Sheridan School District’s ADE Teacher of the Year for the 2020-21 school year is Lynn Summit. Mrs. Summit has been an educator within our school district for 26 years. She currently teaches and inspires at-risk students in the Alternative Learning Academy. She teaches social studies, JAG (Jobs for American Graduates) and a wide range of electives and social skills classes for students in 7th-12th grade.
Mrs. Summit strives daily to incorporate life-long lessons that prepare her students to become successful, contributing citizens. For example, each year her JAG students participate in community service projects, including sewing teddy bears for children at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and sewing baby quilts for the local pregnancy center.
“Mrs. Summit sets the bar and raises it for all teachers who work with at-risk students,” said ALA Principal Dee Creed. “She demonstrates high integrity by leading our teachers to always achieve more with their students and find the absolute best within each one.”
One of her former students had the following to say about Mrs. Summit:
“If everyone was a little more like Mrs. Summit, we would live in a perfect world. She makes a huge impact on anyone who has the privilege to meet her.
"Mrs. Summit made learning fun. She always took her time to come up with many projects and a variety of ways to learn. She always catered to every student’s needs in order to comprehend the lessons, no matter how difficult it was for her to make that happen. As a teacher you have to have a special kind of love for your students, and she always had just that, a special kind of love. She taught me and countless others lessons that will help us throughout the journey of our lives.”
Mrs. Summit’s ability to help students overcome obstacles has made her an extraordinary role model for other teachers, but she says her philosophy of teaching is actually quite simple.
“It isn’t about me at all,” she said. “It is about the student. It is about ALL students. It is about helping every student become the best version of themselves. It is about equipping them through challenging educational opportunities and supporting them as needed through these challenges.”