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Donald Dessart Inducted into Educators Hall of Honor

Donald Dessart, retired professor and former Macebearer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was inducted Wednesday into the Educators Hall of Honor.

The Educators Hall of Honor in the UT College of Education, Health and Human Sciences recognizes professionals in education who have inspired and challenged students. A reception was held on campus to recognize Dessart.

Dessart, a professor of math and math education, won several major awards while at UT: the John Tunstall Award as Outstanding Faculty Member in 1986, 1988 and 1989; the Excellence in Humanity and Teaching Award in 1995 and the Helen B. Watson Faculty/Student Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2000. He was elected Macebearer for 1998-99, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a faculty member.

He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics Education, which is presented yearly to recognize a National Council of Teachers of Mathematics member for many years of service and dedication to mathematics education.

During his career, Dessart mentored 55 doctoral students and many junior faculty both in the mathematics department and in education. He has served as a board member, vice president and president for the Tennessee Mathematics Teachers Association.

Now retired, Dessart was elected president of the UT Science Forum in 2007. The Educators Hall of Honor was established in 2002. Plaques bearing the names of the teachers are displayed in the Claxton Education Building. Inductees are nominated by individuals who want to honor their former mentors, teachers or colleagues.

More than 30 educators have been inducted into the hall, including UT President Emeritus Joseph E. Johnson and former UT President, the late Andy Holt. The hall is open to any professional in the United States, and members have come from throughout Tennessee and the nation. Those honored have been teachers from elementary school to the college ranks. People who would like to nominate a teacher make a donation of $1,000 in the name of the honoree. The donations go toward the Educators Hall of Honor endowment for scholarships.