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South Shore Outstanding Teacher Awards Go to Urioste, Bryant
June 2004
Two Receive South Shore Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher Awards
Two Receive South Shore Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher Awards

Sue Bryant (left), first grade teacher at Omaha, and Sharon Urioste (right), high school English and history teacher at Bruno-Pyatt, received the first South Shore Foundation Outstanding Teacher Awards. The foundation’s chairperson, Jodie Elizabeth Jeffrey, is shown congratulating the longtime teachers. Each teacher also received $1,000. To learn more about the annual awards, call South Shore Foundation at 1-888-SSHORE1.

Two longtime teachers in the area received the first South Shore Foundation Outstanding Teacher Awards at their separate school graduation ceremonies May 14.

At Bruno-Pyatt, a high school English, journalism, and history teacher, Sharon G. Urioste, was selected in the high school division of the awards program. At Omaha, a first grade teacher, Sue Bryant, received the elementary division award.

The South Shore Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award carries a $1,000 gift to the teacher. To be eligible for nomination, a teacher must have four years of teaching experience and be employed in a South Shore area school: Flippin, Yellville-Summit, Bruno-Pyatt, Lead Hill, Omaha, or Bergman.

South Shore Board of Directors Chairperson Jodie Elizabeth Jeffrey said the foundation was pleased to create this award, which will be an annual event for teachers in the South Shore area schools. "With the challenges teachers face, it is good to reward those who excel," she commented.

Ms. Urioste has spent nearly her entire 35-year career at Bruno-Pyatt, with the exception of her first two years when she taught at Boise City, Okla., then at Yellville-Summit. She was a faculty member at the old Pyatt High School for the years 1972-74 before it merged with the Bruno school district. She was named Teacher of the Year at Bruno-Pyatt in 1998.

"Through her high expectations and constant encouragement, Ms. Urioste motivates her students to excel," according to the high school principal, Rusty Blevins.

A graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University at Shawnee, Okla., Ms. Urioste was initially licensed to teach English and history. She received additional certifications to teach other subjects in Arkansas as follows: journalism in 1980, economics in 1987, and Advanced Placement English in 2003. At present she is the yearbook advisor and student council sponsor, senior sponsor, and in the past has been junior or senior class sponsor working numerous times on the annual proms and senior trips.

First grade teacher Sue Bryant at Omaha has taught first grade for 25 years, all at Omaha, and tutors students after school three days a week for an hour and a half. She is coordinator of the Elementary Parent Involvement Center. Mrs. Bryant said one of her greatest accomplishments was being able to create an outdoor classroom as a teaching tool for preschool through 12th grade and the community.

"If there ever was a natural for first graders, it is Sue," said Randy Center, a principal at Omaha. Students of Mrs. Bryant's have achieved model classroom designation in accelerated reading for the past three years. This year her students reached the master classroom level with each student reading at least two books per week and maintaining an average score of 85% accuracy on testing questions for 16 straight weeks.

Mrs. Bryant began her education at North Arkansas Community College, then continued her studies at College of the Ozarks at Point Lookout, Mo. Ten years later, she earned a master's degree in elementary education at Southwest Missouri State University at Springfield, Mo. She was certified to teach grades 1-8 in Missouri and grades 1-6 in Arkansas. She has been a Cooperating Teacher overseeing seven student teachers from the College of the Ozarks.

Nominations are accepted from principals, colleagues, parents, and students, and must be accompanied by letters of support and evidence of student achievement in the subjects taught by the nominee. The entries were judged by a panel of Arkansas State University Mountain Home faculty members.

South Shore Foundation is the charitable foundation of the Northern Arkansas Telephone Company. The foundation's board of directors meets quarterly and makes grants to nonprofit agencies serving the South Shore area to advance education, preserve the environment, develop the area economy, and improve communities. For more information or to receive a grant application, call 1-888-SSHORE1 (774-6731).

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South Shore • 301 East Main Street • P.O. Box 209 • Flippin, AR 72634
Phone: (870) 453-8800 • Toll Free: 1-800-775-6682

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