A language arts teacher at Palestine Wheatley High School has been named the 2014 Arkansas Teacher of the Year.
A surprise ceremony was held Monday in Palestine honoring Jonathan Crossley.
Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Tom Kimbrell says Crossley stood out because of strong student test scores and his innovative teaching approach.
Crossley teaches 11th and 12th grade English and oral communication, and also serves as the drama director and literary coach at Palestine Wheatley.
He has been a teacher for four years and also served as the girls basketball coach from 2010 to 2013.
Under state law, the Arkansas Teacher of the Year can take a year of paid administrative leave to serve in an advisory position to the Arkansas State Board of Education.