by Max Brantley
Kimberly Kaye Wilson, a visual art teacher in Monticello, is the Arkansas Teacher of the Year. She'll get $15,000 and be considered for national honors.
Photo credit: Kevin Briggs of Arkansas Department of Education.
Kimberly Kaye Wilson, a visual art teacher at Monticello High School, today received the honor of being named Arkansas Teacher of the Year during a surprise assembly at her school. Presenting the award were Governor Mike Beebe and Arkansas Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell.
"Kimberly Wilson represents what is right and wonderful about public school education," Kimbrell said. "It's good to be in Monticello today to focus attention on teaching excellence."
Wilson has 16 years of teaching experience. She has bachelor's degrees from Winthrop University in South Carolina and Trinity College in Vermont and master's degrees from Kent State University in Ohio and the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Her resume includes teaching positions in the Monticello and Hamburg school districts and at the University of Vermont.
"Kim Wilson is a shining example of what a teacher should be: creative, talented and knowledgeable in her chosen field and above all caring about the needs and education of each child," said Mary Donaldson, principal of Monticello Intermediate School. "She is truly a master educator."
Wilson was among four finalists announced in September for the award. She was recommended to Kimbrell to receive the honor after a team from the Department of Education visited each of the finalists at their schools and observed them in their classrooms. The other finalists were: Matthew Garrett of Rogers, Kara Jones of Conway, and Shelina Mashail Warren of Pine Bluff.
Kathy Smith of the Walton Family Foundation, which has long been a sponsor of the award, presented Wilson with a check for $15,000. Wilson will be the Arkansas nominee for the National Teacher of the Year and spend the 2012-2013 school year working in-residence at the Department of Education as a special advisor.