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TASD names teacher, employee of the year

by From Staff Reports | June 14, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.
Jessica Bilbo, left, and Fina Keys (Photo courtesy of TASD)

TEXARKANA, Ark. -- The Texarkana Arkansas School District announced its teacher and employee of the year on Tuesday.

Jessica Bilbo, Library Media Specialist at Harmony Leadership Academy, was named TASD Teacher of the Year. And Fina Keys was named TASD Classified Employee of the Year.

Bilbo is a National Board Certified Librarian and assisted in writing the 2013 Arkansas Library Media Curriculum Frameworks. Over the past 14 years, she has written successful grants totaling over $38,000 for the library. Bilbo is also the campus webmaster and Facebook manager, as well as a member of the Lighthouse Team and Arkansas Leadership Academy.

She received her bachelor's degree in education and master's of education in library media and information from Southern Arkansas University. While attending, she was a member of the President's Ambassadors and Alpha Sigma Alpha.

"I believe that all students should have access to books that will create lifelong readers and critical thinkers," Bilbo said in a news release.

Keys is a graduate of Arkansas Senior High School, as well as Texarkana College. She presently works in the Texarkana Arkansas School District and was recently named the 2021-2022 Paraprofessional of the Year. She serves in the self-contained special education classroom on the campus of Harmony Leadership Academy.

This is the first year TASD recognized Classified Employee of the Year.

"Classified (non-certified) employees are vital staff members who play key roles in creating an environment that promotes student achievement, safety, and health," according to a TASD press release.

"They work hand-in-hand with teachers and administrators to transport our students to and from school, keep our facilities safe and maintained, handle clerical and fiscal responsibilities, maintain computers and infrastructure, and provide extra support directly to our students."

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