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Tennessee Governor's Academy

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Faculty & Staff » Teaching Staff


Teaching Staff 2010-11

Bennett Adkinson

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Mr. Adkinson, now in his fourth year teaching physics at TGA, earned his master's degree in science education, along with a bachelor's degree in college scholars from UT Knoxville. Mr. Adkinson will also be teaching theatre this school year, which should be a fun and challenging course. Additionally, he has spent three summers teaching English at Tsinghua University in China. Currently pursuing his doctorate at UT Knoxville, he has six years of secondary teaching experience.



Patricia Rutenberg

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Dr. Rutenberg teaches U.S. History and Government and Economics. She earned her bachelor's and her doctorate from UT Knoxville, also earning a master's from Andrews University, all in history. She was previously the director of outreach and founding middle school director for the Episcopal School of Knoxville. This is her second year with TGA. Dr. Rutenberg is the author of numerous articles on World War II in Tennessee, including a chapter on the war in Tennessee History: The Land, the People, and the Culture, Brake has also authored a work on the federal courts of East Tennessee in Justice in the Valley: A Bicentennial Perspective of the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Tennessee.



Richard Robinson

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Mr. Robinson earned a B.A. and M.S. in mathematics from Murray State University where he later served as a lecturer in the math department and marching percussion instructor in the music department. While earning a second masters in math at UTK, he was awarded the Graduate Teaching Associate Award for Excellence in Teaching. Richard has spent the last two years teaching math in a local high school while serving as an Assistant Band Director at another. Richard is currently working on a PhD in Mathematics Education at UTK.



Shannon Suddath

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Ms. Suddath is in her fourth year of teaching English and Literature at TGA. She earned a master's degree in education along with a B.A. in history and English from UT Knoxville. She recently recieved an EdS in English Education from UT. Ms. Suddath has nine years of secondary teaching experience.




Michelle Tai

Photo of Sweeney

Ms. Michelle Tai is a full-time Mandarin teacher at TGA, teaching both juniors and seniors. As a native speaker of Mandarin from Taiwan and Hong Kong, Ms. Tai earned her Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from Pomona College and her Master's degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Ms. Tai received a Postgraduate Diploma in Education for Chinese Education from the University of Hong Kong. Prior to joining TGA, Ms. Tai had three years of experience teaching in school and corporate settings. She is passionate about teaching and learning foreign languages, drama, music and dance.