The Arkansas Department of Education is pleased to announce the 12 teachers named 2021 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Regional Finalists. The regional finalists will be recognized and the four state semi-finalists will be announced at an event July 31 at the Governor’s Mansion. (The event will adhere to social distancing and virus prevention guidelines and directives.)

“I want to congratulate the regional finalists for their outstanding work and dedication to their students, schools, and communities,” Arkansas Department of Education Secretary Johnny Key said. “While one of them will become the next Arkansas Teacher of the Year, all of them have exhibited determination, commitment, and a passion for education and are deserving of this honor."

2021 ATOY Regional Finalists

  • Teresa Adams, Grade 5 Literacy for Cabot Middle School South, Cabot School District, Wilbur D. Mills Education Service Cooperative
  • Tia Brickey, Library Media Specialist for Park Avenue Elementary School, Stuttgart School District, Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative
  • Bailey Coburn, General Music for East Side Elementary School, Magnolia School District, South Central Service Cooperative
  • Lea Ann Ferrell, Grade 4 Math for Lake Hamilton Intermediate School, Lake Hamilton School District, Dawson Education Service Cooperative
  • Amber Harbin, Grades K-8 Science, STEM and Project Lead the Way for Forest Heights STEM Academy, Little Rock School District, Pulaski County
  • Susan Henderson, Library Media Specialist for Ellen Smith Elementary School, Conway School District, Arch Ford Education Service Cooperative
  • Katie Hutton, Grades 10-12 Business Education for Academies of West Memphis, West Memphis School District, Great Rivers Education Service Cooperative
  • Todd Musgraves, Grade 4 Math and Science for College Hill Elementary School, Texarkana Arkansas School District, Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative
  • Susanna Post, Grades 9-12 Math and Business Technology for Belle Point Alternative Center, Fort Smith School District, Guy Fenter Education Service Cooperative
  • Abbie Russell, Grade 3-5 EAST for Linda Childers Knapp Elementary School, Springdale School District, Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative
  • Melissa Steiner, Library Media Specialist for Hackler Intermediate School, Mountain Home School District, Northcentral Arkansas Education Service Cooperative
  • Brycial Williams, Grade 1 for Wynne Primary School, Wynne School District, Crowley’s Ridge Educational Service Cooperative

The Arkansas Teacher of the Year program is part of the National Teacher of the Year program, which recognizes teachers for their teaching and leadership skills. The 2021 Arkansas Teacher of the Year, who will be announced this fall, will apply to become the 2021 National Teacher of the Year.

The four state semi-finalists named on July 31 will be selected from the 12 regional finalists. One of the four state semi-finalists will be named the 2021 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

Some State Board of Education members may attend the July 31 event at the Governor’s Mansion, but no official business will be conducted.

To learn more about the ATOY program, visit

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