Conway’s District Teacher of the Year, Randi House, has been named the Arkansas State Teacher of the Year for 2018.
House, a Kindergarten Teacher at Theodore Jones Elementary School, was surprised at a school-wide assembly with the announcement.
“Randi House embodies everything we want in a teacher,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “In her classes at Theodore Jones Elementary School, she incorporates reading, math, cooking, gardening and computer coding in her classroom. She teaches life skills while she teaches math skills. She goes above and beyond to ensure every student feels valued and appreciated. In all she does as a teacher, she sets an example of excellence. I trust her reign as the Arkansas Teacher of the Year will enrich her life as much as she enriches the lives of her students.”
Commissioner of Education Johnny Key, along with Conway Schools' Superintendent Greg Murry, Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry, and other State dignitaries attended Friday's ceremony to congratulate her on her honor.
“Today we honor Ms. Randi House, the 2018 Arkansas Teacher of the Year," said Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key. "From her innovative classroom practices to her personal commitment to every student, Ms. House serves as a model of excellence for all teachers. She not only strives to help her students reach their potential, she nurtures every child, helping each develop the personal confidence that is essential to living a happy, productive life. Ms. House is an inspiration to her students, their parents and her co-workers, and I look forward to watching her share her inspirational story this next year.”
A graduate of Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, House has a Bachelor of Science in Education and Early Childhood Education, as well as a Master of Science in Education and Reading. She has served in numerous leadership roles on the school and district levels. In addition to providing professional development for other educators, House recently attended the Arkansas Leadership Academy and has completed her submission to become a National Board Certified Teacher. She is awaiting confirmation. She has been teaching at Theodore Jones Elementary for six years.
Providing opportunities for students to network and experience life beyond her classroom is a priority for House. In addition to taking her students on virtual field trips around the world, House welcomes community volunteers into her classroom to share real-life experiences. Through video conferencing, she invites authors from around the country into her classroom.
House’s desire to help others is passed along to her students. She helps her students write cards for local nursing home residents and assists other schools with growing their own gardens and incorporating cooking lessons in their learning activities. Her innovative classroom practices, including her kindergarten cooking show, which is a hands-on cooking lesson with her students, have been featured by local media outlets.
House was named one of four State Semi-Finalists Aug. 30 at a ceremony at the Capitol. The Arkansas Teacher of the Year selection panel then conducted site visits that included interviews and classroom observations.
Besides receiving a $14,000 check from the Walton family foundation and a proclamation from the mayor declaring it "Randi House Day", House will now travel and share her story around the state of Arkansas during the 2018-19 school year.
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