The classroom teacher is the backbone of the American education system. No one person has a greater impact on the education of a child than does the teacher who creates the primary learning and instructional environment. The National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) program, which is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with the Voya Foundation and People to People Ambassador Programs, began in 1952. The NTOY program continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.
As part of the NTOY program, the Arkansas Teacher of Year program identifies, recognizes and utilizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms in Arkansas public schools.
The mission of the ATOY program is to promote the profession and recognize quality teachers who implement "best practices" in Arkansas public school classrooms. The ATOY program functions under the leadership of the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) in partnership with the State Board of Education.
The ATOY program adheres to the requirements of the national program regarding schedules, composition of the portfolios and areas in which candidates will be judged. The selection process will focus on the instructional practices and strategies that applicants have used to increase student achievement in their classroom and in the overall school setting.
ADE will select a panel of judges consisting of educators and the current ATOY. As required by Arkansas Code Annotated 6-17-2501 et seq., the ATOY will be selected from among District Teachers of the Year. Sixteen regional finalists, one from each education service cooperative and one from Pulaski County, will be named. From the regional finalists, the panel also will select four regional finalists as state semi-finalists based on the following:
Review of the candidate’s application
Panel interviews with the candidate, principal and/or superintendent
Observation of the candidate’s classroom.
The panel shall then recommend one candidate to become the ATOY and submit the recommendation to the commissioner of education for approval.
Culminating Presentation of 2014 Teacher of the Year
2014 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Jonathan Crossley presented an end-of-year report to the State Board of Education on June 12, 2015. Links to his presentation are available below:
Profiles in Teacher Leadership Video Series
Led by Jonathan Crossley, 2014 Arkansas Teacher of the Year, this series profiles examples of teacher leadership in Arkansas public schools.
Ouida Newton Named 2015 Arkansas Teacher of the Year
Newton currently teaches math for grades seven through twelve at the high school. During her 34-year career, she has taught math, Algebra I and II, sixth-grade science, pre-algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, trigonometry, transition to college math, physics, and Algebra A & B.
She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education from Henderson State University at Arkadelphia, with a double major in math and science. Newton received a Master of Library and Informational Science from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.
2015 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Regional Finalists Announced
Fifteen outstanding teachers from around the state have been selected as 2015 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Regional Finalists. Gov. Mike Beebe recognized them at a ceremony Sept. 16 at the Capitol. The top four finalists were announced at the event.
To see pictures of the event, click here. To view video clips from the event, please see the links below.
For more information, please contact:
Arkansas Department of Education
Office of Communications
Four Capitol Mall, Room 403-A
Little Rock, AR 72201