The ATOY Selection Committee will conduct site visits with the four state semi-finalists, to include classroom observations and interviews, with the 2021 ATOY being named this fall.
Be sure to watch 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Joel Lookadoo in the Teacher Talk video series. The series focuses on "real teacher talk" and Lookadoo welcomes questions and ideas.
Recent episode topics include communication in schools, sanitizing procedures in the classroom, and effective instruction.
Joel Lookadoo received the surprise of a lifetime October 22, 2019, when he was named the 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year at an assembly at Lakeside Junior High School in Springdale. Arkansas Department of Education Secretary Johnny Key was joined by several State Board of Education members and legislators to honor Lookadoo, an Algebra 1 teacher at the school. Learn more at https://bit.ly/2JciAm7.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key recognized the four state semi-finalists for Arkansas Teacher of the Year during a ceremony August 16, 2018, at the Governor's Mansion. To learn more, please go to 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year State Semi-Finalists.
The 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Regional Finalists were also recognized. To learn more, please go to 2020 ATOY Regional Finalists.
Each public school district in Arkansas may select one teacher as its District Teacher of the Year and nominate that teacher for the ATOY.
A selection panel assembled by the ADE reviews the applications and selects the regional finalists, one representing each education service cooperative and one representing Pulaski County. The panel selects four state semi-finalists from among the regional finalists. The panel will conduct site visits before selecting the ATOY.
To learn more about program guidelines, please go to Commissioner's Memo LIC-20-025: 2021 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Application Process.
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.
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 is led by the Arkansas Department of Education in partnership with the State Board of Education.
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