Pictured are (l-r) Donna Neblett, director of the UT Martin Educator Preparation Program; Stella Preuett and Avery Partin, both seniors from Union City; and Mikayla Shupp, a junior from Troy.

First Obion County students receive Annette Sublett Ferguson Scholarships

Stella Preuett and Avery Partin, both of Union City, and Mikayla Shupp, of Troy, are the first recipients of the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Annette Sublett Ferguson Scholarship, created in memory of the longtime Obion County educator. All three students are studying to become teachers in K-5 classrooms.

Ferguson was an Obion County native and spent 11 years in the local school system before she passed away Sept. 18, 2016, after a battle with breast cancer. Her husband, Scott Ferguson, established the scholarship endowment in her name in 2017 to help future Obion County educators benefit from his wife’s legacy. Annette graduated from UT Martin in 1982 before also finishing a master’s degree in 2005. She taught at both Ridgemont and Lake Road elementary schools and was twice selected at the Obion County Teacher of the Year.

Preuett and Partin are both seniors and plan to graduate in 2020 to pursue careers in early childhood education in Obion County. Shupp is currently a junior and plans to teach in Tennessee immediately following graduation before pursuing her dream of teaching in England. All three are the daughters of educators who once worked alongside Ferguson in the Obion County School System.

“My mom taught across the hall from Mrs. Annette and loved her deeply. … Mrs. Annette was not only a wonderful teacher, but a strong Christian as well. She taught her students how to be good people as well as how to read and write,” wrote Partin in her application essay. “Learning doesn’t end with the school day or the school year. A good teacher truly cares and makes time to connect with each student. I hope to be the kind of teacher and person who students return to the school year after year to visit. These kids are our future. I want to make a difference in the lives of kids in Obion County.”

The Annette Sublett Ferguson Scholarship is open to junior and senior-level students from Obion County schools upon entry into the educator preparation program. For more information on this scholarship, contact Donna Neblett, director of the UT Martin Educator Preparation Program, at 731-881-7686 or dneblet1@utm.edu.


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