By Terrica Hendrix
Mineral Springs High School EAST Facilitator Rob Plant is a regional semifinalist in the Arkansas State Teacher of the Year recognition program.
Mineral Springs School District Superintendent Thelma Forte announced last week that Plant was first “nominated at the district level, became the De Queen Mena Co-Op Teacher of the Year,” and he is now one of 14 teachers who will be recognized for being a regional semifinalist for the ATOY.
Plant acknowledged that he is “honored to be considered for Arkansas Teacher of the Year,” but explained that the award is about the MSSD students.
“I don’t want anyone to lose sight of the fact that this award is really about our students. We have some awesome students at Mineral Springs. It is because of these girls and guys that I am able to be the kind of teacher that I want to be in the classroom. My goal is to bring education excitement to the classroom and when you have students that are eager to come to class and ready to get to work, it allows me to push them outside their comfort zones and make them better,” Plant ended.
Four regional finalists will be announced on Aug. 16 at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock. Forte added that Plant will also receive a $1,000 prize at the ceremony.
The school district is “ecstatic about Mr. Plant’s latest award. He is beloved by his students, admired by his peers, and he is an exemplary teacher who is worthy of the regional semifinalist teacher of the year award,” Forte said.
Forte explained that the “teachers, who are named regional finalists, will have to create a video which will be shown at the Arkansas Travelers baseball game on Aug. 23. Regional finalist will also have a site visit, and a team will use a rubric to score candidates to determine who will become the ATOY.
“This is not my first experience with a teacher who has reached the semifinalist level,” Forte proudly mentioned.
“One of my former teachers from Union Elementary School will join Mr. Plant as a regional semifinalist this year. Marsha Petty was named the Arkansas Teacher of the Year when I was an assistant principal at Arkansas High School. I can tell you from experience Mr. Plant has all the virtues that are required of the regional semifinalist. He is passionate about the teaching profession, he is dedicated to his students, and he exposes his students to unlimited opportunities to excel as a student and as a young adult through his daily lessons in the EAST Lab. Mr. Plant can take ordinary lessons and create extraordinary learning opportunities for students,” Forte said.