Joseph  York

Joseph York’s philosophy of teaching is very simple. He
believes that all students can learn and that teachers can make a
difference by emphasizing the positive and rejecting the negative. He
also believes that students have the right to be taught by someone who
has faith in their abilities.

In ever increasing numbers, York says, students view themselves as failures and their lives as without hope.

As a teacher, he tells his students that an occasional setback is not the end, but actually a step closer to their goal.

If we accept failure, York says, we have indeed failed; but if we
learn from and in spite of that failed effort, then hope is still alive.
Teachers are agents that keep hope alive.

Joseph began his teaching career as a senior high English teacher in
Shelby, TN. He has continued to teach eleventh- and twelfth-grade
English, with an emphasis on advanced placement and honors courses. From
1988 to 1992, he taught in the Fayette County Schools (Tennessee), and
in 1992 moved to the Adamsville School District (Tennessee). He is
currently Principal of the School at the West Tennessee High Security
Facility, Tennessee Dept. Of Correction.

Joseph earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lambuth College and a Master of Arts degree from Memphis State University.


Community Activities

City of Bartlett, Historical Preservation Commission and Humane
Society Commission; Bartlett Historical Association

State of Tennessee,Tennessee Historical Commission

Teaching Experience

Current Adjunct Teaching

  • University of Memphis, Department of
    English (Literary Heritage,Sopho-
    more; Southern Literature, Senior)

  • Southwest Tennessee Commuity
    College, Department of Language,
    Literature and Fine Arts (American
    Literature I & II, World Literature)


Retired from public school teaching

Special Recognition


Excellence in Teaching Across Cultures Award


Hall of Excellence (American Childhood Education Assn.)


National Educator Award (Milken Family Foundation)


Tennessee Teacher of the Year Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Tennessee/Knoxville


Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Tennessee/Knoxville


National Thanks to Teachers Award


Educator of the Year Award from the Chamber of Commerce


Citations of Merit for Contributions to Education/Memphis City
Council and Tennessee General Assembly and Bartlett City Government
Joseph York Day (December 11) in Somerville and Fayette County,


Teacher of the Year, Fayette-Ware High School


Teacher of the Year, Southwest District, Tennessee


Teacher of the Year, Fayette-Ware High School


Outstanding Teacher Award by the University of Tennessee at Martin


Teacher of the Year, Millington Central High School


Teacher of the Year, Whitehaven High School