2013 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Named

(KATV, Source: Arkansas Department of Education) Little Rock - Alexia Weimer, a kindergarten teacher at Avondale Elementary School in the Marion School District, has been named Arkansas's 2013 Teacher of the Year.

Governor Mike Beebe made the surprise announcement Monday during a school assembly.

Weimer has been a teacher for six years, all of them at Avondale Elementary. She holds a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and a master's degree in educational leadership from Arkansas State University.

She was nominated for the award by her colleagues who wrote letters of recommendation to the Teacher of the Year Selection Committee.

"While I have an entire staff of excellent teachers, Alexia Weimer is the teacher I would want for my child," said Principal Glenda Bryan. "She goes beyond what most teachers do to ensure authentic student engagement in learning."

Weimer has created a reputation for making learning fun by using technology to teach and engage students. She expects her students to perform well, and they do not disappoint her.

The Arkansas Teacher of the Year competition is part of the National Teacher of the Year Program (NTOY). The NTOY program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.

State law provides for the Arkansas Teacher of the Year recipient to take a year of paid administrative leave to serve in an advisory position as a non-voting member of the Arkansas State Board of Education and for professional development purposes.

As Teacher of the Year, Weimer will also receive a $15,000 check from the Walton Family Foundation, which has long been a sponsor of the award.

Weimer will represent the teachers of Arkansas and meet with legislators and educational organizations on behalf of Arkansas schools.