Manila teacher receives state awards

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Teacher of the Year Mary Smith receives a state award from Harry Almond, Arkansas ACTE director.

Mary Smith, Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher at Manila High School, has been honored as the Arkansas ACTE (Arkansas Association for Career and Technical Education) Teacher of the Year and the AATFACS (Arkansas Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences) FACS Teacher of the Year for the state of Arkansas.

Arkansas ACTE encompasses all of the career and technical school disciplines, such as agriculture, business, and family and consumer sciences. Both awards were presented to Ms. Smith at the state conference held July 28-29 in Hot Springs. She was recognized for extraordinary contributions toward classroom and community projects and promotion of career and technical education as a classroom teacher and Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) advisor to her students.

Gloria Merrick, FACS teacher at Hope High School and 2013-2014 AATFACS president (left), presents Mary Smith with a second state award.

Recipients of the state awards must be involved members of ACTE and AATFACS. The honoree must have made significant contributions toward innovative, unique and novel programs and have shown a professional commitment. A dossier and an interview were part of the selection process for these awards.

Selection for the Arkansas ACTE Teacher of the Year award qualifies Ms. Smith to attend the ACTE regional conference in Little Rock in April for consideration for the six-state ACTE regional award.

In addition to receiving the awards, Smith has been very busy this summer receiving certification in ServSafe and now can be a ServSafe instructor and proctor. She also was certified in Arkansas Safe Food handlers and Arkansas E-Food Handlers. She received a Perkins grant to add a food safety course next spring. She is excited about being able to offer her students who take the course the opportunity to earn those certifications.

She also was instrumental in applying for and receiving a Perks grant to purchase 25 new laptops for her classroom.

Smith is looking forward to the 2014-15 school year. She has taught in the Manila District since 1983. She has worked to keep up with the many changes in the curriculum that has come about over the last three decades. She is a teacher who goes above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of her students.

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