Jessica Saum, a special education teacher at Stagecoach Elementary in Cabot, has been named Arkansas Teacher of the Year. She’s taught K-4 in Cabot since 2018 and was cited for work in the classroom, advocacy for her students, connecting students with the community and support for military families.
She has been recognized as 3147th Airlift Wing Key Spo8se of the year for volunteer work at Little Rock Air Force Base
A state release said:
Inside the classroom, Saum regularly partners with other teachers and community members to bring hands-on lessons that cross multiple content areas to her students, as well as provide opportunities for her students to learn in general education classrooms. For example, in addition to partnering with a gifted and talented teacher on a lesson about earthworms, Saum also collaborated with the 314th Airlift Wing at the Little Rock Air Force Base to take her students on a virtual C-130 field trip. She has partnered with Ballet Arkansas to have a sugar plum fairy in full costume read The Nutcracker to her school via Zoom and has organized a class outdoor camping day event for her students. She also planned a school-level Special Olympics event for students in May.
Saum taught previously at Arnold Drive Elementary in Jacksonville and as an early childhood education substitute in the Pulaski County School District.
She’s already received $1,000 each for being a regional finalist and state semi-finalist. She’ll receive an additional $14,000 for the state honor and compete for national honors. She’ll travel the state for a year and serve as a non-voting member on the state Board of Education.