Little Rock, Ark. — July 12, 2017 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and the Arkansas Rural Education Association recently named Leonda Holthoff of the Star City School District and Marilyn Pangle of the Yellville-Summit School District as the 2017 Arkansas Rural Teachers of the Year.

Leonda Holthoff is an upper level science teacher at the Star City School District. She has also taught at Watson Chapel, Dumas and Monticello in content ranging from English, math, science and technology. Holthoff believes in participating in the community as well with service from teaching Sunday School to Women’s League activities. She has assisted her students in developing their educational independence while realizing that educators must model flexibility in meeting the needs of their students. She has differentiated applied learning, used alternative assignments, cooperative learning groups and multi-level questioning.

Marilyn Pangle is a third-grade teacher at Yellville-Summit where she has taught since 1999. In addition, she is the Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Planning chair for her building and is also assistant federal program coordinator. She has chaired AdvancEd processes, supervised student interns, served as mentor teacher and presented staff development programs. She said her greatest contributions come from the students with which she works. She believes it is important for home, school and the community to work together to ensure students’ academic and social success.

The Rural Teacher of the Year Award winner is selected based on the quality and depth of answers to questions in the following categories: professional biography, educational history, professional development, community involvement, teaching philosophy, education issues and the teaching profession.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.

For additional information, contact:
Rob Roedel, Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, 501.570.2296 or