14 selected Teacher of the Year regional finalists

Fourteen teachers from around the state – including several from the 501 – have been named 2017 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Regional Finalists.

Among the finalists are Susan Bucher, an elementary school teacher in the Searcy School District, and Anita Cegers-Coleman, a middle school teacher in the Conway School District.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key will recognize the regional finalists at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, in the Old Supreme Court room at the Capitol. During the ceremony, the four state semi-finalists will be announced.

“Effective, dynamic teachers are the foundation of a quality education,” Key said. “As we work to transform Arkansas to lead the nation in student-focused education, we must recognize teachers who have demonstrated their commitment to educational excellence and celebrate their accomplishments. I am extremely proud of these finalists and for the example they set for all current and future educators.”

The 14 regional finalists:

Jennifer Andrews
Fourth Grade Mathematics and Science
Walnut Ridge Elementary School
Lawrence County School District
Northeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative

Susan Bucher
Kindergarten-Fourth Grade Music
McRae Elementary School
Searcy School District
Wilbur D. Mills Education Service Cooperative

Heather Carr
Kindergarten-Fourth Grade Visual Art
College Hill Elementary
Texarkana School District
Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative

Anita Cegers-Coleman
Fifth-Seventh Grade Keyboarding and Business Education
Ruth Doyle Middle School
Conway School District
Arch Ford Education Service Cooperative

Courtney Cochran
10th-12th Grade Spanish
Van Buren High School
Van Buren School District
Guy Fenter Education Service Cooperative

Julia Crane
Kindergarten-Fifth Grade English as a Second Language
Monitor Elementary School
Springdale School District
Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative

Adriane Duke
Eighth-Ninth Grade Mathematics
Annie Camp Junior High
Jonesboro School District
Crowley’s Ridge Educational Service Cooperative

Amy Griffin
Pre-Kindergarten, All Subjects
Park Avenue Elementary School
Stuttgart School District
Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative

Emily Hemme
Ninth-12th Grade Social Studies
Cotter High School
Cotter School District
Ozarks Unlimited Resource Educational Service Cooperative

Brian Leonard
11th-12th Grade AP Statistics and AP Calculus
Lake Hamilton High School
Lake Hamilton School District
Dawson Education Cooperative

Emma Mateo
Kindergarten-5th Grade Literacy and Mathematics
Otter Creek Elementary School
Little Rock School District
Pulaski County

Cherilyn Minnis
12th Grade English
Academies of West Memphis
West Memphis School District
Great Rivers Education Service Cooperative

Denise Phillips
First Grade, All Subjects
East Side Elementary School
Magnolia School District
South Central Service Cooperative

Charre Todd
Seventh-Eighth Grade Science and STEM
Crossett Middle School
Crossett School District
Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative

The Arkansas Teacher of the Year program, which is part of the National Teacher of the Year program, recognizes teachers who demonstrate strong teaching and leadership skills.

This year’s regional finalists will receive a $1,000 award, with the Arkansas Teacher of the Year receiving an additional $14,000. The awards are made possible by a grant provided by the Walton Family Foundation, a long-time supporter of the program.

Susan Bucher.

After the four state semi-finalists are announced at the ceremony Sept. 28, the selection committee will conduct site visits. During the visits, the committee will observe the teacher in the classroom and interview the teacher and school administrators. A surprise notification announcing the 2017 Arkansas Teacher of the Year will be held later this fall.

In addition to the recognition ceremony Sept. 28, a reception for the regional finalists will be held in Room 207 at the Capitol immediately following the ceremony. Several State Board of Education members plan to attend the events, but no official business will be conducted.

To learn more about the ATOY program, go to arkansased.org/divisions/communications/teacher-of-the-year.