Melissa Spence, first grade teacher at Theodore Jones Elementary School and Conway Public Schools’ District Teacher of the Year, is one of fifteen finalists for the 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.
The regional finalists were announced today and will be recognized by Governor Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Department of Education Secretary Johnny Key at a special event at the Governor’s Mansion on August 1st.
“I am extremely proud of each of these regional finalists,” Key said. “From their tireless dedication to the teaching profession to their commitment to ensuring their students graduate prepared for college, career, and community engagement, these 15 educators are among the best of the best. With their hard work and dedication, we will achieve our vision of leading the nation in student-focused education.”
Spence, beloved by her fellow teachers and her students, is responsible for several initiatives at Theodore Jones, including “Schoolin’ Summer,” where the teachers and school leaders come together to travel through neighborhoods in their zone to visit students, giving them snacks, resources, and activities to work on at home during the summer.
“Our Theodore Jones family is so proud and ecstatic for Mrs. Spence being named a regional finalist,” says Dr. Tammy Woosley, Principal at Theodore Jones. “She is that teacher who truly does ‘whatever it takes’ for her students, our families, and our team. Her servant’s heart enables her to live out our district’s core values effortlessly.”
“I am excited, proud, and honored!” says Melissa Spence. “It is such a privilege to be represented among the educators who are regional finalists. I am grateful to my Theodore Jones team for their support and for every opportunity I have received. I am truly blessed to be a part of this wonderful district.”
Spence is the second regional finalist from Theodore Jones Elementary School in the last three years. Kindergarten teacher Randi House was a Regional Finalist in 2018. She became a State Semi-Finalist before being named the 2018 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. House will return to Theodore Jones this August after spending a year traveling in this role.
This year’s regional finalists will each receive a $1,000 award made possible by a grant provided by the Walton Family Foundation, a long-time supporter of the program. The four state semi-finalists announced August 1 are selected from the 15 regional finalists. One of the four state semi-finalists will be named the 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.
Conway Public Schools News
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