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Arkansas Teacher of the Year: Jonathan Crossley

Posted By Kathy Smith, Wednesday, November 20, 2013

By Kathy Smith, senior program officer at the Walton Family Foundation, responsible for the Arkansas K-12 education reform initiative that promotes systemic reform, using the principles of accountability, transparency, choice, and incentives. Kathy has spent more than 30 years in public education in Oklahoma and Arkansas, first as a high school English teacher and eventually moving to district secondary curriculum director.

As an educator and a passionate advocate for quality education in the Arkansas Delta, I love days like yesterday (November 18th). I was thrilled to join Governor Mike Beebe and Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell as they named Jonathan Crossley the 2014 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. The foundation is a longtime supporter of the Teacher of the Year program, providing $1,000 awards to finalists and a $14,000 award to the winner.

Mr. Crossley teaches at Palestine Wheatley High School in Palestine, Arkansas, and is also a Teach For America alumnus. The work he is doing and the success he is having are exactly the results the foundation hoped for as we began investing in regional education initiatives more than 20 years ago.

Commissioner Kimbrell cited Mr. Crossley’s impressive student achievement scores and innovative, student-led teaching approach as standing out in a very impressive group of candidates. As one would expect, his commitment to his students goes beyond his classroom where he teaches 11th and 12th grade English and oral communication. He is also the drama director, the literacy coach for grades six through 12, and he was the girls’ basketball coach from 2010-13.

Please join me in congratulating Jonathan Crossley for this prestigious accomplishment and his dedication to improving the quality of his students’ lives through education.

Tags:  Arkansas  Education  Teach for America  Teacher of the Year 

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