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Tracy Valentine

Tracy Valentine (AR '10)

Vice Principal

Bragg Elementary School
West Memphis, AR

At the time of the Award, Tracy Valentine was:

Bragg Elementary School
West Memphis, AR

Subject(s) taught: Reading, English/Language
Grade(s): 5, 6

Biographical Information

Rising from extreme poverty in a single-parent household to become the first in her family to graduate high school—much less complete an advanced college degree—Tracy Valentine is the kind of educator who helps kids emerge from difficult situations to attain success. When it comes to achievement, Valentine assumes all responsibility for what happens in her classroom at Bragg Elementary School in West Memphis, AR. Not only do her students tout marked improvement in test scores, but her fellow instructors also credit Valentine for much of Bragg’s impressive performance. Fifth-grade literacy performance scores totaled 81 percent, compared to the state average of 68 percent.

Characterized by her focus on small group learning and differentiated instruction, Valentine employs a “no excuses” approach in her classroom. She consciously showcases student achievement and makes an effort to get kids involved. She is particularly heralded for incorporating real-world learning by finding news articles that are directly relevant to her students and bringing them out of their shells via open-response prompts.

Additionally, Valentine has demonstrated strong leadership at the school level, sponsoring numerous extracurricular activities and being active on the school’s literacy and math committees. She even steps in as the school’s instructional leader when the principal is out of the building. Valentine sponsors the school’s honor society and serves as a mentor to students at two community colleges—all shining examples of how she goes above and beyond for academic excellence.

Additional Information


2010 Vacation Bible School Teacher Appreciation

2010 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award

2007 Bragg Elementary: Teacher of the Year


2009 National Board Certified Teacher

2005 M.S. Degree: Elementary Education

2002 B.S. Degree Elementary Education


2009 Arkansas Teacher Leadership Academy


2003 In House Presentation: Reading First & No Child Left Behind