Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education 2018 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Application Process

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Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Regulatory Authority
Ark. Code Ann. ยง 6-17-2501 et seq.
Response Required
Superintendents; Principals; Teachers

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The Arkansas Department of Education is accepting nominations for the 2018 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.


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 will review the applications and select 16 regional finalists, one representing each education service cooperative and one representing Pulaski County.


The panel will select four state semi-finalists from among the regional finalists. The panel will conduct site visits before selecting the ATOY.


Candidates must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Candidates must be skillful and dedicated teachers in grades pre-kindergarten through 12.
  • The ATOY candidate must be engaged directly in instruction in a classroom setting for more than 70 percent of the individual’s contracted time.
  • Instructional literacy facilitators must spend at least 70 percent of their time in the classroom to qualify.
  • Administrators, librarians, and guidance counselors are not eligible.

The ATOY will begin his or her duties on July 1, 2018, and will end his or her duties on June 30, 2018.  Duties include the following:

  • Serving on paid administrative leave from his or her district to work with the ADE.
  • Developing professional development and providing technical assistance to Arkansas teachers and students.
  • Serving as a non-voting member of the State Board of Education.
  • Serving as an ambassador for education in Arkansas.
  • Making appropriate public appearances across the state.
  • Representing Arkansas in the National Teacher of the Year competition.


Candidates nominated by their districts must complete an online application packet consisting of the 2018 ATOY Application Form, which is available at this link:


After completing and submitting this form, candidates must e-mail the following items to the Arkansas Department of Education: 

  • The Candidacy Approval Form with all signatures (pdf format) (attached).
  • One resume, including education, certifications, experience, leadership activities, awards and other recognition. Maximum length is two pages (pdf format).
  • Three letters of recommendation that support why the candidate should be the 2018 National Teacher of the Year.  (Please note that the letters for the candidate who is selected as the 2018 Arkansas Teacher of the Year will be submitted to the National Teacher of the Year program.)  At least one of these must be a recommendation from a parent, colleague, or administrator, and each letter should not exceed one page in length (pdf format).
  • Two artifacts that showcase the candidate’s teaching and/or students' achievement (any digital format including audio files, video files, pdf, jpg, etc.).  ARTIFACTS MAY NOT INCLUDE ANY STUDENT-IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION.
  • One portrait photograph of the candidate suitable for use in publicity activities (jpg format).  Photo must not be copyrighted.


Each supplemental item must indicate the candidate's name. Word and paper versions will not be accepted.  Supplemental documents must be attached to a single e-mail that is sent to  The subject line of the e-mail should read "2018 ATOY" and include the candidate's last name and school district.  The deadline to submit all materials, including the online application and supplemental documents, is 6 p.m. Friday, June 30, 2017.


Additional Information

Kimberly Friedman, ADE Director of Communications

Phone: (501) 683-4788


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