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Pictured left to right: Ladurl Knight, Eddie Cross, Ron Cloud, Jerry Cloud, Helen Buxton, James Scott, Linda Johnson, Frank Roach, and Don Martin.

Local Teacher Named State VFW Teacher of the Year

BY MELANIE BUCK –

Mrs. Helen Buxton, Special Education English teacher at Cossatot River High School, has been announced as the state’s VFW Teacher of the Year. The Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year award contest recognizes exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students.

Each year, a classroom elementary, junior high, and high school teacher is eligble to be nominated for the award if their curriculum focuses on citizenship education topics for at least half of the school day in a classroom environment.

Helen Buxton was nominated by the local VFW post, #4451, and moved on to win the district level, qualifying her for the state award. Mrs. Buxton was quite surprised to win locally, much less to win the district and state levels. Speaking of her own military family, she said, “We have served and believe in America and the VFW, DAV, and other veterans organizations. You guys do wonderful work.”

She will be honored next month in Little Rock when she receives her official awards. Buxton will now move to the national competition. This is the first district Teacher of the Year winner from Polk County in nearly three decades and the first state winner ever.

The win was announced at a recent meeting of the local VFW. Ron Cloud, Sr. Vice Commander for District 9, of Benton, Arkansas, made the trip for the announcement. He, along with other members of the district, presented Mrs. Buxton with a check for her district win. Cloud said, “When you have a teacher that teaches about the military and things from the past, it’s a big deal. Multiple members of her family have served and are still serving. What an honor to have the state winner come from Polk County!” Other awards will be presented to her at the state convention next month.

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