Otter Creek Educator Named LRSD Teacher of the Year

           Picture of Special Education Teacher Emma Mateo from Otter Creek Elementary celebrating as she is named the 2016 Marian G. Lacey Educator of the Year
                                               Emma Mateo, 2016 LRSD Teacher of the Year

Special Education Teacher Emma Mateo, Otter Creek Elementary, was named  2016 Marian G. Lacey Educator of the Year for the Little Rock School District during the annual Crystal Awards Gala Monday night at the Statehouse Convention Center, attended by nearly 700 guests.  Picture of April Rike, and Wanda Keith, Yvonne Bolden posing with Baker Kurrus and Marvin BurtonLevel winners for 2016 include:  April Rike, Williams Magnet Elementary School; Yvonne Bolden, Horace Mann Magnet Middle School; and Wanda Keith, McClellan High School.  These outstanding educators along with another 63 school-level winners were honored Monday night.   

These teachers, deemed the best of the best,  were selected by their peers to represent their schools at the campus level.  Level winners, representing elementary, middle and high school teachers, completed a rigorous application process and were ultimately chosen by a panel of judges.  The overall LRSD Teacher of the Year is named from among this group, earning the prestigious Marian G. Lacey Educator of the Year Award.

(In photos to the left, April Rike, Elementary Teacher of the Year and Wanda Keith, High School Teacher of the Year - above, and Yvonne Bolden, Middle School Teacher of the Year - below)

As the overall LRSD Teacher of the Year, Mateo will now have the opportunity to compete at the state level.  In the past two years, the LRSD Teacher of the Year has been selected as a regional Teacher of the Year finalist.

Level winners and the LRSD Teacher of the Year were awarded cash and prizes valued at almost $7,000.

The Little Rock School District hosts the annual Crystal Awards Gala to honor top teachers during the week designated to recognize teachers nationally.  The namesake for the top teaching award, Dr. Marian G. Lacey, is a beloved former LRSD principal and associate superintendent.   

A special thanks to our sponsors who helped make this year's event a huge success:

Presenting Sponsor - First Student
Gold Sponsor - VALIC
Silver Sponsors - Baldwin & Shell; Blackboard; LREA; PCMI/WillSub; Polk Stanley Wilcox; and Witsell Evans Rasco
Patron Plus - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Entergy
Patron Sponsor - Middleton Heat & Air; and Virco
Educator Sponsors - Hildand Dairy; and Unite Private Networks

In-Kind Sponsors - Arvest; Dell; Knowledge Tree; Kroger; myOn; and TC Print Solutions

Elementary School Winners
Bale Hubert Guinn • Baseline LaKeta Weston • Booker Kristy Mosby
Brady Becky Spradlin • Carver Charlotte Cook • Chicot Terri Holley
Dodd Devera Daniels • Fair Park ECC Ashley Nelsen • Forest Park Lisa Gwin
Forest Heights STEM (K-5) Ashley Harris • Franklin Tanesshia Beverley
Fulbright Nicole Cooper • Geyer Springs Kimberly Collins • Gibbs Kayren Baker
Jefferson Amber Matthews • M.L. King Gwendolyn Glasco • Mabelvale Karonda Fuller
McDermott Paige Colvin Puckett • Meadowcliff Jherrithan Dukes • Otter Creek Emma Mateo
Pulaski Heights Paula Kerr • Don Roberts Jean Snow • Rockefeller Ashley Bonner
Romine LaDonna Oates • Stephens Belinda Burney • Terry Kristi Mann
Wakefield Debra Shaw • Washington Timika Marbley • Watson Lauren Ashley Almond
Western Hills Sita Ledbetter-Montgomery • Williams April Rike
Wilson Devona Holmes • Woodruff ECC Debbie Conine

Middle School Winners
Cloverdale Chevedia Hillard • Lauren Ashley Beam
Dunbar Donterio Porter • Robin Kratzke
Forest Heights STEM (6-8) Nickolous Anderson • Maddie Lunsford
Hamilton (6-8) Carolyn Harshaw
Henderson Spiro-John Kikrilis • Tiffani Jones
Mabelvale Katie Gusewelle • Sir Withers
Mann Yvonne Bolden • Charles Moore, Jr.
Pulaski Heights Carey Sellers • Hollie Wolfe

High School Winners
Accelerated Learning Center David Ahne
Central Melissa Riley • Natasha Saine • Kent Larry Moore
J.A. Fair Edmond Hampton • Fair Allen Robson • LaKiella Washington
Hall Leslie Purdy-Hoyt • Lula C. Williams • Renee Hill
McClellan Dorothy Jones • Tiffany Ailsworth • Wanda Keith
Metropolitan Career-Tech Center Teresa Harper
Parkview Carla Jurgensmeyer • Debora Tynes • Douglas Hammon