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story.lead_photo.caption Janelle Jessen/Herald-Leader Principal Michelle Paden (right) presents the Allen Elementary School teacher of the year award to Angie Brown on Thursday.

Seven teachers were recognized as 2020-2021 teachers of the year during Thursday's school board meeting.

School board members came together for the first in-person meeting in several months with safety precautions and social distancing measures in place. Tables in the room were spaced to keep attendees at least six feet apart and only administrators presenting to the board were expected to be physically present for the meeting, while other administrators were asked to watch online, according to an email from Superintendent Jody Wiggins.

The annual teacher of the year presentation also looked different this year as teachers and principals came in one at a time to be presented their awards in an effort to limit the number of people in the room at one time, while friends and family watched streaming video from home.

Teachers of the year were Ken Francis, high school; Julie Lewis, Main Street Academy; Melissa Cluck, middle school; David Moose, intermediate school; Brian Hyde, Southside Elementary School; Angela Brown, Allen Elementary School; and Destiny Teague, Northside Elementary School.

Teachers in each school building voted by secret ballot to select teachers of the year who "exemplify the finest qualities of the profession," according to selection guidelines.

Candidates show exceptional dedication, knowledge and skill as a teacher; are respected and admired by students, parents and colleagues; are active in the community as well as the school; are poised, articulate and possess energy to withstand a taxing schedule; foster a school culture of respect and success in collaboration with colleagues, students and families; are able to demonstrate leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning; and have a minimum of three years of experience teaching in Arkansas, the selection guidelines state.

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Janelle Jessen/Herald-Leader Principal Michele Markovich presents the Main Street Academy teacher of the year award to Julie Lewis on Thursday.
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Janelle Jessen/Herald-Leader Ken Francis receives the high school teacher of the year from principal Rob Lindley (not pictured) on Thursday.
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Janelle Jessen/Herald-Leader Principal Justin Blanchard presents the Intermediate School teacher of the year award to David Moose.
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Janelle Jessen/Herald-Leader Principal Jacob Hayward (left) presents the middle school teacher of the year award to Melissa Cluck during Thursday's school board meeting.
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Janelle Jessen/Herald-Leader Principal Jerrie Price presents the Northside Elementary School teacher of the year award to Destiny Teague on Thursday.
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Janelle Jessen/Herald-Leader Brian Hyde receives the Southside Elementary School teacher of the year award from principal Amy Hufford (not pictured).

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