had on her students and the difference that she made. I wanted to make the same difference. I feel like teaching is a calling. It’s not a job, it’s not something you just decide to do,” Rich said.

Rich says the part she enjoys the most about her job is watching her students change and grow throughout the year.

“I mean they start out with something that may be hard for them to do, and by the end of the year, you’ve got to tell them, ‘It’s like a piece of cake,'” Rich said.

Rich says the biggest challenge she faces as an educator is meeting all of the standards.

“You know, worrying am I doing enough. But at the end of the day, you do. I mean, teaching can be so hard, but it can be so worth it,” Rich said.

She says what makes her classroom and teaching skills unique is the relationship she builds with her students.

“It’s not just an August to May relationship, it’s a lifetime relationship. I mean, I tell my students when they leave in May, I say, ‘Once my kid, always my kid. I’m going to be one of your biggest fans and cheering you on wherever you go, whatever you do,'” Rich said.

Rich is now eligible for the Tennessee Education Lottery Educator of the Month award.

To vote for her or any other nominees, go to the Tennessee Education Lottery website.

To nominate an educator for our weekly award, just email us at

Categories: Educator of the Week, Hardin County, Video