Teacher Appreciation Week
The end of this school year isn’t what any of us thought it would be, and the importance of teachers has never been more clear. They, like all of us, are dealing with some extraordinary times. So let’s reach out to the teachers in our and our children’s lives — and say thank you!
We all know how much of a difference a good teacher can make. We’ve all had those people in our lives, people whose example sticks with you. COVID-19 has severed some of those ties, or made them more difficult at least. That’s especially true for families (and teachers too) without access to reliable, high-speed internet connections. The challenges to come in the fall may be immense, following a difficult end of the school year. But we have faith in our teachers and educators — and our elected leaders to do the right thing and make education a priority.
Arkansas is blessed with some great educators who serve in the Arkansas Legislature.
Joyce Elliott // State Senator & Second Congressional District Candidate
The name Joyce Elliott has become synonymous with education in Arkansas. She’s a fierce advocate for public schools, and for a world class education for all children in Arkansas.
Elliott’s drive and ability to better the lives of children in the halls of the Arkansas Legislature comes from her experience in the classroom. In June 2004, she took her experience to the College Board and worked to expand AP class access to African-American, Latino, rural, and low-income students. Her insight and work in the state Legislature has earned her accolades from educators and lawmakers across the nation.
Tippi McCullough // State Representative, Little Rock
Rep. Tippi McCullough has taught in just about type of school environment there is in Arkansas. She’s taught in rural towns like Kingston, Newport and Mountain Pine, and at Little Rock’s Mount Saint Mary Academy and the historic Central High School. She’s taught English, physical education, and coached basketball as part of her calling. She’s brought that drive to the classroom, the National Education Association Women’s Issues Committee, and now the Arkansas Legislature.
Megan Godfrey // State Representative, Springdale
Rep. Godfrey is a champion of connecting education with community building. She has dedicate her career to working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Arkansas’s schools must – and can – educate every child. That’s something Godfrey has experienced first hand, as an ESL teacher and specialist and as Co-director of English Language Learning at Fayetteville Public Schools.
Linda Chesterfield // State Senator, Pulaski County
Sen. Chesterfield is an Arkansas legend for a whole host of reasons, with education at the center of it all. Her legislative acumen comes from experience and personal drive, including becoming the first African-American to integrate Hendrix College. She then earned her Master’s degree form Ouachita Baptist University and taught for 30 years. That’s all before going on to serve as President of the Little Rock School Board, the Pulaski County Association of Classroom Teachers, the Arkansas Education Association, the Executive Committee of the National Education Association, and as chairperson of the Black Caucus of the National Education Association. She continues to make an impact on the Senate Education Committee for both K-12 schools and higher education, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The best teachers encourage you to do what you were born doing. They affirm in you that it’s good to be curious, it’s good to be thoughtful, and it’s good to want to seek out more.
Our horizons are truly as big as we make them. A good teacher can help nourish those thoughts, a good teacher can help us grow.