The Arkansas Education Association has named Texarkana Arkansas School District’s Juanita I. Harris as the 2022-2023 teacher of the year. Harris, a first-grade teacher at Harmony Leadership Academy, has been in education for 13 years. Harris graduated from SAU in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and in 2013 with a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.
Harris has been recognized before for her accomplishments in the classroom. She was named the Union Elementary teacher of the year in 2017, the TASD teacher of the year in 2018, and a regional finalist for Arkansas Teacher of the Year in 2019. With the association’s recognition, Harris is a candidate for the National Education Association Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence in 2024.
As teachers began leaving the field during and after COVID-19, Harris said she had to find something to keep her motivated. She found her inspiration in a Bible verse.
“My favorite scripture is Romans 8:28, ‘And we know that all things work together for the good of them for those who love the Lord, for those who have been called according to his purpose,” Harris said.
Harris said she feels a kinship with fellow teachers and looks for ways to do something for them all year long, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week.
As CEO of Teachers Support Teachers, Harris has built a board of directors composed of educators across Arkansas and Mississippi, raising funds to recognize stellar teachers while providing monthly self-care opportunities, such as group therapy sessions, massages, pedicures, funds for supplies and more. “Our mission for Teachers Support Teachers is to live out our vision of ‘Encouraging the Hearts that Shape the Minds,'” Harris said. For information… visit www.teachersupportteachers.com.
From the Texarkana Gazette 2.24.23
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