2020 Teacher of the Year:
Joel Lookadoo is a seventh-year educator in Arkansas’s Springdale School District. He serves as a ninth-grade algebra 1 teacher and an instructional facilitator in the mathematics and science content areas. After seeing the college aspirations of former students’ stalled, Lookadoo created the Beyond program to provide the added boost to ensure their dreams could become reality. Beyond is a college prep program for first generation college students that meets to mentor students, discuss college admissions and scholarship opportunities, and prepare students for the ACT who desire to go to college and travel that journey together. Currently, all of the Beyond graduates are in their first year of higher education. Lookadoo has served on various committees and in leadership roles at Lakeside Junior High, developing and implementing the Character Education Program, piloting and leading professional development on standards-based grading, and serving on the school’s Student Recognition Program committee. He has also facilitated regional professional development on teaching English language learners, collaborative and engaging instruction, and building high-performing professional learning communities. He received his bachelor’s degree in secondary mathematics education from the University of Central Arkansas and his master’s degree in educational leadership from Arkansas State University. Lookadoo coached basketball and track for three years before transitioning to full time teaching in the classroom where he has taught advanced, regular, and inclusion algebra 1. He is also certified in English to Speakers of Other Languages, PE/health, and building administration. Lookadoo is a National Board Certified Teacher in high school mathematics.