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Ozark Mountain School District Educator Named Rural Teacher of the Year
June 2005

Ozark Mountain School District Educator Named Rural Teacher of the Year

Pictured at the Arkansas Rural Teacher of the Year ceremony are Arkansas State Rep. Monty Davenport of Yellville; Arkansas Sen. Randy Laverty of Jasper; Arkansas Rural Teacher of the Year Beverly Cothran of Bruno-Pyatt School in Everton; Jimmy Cunningham, president of the Arkansas Rural Education Association and superintendent of the Plainview School District; and Carmie Henry, vice president of governmental affairs for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

Little Rock, Ark. - Beverly Cothran, an elementary media specialist and Title I teacher at Bruno-Pyatt in Everton (Marion County), was named Rural Teacher of the Year by the Arkansas Rural Education Association at a ceremony at the Arkansas State Capitol Building May 13. She is also the association’s representative for the National Rural Teacher of the Year.

According to Jimmy Cunningham, president of the Arkansas Rural Education Association and superintendent of the Plainview School District, Cothran was selected by a committee of educators from applications submitted by school administrators.

“The winner was selected because of the quality and depth of her answers to the questions in the following categories: professional biography; education; history; professional development; community involvement; philosophy of teaching; education issues and trends; and, the teaching profession,” Cunningham said.

The final section of the application asks the teacher to explain her platform, if selected for the award. Cothran indicated that she would propose a council of educators and parents to act as a steering committee on education reform. The committee would serve as a liaison to the Arkansas Department of Education and the Arkansas General Assembly.

“Rural schools are like a family,” Cothran said. “Instructors and administrators interact with students from the time they enter pre-school until they graduate. Very often students visit the school after graduation to receive advice from the teachers they grew to trust. The level of trust at a rural school is shared among the community as well as parents and students.”

Cothran has 13 years of teaching experience and has served in her present capacity for the past four years.

“Mrs. Cothran has consistently set high expectations for her students,” Cunningham said. “She truly believes in their abilities and verbalizes her support. She has a gift of looking beyond the surface to uncover the hidden talents of her students. Her ability to let the students know that she cares and believes in them is a shining example to educators.”

The Arkansas Rural Teacher of the Year Award is sponsored by the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas in conjunction with the Arkansas Rural Education Association.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides various services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to more than 440,000 members, or customers, in Arkansas and surrounding states.
 

 
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