Central Elementary School teacher Cassidy Smith has been named one of 15 regional finalists for 2020 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.
Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key made the announcement.
A special recognition event with Governor Asa Hutchinson will be held Thursday, August 1, at the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock. During the ceremony, four regional finalists will be announced with a reception honoring the regional finalists held afterward.
A panel of judges, selected by the Arkansas Department of Education, will later recommend one of the four finalists as the Arkansas Teacher of the Year (ATOY) based on interviews with the candidate, principal and/or superintendent, and observation of the teacher's classroom. The panel will then submit their recommendation for ATOY to the Commissioner of Education for approval.
Smith is a 2003 graduate of Spring Hill (AR) High School and a 2007 graduate of Southern Arkansas University.
She received her Gifted and Talented (GATE) certification from University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2009. She has taught in the Magnolia School District for 11 years as the SAGE teacher and currently serves as the district's Gifted and Talented coordinator.
Smith is an alumna of Phi Mu Fraternity, an associate member of Magnolia Junior Charity League, and a Red Cross water safety instructor. She is also a licensed real estate agent with Carrington Realty. She attends Jackson Street Church of Christ.
She is married to Bryan Smith and has two children, Sophie, age nine, and Beau, age four. She enjoys decorating, cheering on her children at the Boys and Girls Club, and enjoys time at the lake with family.