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2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year (ATOY)

Award to an Arkansas Public School Teacher for
Outstanding Instruction in PreK-12 Classrooms

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)

Deadline Date:

06/29/18 6:00 PM


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Award to an Arkansas PreK-12 teacher to recognize outstanding contributions to the quality of public education. The selected candidate will spend a year of service providing technical assistance to other teachers and participate in professional development opportunities.


The classroom teacher is the backbone of the American education system. No one person has a greater impact on the education of a child than does the teacher who creates the primary learning and instructional environment. The National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) program, which is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with the Voya Foundation and People to People Ambassador Programs, began in 1952. The NTOY program continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.

As part of the NTOY program, the Arkansas Teacher of Year (ATOY) program identifies, recognizes and utilizes representatives of excellent teaching in the elementary and secondary classrooms in Arkansas public schools. The mission of the ATOY program is to promote the profession and recognize quality teachers who implement "best practices" in Arkansas public school classrooms. The ATOY program functions under the leadership of the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) in partnership with the State Board of Education.

ATOY Responsibilities:
During the year of service, the ATOY will be placed on administrative paid leave for one year to work in residence with the ADE to develop professional development and provide technical assistance to teachers and students. The ATOY will serve as an ambassador for education in Arkansas, making public appearances across the state, while also serving as an ex officio member of the State Board of Education. The ATOY will be nominated to represent Arkansas in the NTOY program.  
Once someone is named ATOY, he/she becomes a part of an ongoing network and may be asked to provide presentations or professional development around the state. The department may ask former ATOYs to help with the selection of the new ATOY and be a part of the award ceremonies following the selection process. All ATOYs become a part of the Arkansas Exemplary Educators Network (AEEN) and may serve on agency committees.

ATOY 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.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 170962

Number of Grants:


Term of Contract:

The ATOY will begin his or her duties on July 1, 2019, and will end his or her duties on June 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Candidates shall 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 candidate should:
-Be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled teacher in a state-approved or accredited school;
-Intend to continue in an active teaching status (supervisory and administrative responsibilities should be of secondary consideration);
-Inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn;
-Have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues;
-Play an active and useful role in the community and school; and
-Be poised, articulate and possess the energy to withstand a taxing schedule.

Candidates shall have an employment history of teaching, continuously or intermittently, for a cumulative period of at least three years in an Arkansas public school previous to the date of nomination. Candidates must hold a valid and current Arkansas educator license.

Pre-Application Information:

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.

The deadline to submit all materials, including the online application and supplemental documents, is 6:00 PM Friday, June 29, 2018.

Application Guidelines:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Candidates nominated by their districts must complete an online application packet consisting of the 2019 ATOY Application Form, which is available at this link:

Supplemental documents must be emailed to:

Meghan Ables, Public Information Manager

Arkansas Department of Education
Office of Communications
Four Capitol Mall, Room 404-A
Little Rock, AR 72201

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arkansas