Stories @ TCAT

Award presented at the 54th Annual National Conference of the American Technical Education Association (ATEA)

(Dickson, TN) A Tennessee College of Applied Technology Dickson educator is the recipient of the 2017 OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR AWARD presented at this year’s National conference of the American Technical Education Association (ATEA).  The conference was held in Nashville March 15th through the 17th at the Sheraton Music City Hotel.

Co-hosted by Dr. Arrita Summers, Director of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Dickson, the meeting was attended by over 700 educators nationwide.

Award recipient Kim McPherson, a Machine Tool Technology instructor at the Clarksville, TN, TCAT campus, was honored for her excellence in teaching and exceptional work within the technical education landscape.

McPherson graduated from the Gasti Packaging Machines Apprenticeship in Germany and has structured the Machine Tool Program very similarly to the program she learned under.  This structure provides a lot of hands-on learning.

A teacher for TCAT the last eight years, McPherson hails from Cumberland Furnace, TN.  She is a Level One NIMS Certified instructor in the Machine Tool Program on the Clarksville Campus and recently completed the Team Visit for NIMS Accreditation, which was received favorably.  She is not just a leader in the classroom. McPherson serves as an Advisor for Skills USA and participated in the 2016 statewide Skills USA Competitions in Chattanooga TN.

Another hat McPherson wears is that of member for the Manufacturing Academy’s Advisory Committee within the Clarksville/Montgomery County School System.  She has also been a volunteer mentor to Tennessee Promise students for the last two years.  Her leadership doesn’t stop there as she is a 21-year veteran Boy Scouts of America Scout Master.

The ATEA evaluates award nominations and was impressed by statements made on McPherson’s behalf.

“Congratulations on a job well done and all of ATEA is grateful for your time, talent and effort, in the pursuit of excellence in technical education,” said Dr. Sandra Krebsbach, ATEA Executive Director.

“I am very humbled to receive this prestigious award, I feel that I have come full circle in my career, from a Machinist apprenticeship to working in the industries for over 20 years to now being able to pass on my knowledge to a new generation of Machinist. “

Conference presenters from TCAT Dickson included Terry Smith, Digital Graphics Design instructor, Deanna Wallace, Technology Foundations Instructor and Laura Travis, Academic Affairs and Health Careers Coordinator.

More information regarding the conference can be found on the ATEA website at

TCAT Dickson is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education, and complies with non-discrimination laws: Title VI, Title IX, Section 504, and ADA. Located on Highway 46 in Dickson, the technical training college also has extension campuses in Clarksville, Ashland City, and Franklin. Additional information about the school is located at