Scranton Elementary School teacher Susan Green has been named the Western Arkansas Outstanding Educator of the Year for 2013.
She was presented the award by Dr. Curtis Varnell, of the Western Arkansas Educational Services Cooperative on May 2 during the school’s Heritage Week celebration. It was also an event to honor Green, who has retired after 37 years as a teacher.
The award is based on nominations made by teachers in districts served by the cooperative, according to Varnell. The cooperative serves 22 school districts in western Arkansas which employ over 5,000 teachers, Varnell said. Once nominations are made, teachers in those 22 districts vote to determine the award winner, Varnell said.
"Her recommendation did not come from her district and that’s quite an honor," Varnell said. "She’s a very deserving person. I was honored to present the award to her because I’ve worked with Susan Green. I’ve worked with a lot of teachers."
Green was surprised with the honor.
"Teaching has been my life," Green said. "I love what I do, the school and the community. They have always been so supportive."
Green moved to Arkansas in 1969 and graduated from North Side High School in Fort Smith in 1971. During her high school career she worked part-time at Bost, Inc. of Western Arkansas. Following graduation she attended Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. Green worked through college at day cares.
After college, Green was set to attend graduate school when then-Scranton Schools’ Superintendent, Bill Horne, offered her a first grade teaching position at Prairie View Elementary. Green’s first response was, "Where’s Scranton?" But Green accepted the offer and was hired on a Friday before school started the following Monday. Green remembers that Horne always said teaching was her calling and she believes that he was right.
Green spent the first 19 years of her career at Prairie View Elementary before it was closed and a new elementary school was built in Scranton. Green taught in Scranton for 18 years before retiring.
Green is responsible for the start up of the Scranton Booster Club and the Scranton Elementary PTO. She was also honored with the Mrs. Baird’s Teacher on the Rise Award in September.
It will not be a typical retirement for Green. She already has plans to continue working with the Foster Grandparent Program, the Helping Our Kids Organization and the Rice Depot Program at the elementary. Along with all of this, she plans to work at the Trading Post Mini Mall in New Blaine, which her family recently purchased and re-opened.