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Candy Tennison

Candy Tennison (AR '98)


At the time of the Award, Candy Tennison was:

University Heights Elementary School
Jonesboro, AR

Subject(s) taught: Science
Grade(s): 1

Biographical Information

Candy Tennison, first-grade teacher and science coordinator at University Heights Elementary School in Jonesboro, combines humor, drama, costumes and props with expert pedagogy to animate and inspire learning. The entire first grade rotates through her classroom for their science lessons each week. She and a colleague developed a phonics program in which the letters of the alphabet become puppet-like characters, interacting in amusing ways. The success of this program led them to publish a book entitled Phonetic Phollies. Other ways in which Mrs. Tennison makes learning fun include dressing up in various costumes or filling her classroom with live animals. She is a frequent presenter at education conferences and has helped teach graduate courses at Arkansas State University. Her most recent accomplishment was earning National Board Certification.

Additional Information


2012 Author of Phonetic Phollies


2004 National First Grade Teacher of the Year

1996 Presidential Award for Teaching Elementary Science


2001 National Board Certification

1986 Masters Degree as Reading Specialist

1979 Arkansas State University - Jonesboro, B.A.