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Six educators—including a Holocaust survivor—who have significantly influenced students’ lives, will be inducted into UT’s 2014 Educators Hall of Honor on Thursday, March 27.

The 6:00 p.m. event will be at the Crowne Plaza Summit I Ballroom, 401 West Summit Drive, in downtown Knoxville.

Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor, a member of the Educators Hall of Honor selection committee, will emcee the event.

The media is invited to attend.

The Educators Hall of Honor acknowledges the work of professionals who have established themselves in the field of education. It is open to any professional in the United States, and members have come from throughout Tennessee and the nation. It has featured educators from elementary school to college ranks, coaches, organizations, and nontraditional educators who have made an impact on improving education. The hall is housed in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

Nominations are made with a contribution of at least $1,000, which supports an endowed scholarship fund. Two $2,000 scholarships will be presented this year to Brittany Aronson, a fourth-year doctoral student majoring in learning environments and education studies, and Alicia Johnson, a sport studies doctoral student specializing in sociocultural studies.

The new group of honorees includes:

  • Trudy Dreyer, a retired Knox County Schools teacher. Born in Germany, she left with her family in 1938 after Kristallnacht—coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and Austria during which windows in Jewish-owned businesses and synagogues were smashed. Dreyer travels the state to share her experiences with schools and civic groups to ensure the Holocaust is never forgotten. She taught first grade in New York before relocating to Knoxville to teach at West Hills Elementary School. She was one of the first teachers of the Knoxville City Schools gifted program. She continued in that position when Knox County Schools annexed the city schools and until her retirement.
  • Schuyler (Sky) Huck, professor emeritus in the UT College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. His mission has been to improve statistics instruction and help students and the public at large decipher and understand research reports and how they apply to them. When former students of the Riverside, Illinois, run into him in public, they often tell him he was one of their best professors—something he counts among his greatest joys. His work has been published in 337 different academic journals.
  • Lorayne Lester, UT professor emeritus and former dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. She was the first woman dean of the college when she took the position in 1996. The 1957 alumna began her UT teaching career as an instructor. She was a professor in what was then the Department of Speech and Theatre and eventually served as the department head. She later served as the head of the new Department of Speech Communication and associate dean for academic affairs before she was tapped to serve as dean of the Knoxville campus’s largest college.
  • Marvelene Moore, James A. Cox Endowed Chair and a UT professor of music education who specializes in classroom music for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Her love of music developed at a young age and she began singing solos in kindergarten and later in high school chorus and in church. She recently received the Lowell Mason Fellow Award, the highest honor in the music education field. Moore is founder and chair of the biennial National Symposium on Multicultural Music. She occasionally serves as a guest teacher in area elementary schools and guest conductor of middle school choruses. She has been a clinician and guest conductor for organizations in forty-four states and around the world.
  • Chris Pionke, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering in the UT College of Engineering. He also directs of the college’s honors program. Becoming an educator was not the UT alumnus’s intention when he came to college. Through helping a friend who was struggling in math and science during his sophomore year, he discovered he had a knack for explaining complicated subjects. He embarked on an academic career as a fifth-year senior when he taught freshman engineering graphics courses. He eventually earned two undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree from UT and a doctorate from Georgia Tech. He has been on the UT faculty since 1993. He enjoys helping students understand how nature works and how, as engineers, they can use their knowledge to find ways to create new devices and technologies.
  • Bill Robinson, orchestra director for Maryville City Schools. When hired in 1978, he was charged with building the district’s string program. The program has grown to include more than 500 students in grades five to twelve and is recognized as one of the finest orchestra programs in Tennessee. He’s worked with various Maryville groups to make the playing of string music a viable and highly visible part of the community—an achievement that has brought recognition to the school system and the city. He currently is interim worship leader at First Baptist Church, Maryville.

The Educators Hall of Honor was founded in 2002 by C. Glennon Rowell, the late dean of the former College of Education, as a way to recognize deserving teachers and supplement the education of future students. This year’s class is one of the largest since the program began. To learn more about the program, visit the website.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,