Update 10:27 a.m.

(WBIR) Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb crowned a Jefferson County woman the TODAY show "Teacher the Year" Tuesday morning.

Billie Yardley, from Dandridge, won $10,000 in school supplies after she received the most votes in an online contest.

These new school supplies will certainly come in handy for Yardley and Jefferson County High School. She used to teach theater arts in a converted shop classroom in the vocational building, However, heavy rains led to a roof collapse in July, which destroyed her classroom.

Previous Story:

(WBIR) A Jefferson County theater arts teacher whose classroom was destroyed over the summer has been selected as a finalist for Kathie Lee and Hoda's Today Show Teacher of the Year Contest.

Billie Yardley, from Dandridge, is one of three finalists in the competition with a grand prize of $10,000 in school supplies.

You can vote for Mrs. Yardley online anytime between now and November 4.

Yardley could certainly use the new school supplies. She used to teach in a converted shop classroom in the vocational building at Jefferson County High School. However, heavy rains led to a roof collapse in July which destroyed her classroom.

The person who nominated her, Penny Inman, said Mrs. Yardley not only lost costumes, trophies and personal items in the roof collapse, but also a part of herself.

"However, she saw this as a chance to show everyone that she could prevail and come out stronger. Her entire classroom is now reduced to a rolling cart. She is still making sure that all of the events continue, but this year will be difficult. Her optimism is always remarkable," wrote Inman.

Voting is open until 11:59 P.M. ET on November 4. The winner will be announced on the Today Show in two weeks.

Read or Share this story: