Susanna Post, a math and business technology teacher at Belle Point Alternative Center in Fort Smith, was named the 2021 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.
As a teacher for the past five years, she has used her previous experience in the oil and gas business to help connect students with the world outside the classroom.
Post started teaching in North Carolina in 2002. Because of a family move, Post temporarily left the classroom and entered the business world where she worked as a petroleum analyst and senior engineering technician at multiple oil and gas companies in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, and in Fort Smith.
Upon returning to education in August 2016, Post accepted a teaching position at Belle Pointe Alternative Center. While at Belle Pointe Alternative Center, she has co-taught with a senior high school special education teacher, initiated the school’s first Coding Club, coordinated with district curriculum leaders to create an ACT prep program, facilitated a Lindamood-Bell literacy intervention group, served on the district’s secondary math curriculum development team, and incorporated community relationships into problem and project-based lessons. She leads the school’s Culture Project Week which includes project-based activities that improve school culture by strengthening relationships between students, teachers, and the community.
Post has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Central Arkansas at Conway, and a Master of Education in Rural and Urban School Leadership from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
“Susanna Post’s real-life experience in the business world enriches the lessons that she teaches in the classroom,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The list of programs she leads at Belle Point is evidence that she goes the extra mile. Her students are fortunate that Ms. Post decided to leave the oil and gas industry and return to Arkansas to resume her teaching career. Above and beyond her education and experience, however, she has a heart for her students.”
As teacher of the year, she will spend a year traveling across the state working with other teachers. She will sit as a non-voting member on the state Board of Education.