Teachers Nominated for State Honor


Teachers Nominated for State Honor
8/15/2013 4:09:38 PM

College Hill or Nashville educator could be next Teacher of the Year.

College Hill Elementary School teacher Jeannette Dempsey and Nashville High School teacher Vickie Beene are two of 14 educators in the running for Arkansas Teacher of the Year.

The honor gives Dempsey and Beene $1,000 and materials for their classroom.

The Teacher of the Year will be announced Nov. 12 at the yearly gala at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock. The winner will receive paid leave for one year to work in-residence with the Arkansas Department of Education and serve as a non-voting member on the state Board of Education. The honor also includes receiving $14,000.

Dempsey and Beene say they are honored to have the possibility of representing the state.

“We have wonderful teachers everywhere, and I would be honored to represent them,” Dempsey said.

Beene anticipates the gala and “being in a room full of people that have the same passion for education I do.”

Dempsey has been with Texarkana, Ark., School District for 29 years. She has taught kindergarten and second grade and is in her sixth year as Environmental and Spatial Technology teacher.

Dempsey said she hopes students leave her classroom with a sense of community.

“I want my students to be caring and active in society, and impact their community in some kind of positive way and do for others. I want them to feel capable and successful.”

Dempsey earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from East Texas State University in Texarkana. She has been married to retired TASD science teacher John Dempsey for 39 years. They have three children: Jennifer, Julie and Jonathan.

Beene, an 11th-grade English teacher, holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Arkansas University and a master’s degree from Henderson State University. She has taught in elementary, middle and high school in the past 25 years, and hopes her students leave her classroom with a love of reading.

“I have a personal library in my own classroom,” Beene said.

Beene is married to Eddie Beene. They have a daughter and son-in-law, Scott and Amy Dutile.

The other finalists are from Walnut Ridge, Bryant, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Searcy, Little Rock, Conway, Springdale, West Memphis, White Hall, Mountain Home and Monticello.


Jeanette Dempsey, College Hill EAST facilitator.


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