LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A ceremony at the governor’s mansion Thursday awarded four Arkansas teachers as semi-finalists for state Teacher of the Year honors. The four were drawn from the 13 regional finalists.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Department of Education Secretary Johnny Key were the presenters.

“Each of these four educators represent the best of the best in the teaching profession this past school year,” Key stated. “I am excited to announce them as state semi-finalists, and one of them will ultimately represent Arkansas in the National Teacher of the Year competition. Any one of these four would serve as an excellent ambassador for Arkansas and for all educators around the state.”

The four are:

  • Amber Leaton
    Social Studies, Grades 11 & 12
    Bryant High School; Bryant Public Schools; Dawson Education Service Cooperative
  • Stephanie Long
    Third Grade
    Walter Turnbow Elementary School; Springdale Public Schools; Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative
  • Capri Salaam
    Social Studies, Grades 7 & 8
    North Little Rock Middle School 7th and 8th  Grade Campus; North Little Rock School District; Arch Ford Education Service Cooperative
  • Elouise Shorter
    Math, Grades 9-12
    Dollarway High School; Pine Bluff School District; Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative

The next step in determining the Arkansas Teacher of the Year is the selection committee making site visits at each of the four’s respective schools. The winner will be named in the fall.