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First Arts Teacher of the Year Award Presented to Amy Bramlett-Turner

 Hot Springs School District dance teacher Amy Bramlett-Turner poses with Sarah Burns, District 6 board member for Arkansans for the Arts, and Jean Lacefield, board chairperson, after receiving the Arkansas Fine Arts Teacher of the Year Award.

HOT SPRINGS -- On April 4, 2024, Amy Bramlett-Turner, a teacher at the Hot Springs School District (HSSD) was awarded the inaugural Arkansas Fine Arts Teacher of the Year Award at a surprise ceremony during the district’s Spring Dance Concert: Turning Through the Pages at the Hot Springs Junior Academy. Arkansas State Rep. Les Warren joined by ARftA Board Chair Jean Lacefield, board members Mary Zunick and Sarah Burns (ex officio) announced the award and presented Bramlett-Turner a proclamation, certificate and a one thousand dollars stipend. 

Bramlett-Turner was nominated by Hot Springs School District Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Nehus and teacher Laura West. She is the HSSD dance director for grades 7-12 where she teaches and leads dance classes for over 150 students. She is also the secondary arts coordinator for all arts contents and the founder and director of the Hot Springs Dance Troupe. 

As an educator Bramlett-Turner has worked with the Connected Arts Network to provide professional development; National Coalition for Arts Standards to create national dance standards; National Dance Education Organization and Arkansas Dance Network to support and mentor fellow dance educators; and the Arkansas Department of Education to create state dance standards and dance licensure pathways.

"My mission is to create a safe environment where students can build self-confidence, develop technique in classical and contemporary styles, build a foundation for leadership skills and community involvement, define their voice as an artist, and cultivate relationships within the studio, school, and community to inspire creative, acceptance, and appreciation of the arts,” said Bramlett-Turner.

Bramlett-Turner has worked tirelessly to foster community partnerships with such organizations as the Thea Foundation, Relay For Life, Head Start, Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, iCan Dance, Ballet Arkansas, and many more. She has given her students countless opportunities within the arts and beyond.

The Arkansans for the Arts Fine Arts Teacher of the Year (AFATOY) program aims to recognize excellence in arts education. The award focuses on educators who provide Arkansas students with quality arts education, advocate for the arts in education, and engage in the arts within the community. Nominations for the 2025 award will open in the Fall. Sign up to receive updates from Arkansans for the Arts, including information on nominating your favorite arts educator.

Read more at The Sentinel-Record.


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