|Kelly Bell, Amanda Harris, Tori Rocole, Kaki Forthman and Ashley Keener display their awards at the October Board of Education meeting where they were recognized as the Teachers of the Year.|
Teachers of the Year recognized
Ashley Keener, Kaki Forthman, Tori Rocole, Amanda Harris, and Kelly Bell were recently recognized as the Arkadelphia Public Schools Teachers of the Year for the 2011-12 school year. Bell, who won Teacher of the Year for Perritt Primary, also won District Teacher of the Year. A reception was held in their honor on Tuesday afternoon at Central Primary School prior to their awards being presented at October’s Board of Education meeting.
“This group of dedicated educators represents the excellence that is present at each of our campuses in the Arkadelphia Public Schools,” Superintendent Donnie Whitten said. “Their relentless pursuit of what is best for our students and schools deserves this recognition and I congratulate each of them.”
Bell has taught music at Perritt since January 2008. Prior to coming to Arkadelphia, she taught music and choir in Malvern. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Henderson State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree from HSU as well. She has served as a cooperating teacher for music students from HSU and Ouachita Baptist University.
Keener was awarded Teacher of the Year for Arkadelphia High School where she teaches computer applications and desktop publishing. This is her sixth year as a teacher with the APSD. Keener earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at HSU. Keener also serves as the advisor for The Ark, which is the AHS yearbook. While under her leadership, The Ark has received several awards from the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association.
Forthman was awarded Teacher of the Year for Goza Middle School where she began her career in 2009 teaching seventh grade social studies. She is currently teaching eighth grade literacy. Forthman earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from HSU. She currently is a member of the Arkansas State Teachers Association and is a past Ross grant recipient.
Rocole was awarded Teacher of the Year for Peake Elementary School where she teaches fifth grade math and science. Prior to coming to Arkadelphia in 2006, she taught math in Hooks, TX for three years. She earned her bachelor’s degree from South Arkansas University and her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from HSU. Rocole is currently pursuing an Ed. Specialist degree from HSU.
Harris was awarded Teacher of the Year for Central Primary School where she has taught second grade for the past seven years. Harris holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from HSU. She also has earned certifications as an ESL instructor and a K-12 reading specialist. She is currently a member of the Arkansas Reading Association and the Arkadelphia Area Reading Association. Harris has served as a mentor to new teachers and as an after school tutor.