The TEL Trainer of the Year is selected based on the number of training sessions, distance traveled, and number of attendees at those training sessions, during the fiscal year. To be eligible, TEL trainers must submit their training session information via the online TEL Workshop Reporting form. The final determination is made and the award is given by the Tennessee State Library and Archives during the  Tenn-Share Fall Conference each year.

Previous recipients

2018 – Amanda Yother

The recipient of the 2018 TEL Trainer of the Year was Amanda Yother (pictured on the left) from Tennessee Tech University. When asked about TEL, Amanda said: “Over the course of a few short years, I’ve had the privilege of sharing the wonderful resources available in TEL with a wide variety of audiences. Adults and children visiting their public libraries, elementary school students, educators working with all age groups, university administrators, and public library staff all express awe at the breadth of the databases and gratitude that such quality resources are available for free use by all Tennesseans. TEL truly is for every Tennessean; I love being able to share this resource in the course of my work, no matter the audience.”

Andrea Zielke, TEL Administrator (pictured on the right), reflected, “The first time I met Amanda, when she was working as the Assistant Director at the Falling Water River Regional Library, she told me how much she loved using the resources provided in TEL and what a service it was for Tennesseans. Her enthusiasm and knowledge of TEL helped her connect with libraries, teachers, and patrons across the state. Her training sessions on how the resources can be utilized within the classroom helped her build partnerships beyond the public libraries. Now that she is at Tennessee Tech University, I know we have a great advocate for TEL.” Tenn-Share appreciates Amanda for bringing the power of TEL to public and academic library patrons and staff. Andrea presented the award to Amanda at Fall Conference 2018.

2017 – Debra Mattingly

The 2017 TEL Trainer of the Year Award was presented to Debra Mattingly, Assistant Director of the Clinch River Regional Library. Each year, librarians from all over the state volunteer their time and talents to spread the word about the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL). During the Tenn-Share Fall Conference one of these dedicated TEL trainers is recognized as the TEL Trainer of the Year.

2016 – Tabitha Wakefield

During the 2016 Tenn-Share Fall Conference welcome, Erin Loree presented the 2016 TEL Trainer of Year Award to Tabitha Wakefield. Tabitha is the librarian at Macon County Junior High School and her combined TEL training sessions reached more than 1,000 attendees this year. Tabitha began her career in the classroom teaching fifth grade for five years before getting her librarian endorsement. She was an elementary school librarian for three years and is now in her 11th year as a middle school librarian. Tabitha does extensive TEL training with her students and takes a graduated approach to her teaching. She starts by giving her sixth graders a general introduction to TEL and an in-depth lesson on World Book. Seventh graders get a detailed look at Research in Context and a mini-lesson on Books & Authors. Finally in the eighth grade, students try out Powerspeak Languages and explore the Learning Express Career Center. By the time they leave middle school, Tabitha’s students have had tremendous exposure to TEL resources.

2014 – Gayla Brewer

Gayla Brewer, Director of Library Services at Chattanooga College, shares the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) during library orientation with students, and has embedded TEL into a myriad of classes at Chattanooga College in many disciplines. Gayla has also provided training for the staff of other libraries, fellow church goers, and the children of Chattanooga College students. Just this past year, she’s logged 65 training sessions for over 1,200 attendees. The TEL Coordinator at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Wendy Cornelisen, said Gayla is a tremendous resource for the Tennessee Electronic Library.

2013 – Amanda Mason

Amanda is the librarian at E.W. Grove 9th grade Academy in Paris, Tennessee. Amanda has provided TEL training for more than 1,000 people in the past year.  She has integrated TEL into her school, and provided training sessions throughout the Henry County School District. She has even shared TEL information on a boat in the middle of the river.

2012 – David Hajdik

David Hajdik, the Distance Learning and Reference Librarian at Volpe Library of Tennessee Tech University, is the 2012 TEL Trainer of the Year. David traveled more than any other Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) trainer this year, logging over 341 miles to conduct TEL training sessions for many of the small libraries around Cookeville. He was honored to accept the award, sponsored by LearningExpress, LLC and presented at the Tenn-Share Fall Conference on September 28.

2011 – Nancy Trice

Wendy Cornelisen, Tennessee Electronic Library Coordinator at the Tennessee Library and Archives, presents the annual TEL trainer award to Nancy Trice of Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga.







2010 – Christina Chester-Fangman, Inga Filipo, Nancy Gibson, Sharon Johnson, Philenese Slaugher

The Austin Peay State University Instruction Team of Philenese Slaughter, Sharon Johnson, Nancy Gibson, Inga Filipo and Christina Chester-Fangman are the 2010 TEL Trainers of the Year.