September 18, 2013 – Governor Mike Beebe recognized the top four finalists for Arkansas Teacher of the Year at an event Monday at the Capitol."Arkansas teachers are among the best in the country, so recognizing just four is an extremely difficult task," said Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell. "I am pleased, however, to honor the four teachers who stand out among their peers for their exemplary work in the classroom." The four finalists are:Jonathan Crossley, an 11th and 12th-grade English teacher at Palestine Wheatley High School in the Palestine Wheatley School District.Lisa Gray, a kindergarten through second-grade literacy teacher at Sunnymede Elementary School in the Fort Smith School District.Sue Johnston, a first-grade teacher at Eagle Mountain Magnet School in the Batesville School District.Debra Lamb, a 10th through 12th-grade environmental and special technology teacher at Har-Ber High School in the Springdale School District. The 16 regional finalists, who also were recognized today, were narrowed down to four. The ATOY Selection Review Committee will conduct site visits and interviews with the four finalists over the next two weeks, with the top teacher being named the 2014 Arkansas Teacher of the Year in a surprise notification event. In addition to receiving a $1,000 check from the Walton Family Foundation as one of the 16 regional finalists, the top four received an ATOY medallion.