Kingsport City Schools Announces 2022 Principal, Supervisor, and Teachers of the Year

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Kingsport City Schools has announced its 2022 Principal, Supervisor, district-level and building-level Teachers of the Year. Dr. Kyle Loudermilk was named Principal of the Year and Dr. Brian Cinnamon was named Supervisor of the Year. District-level Teachers of the Year include, Melissa Rivers (grades Pre-K–4), Lisa Bratton (grades 5–8), and Amanda Blackburn (grades 9–12).

Dr. Kyle Loudermilk, Principal of Jackson Elementary School, has been named district Principal of the Year. Loudermilk is in his 13th year as an educator, with eight years at Kingsport City Schools. Loudermilk has previously served as an associate principal at Kennedy and Lincoln Elementary Schools, interim assistant principal at Robinson Middle School, associate principal at Sevier Middle School and is now principal at Jackson Elementary. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from East Tennessee State University, a Master's degree in Education Leadership and Administration from Union College (KY), an Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from East Tennessee State University.

“I am excited that Dr. Loudermilk's peers recognized his hard work and dedication to the leadership team and to Jackson Elementary,” said KCS Superintendent Dr. Jeff Moorhouse. “Dr. Loudermilk is a great example of the outstanding leadership we have in KCS.”

Dr. Brian Cinnamon, Chief Academic Officer - Secondary for Kingsport City Schools, has been named district Supervisor of the Year.  He is responsible for the supervision of middle and high school curriculum and instruction.  This support includes curriculum leadership (implementation and sustainability), program planning, and leadership development. Cinnamon has 21 years of experience in education. He has spent the last 17 with Kingsport City Schools where he has served as a school psychologist, Section 504 compliance coordinator, associate principal, assistant principal, director of special education, supervisor of early childhood programs, and principal. Cinnamon is a two-time guest panelist at the Critical Questions in Education Conference, has been selected to the Tennessee Department of Education STEM Leadership Council, serves on the Sullivan County Work-Ready Community Council, council member of the Tennessee Science Education Leadership Association, and serves on the ETSU Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis Advisory Council. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from East Tennessee State University (ETSU), an Educational Specialist degree from the University of Tennessee, and a Doctorate from ETSU in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

“I am equally excited for Dr. Cinnamon to be recognized by his peers for the support that he gives to our schools and their leaders,” said KCS Superintendent Dr. Jeff Moorhouse. “He does so many things behind the scenes to support our secondary leadership team and their programs. He is another great example of the outstanding leadership in KCS that is focused on student success.”

Melissa Rivers, 3rd Grade Math/Science Teacher at Lincoln Elementary School, has been named the district Teacher of the Year for grades Pre-K–4. She began her teaching career at the elementary school she attended as a child, Lincoln Elementary School, where she has taught for the past 16 years. While at Lincoln, Rivers has taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades and was named the Lincoln Teacher of the Year in 2012. Rivers has held several leadership roles including East Tennessee State University iSLICEE Mentor, Kingsport City Schools Math Teacher Leader, Lincoln Leadership Team member, and the LEGO League, Jr. coach. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies - Education K-6 from East Tennessee State University. In addition, Rivers is continuing her education at Tennessee State University to receive her Special Education add-on certification.  

"Melissa Rivers is an amazing educator," said Lincoln Elementary School Principal Suzanne Zahner. "She believes in the importance of teaching the whole child and that is what sets Melissa apart. It is also why she is beloved by students, parents, and our entire staff, and faculty. Her approach of teaching students by capitalizing on individual strengths is a huge reason why her students are so successful in her class. Melissa is the teacher we all hoped to have when we were in school and she is the educator we all strive to become. We are incredibly proud of Melissa and are so glad that she is representing KCS as Teacher of the Year grades Pre-K-4."

Lisa Bratton, 8th Grade Math Teacher at Robinson Middle School, has been named the district Teacher of the Year for grades 5–8. Now in her 34th year, Bratton has spent her entire teaching career at Robinson Middle School. She has spent her time as a 7th and 8th grade Math teacher focusing on Algebra and Geometry for 33 of those 34 years and has been the MATHCOUNTS coach since 1994. During the 1996-97 school year, Bratton served as assistant principal when Robinson housed all of Kingsport City Schools 6th grade students during the renovation of Sevier Middle School. Bratton has received several accolades including the 1997 Emory and Henry Young Alumna of the Year, 2000 Robinson Teacher of the Year and Building-Level Teacher of the Year Grades 5-8, 2010 Robinson Teacher of the Year and Building-Level Teacher of the Year Grades 5-8, 2016 Robinson Teacher of the Year, and the 2022 Robinson Teacher of the Year and Building-Level Teacher of the Year Grades 5-8. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Emory and Henry College where she was the 1988 Magna Cum Laude graduate. Bratton has also earned her Master's degree in Education - Curriculum and Instruction from Tusculum College as an honors graduate.

"Lisa Bratton is one of the finest educators in the history of Kingsport City Schools." said Robinson Middle School Principal Dr. Corey Gardenhour. "She has been able to sew a stitch in every heart in her 30+ years of teaching at RNR.  There is nobody more tough, loving or committed to excellence than Lisa. I am so proud that she will represent RNR and Kingsport City Schools as our Teacher of the Year."

Amanda Blackburn, Biology Teacher at Dobyns-Bennett High School, has been named the district Teacher of the Year for grades 9–12. She has been teaching for 10 years, with nine and a half at Kingsport City Schools. Blackburn has served in several capacities at Dobyns-Bennett such as Biology teacher, the Science Department chair, and the MATE Underwater Robotics coach. In addition to this honor, Blackburn has been named the Building-Level Teacher of the Year in 2017-18, 2020-21, and 2021-22. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education in Reading with a Reading Specialist endorsement from East Tennessee State University.

"Mrs. Blackburn is an outstanding teacher and leader,” said Dobyns-Bennett High School Principal Dr. Chris Hampton. “She is student-focused, data savvy, and relationship-minded. Mrs. Blackburn is the consummate advocate for students and their success.  It is a blessing and honor to have her on our team."

In addition to the three district winners, 2022 individual building-level winners are:

Grades Pre-K–4
  • Sarah Hall, Palmer Center
  • Emily Cook, Adams Elementary School
  • Carolyn "Yvelle" Mull, Jackson Elementary School
  • Stacy Christian, Jefferson Elementary School
  • Lacy Hughes, Johnson Elementary School
  • Jordan Hainje, Kennedy Elementary School
  • Melissa Rivers, Lincoln Elementary School
  • Kathryn Bennett, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Kristian Hefner, Washington Elementary School
Grades 5–8
  • Lisa Bratton, Robinson Middle School
  • Laura Coleman, Robinson Middle School
  • Tina McMurray, Sevier Middle School
  • Julie Tester, Sevier Middle School
Grades 9–12
  • Sandra Collins, Cora Cox Academy
  • Antonia Adinolfi, D-B EXCEL 
  • Amanda Blackburn, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Aaron Gourley, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Evie Lafollette, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Wayne Saul, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Michael Sweeney, Dobyns-Bennett High School
  • Leigh Tuell, Dobyns-Bennett High School 
Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a high school program of choice, and an alternative learning program; with a total enrollment of over 7,600 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to Inspire. Cultivate. Impact.

For more information on KCS, visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, download our mobile app for Apple/Android devices or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Instagram (@kcs_district), Twitter (@KCS_District), LinkedIn (Kingsport City Schools), and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).