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• Luke W. Jackson, a 2020 graduate of Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock, has received a Rotary Youth Exchange Scholarship to further his education in French-speaking Switzerland. Jackson was one of two students in Arkansas to receive this scholarship.

• Dr. Neil Oatsvall, a history instructor at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, has been named this year's Arkansas History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The Gilder Lehrman Institute is the nation's leading organization dedicated to kindergarten-through-12th-grade American history education. Inaugurated in 2004, the award highlights the importance of history education, honoring exceptional American history teachers from elementary school through high school. The award honors one K-12 teacher from each state, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense schools and U.S. territories. In the fall, the National History Teacher of the Year will be selected from the pool of state winners. Oatsvall attributed the honor to his students' classroom efforts and the inspiration from his fellow educators. As an alumnus of the University of North Carolina, Oatsvall referred to longtime Tar Heels coach Dean Smith's way of accepting recognition for achievements. "When Dean Smith won his first national championship in 1982, he declared that winning the big game did not make him any better of a coach than he had been before it," Oatsvall said. "In the spirit of Coach Smith, I am honored to accept this award in the name of my students and ASMSA. No teacher could have ever asked for a better set of students or place to be with them in the classroom. Any recognition I receive is truly a testament to the brilliance and hard work of my students and the standards of excellence set every day by my talented colleagues." Oatsvall completed his undergraduate work in Asian Studies (Japanese language) and history at the University of North Carolina. He received his master's degree from North Carolina State University and his doctorate from the University of Kansas, both in history. Oatsvall currently serves as chairman of the Humanities and Fine Arts Department, and serves as a history and social science instructor at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts. He has published in various outlets, including Agricultural History, Environment and History, and Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. His book manuscript is under advanced contract with the University of Alabama Press. Oatsvall is recognized for transferring his passion for history research into his teaching at Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, especially in his United States history classes and humanities capstone research class, which he co-teaches. In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts will receive a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials, and recognition at a ceremony in Arkansas.

Arkansas Achievers is an opportunity to give recognition to Arkansans for their achievements.

Civilian and military achievements are accepted.

Please follow these guidelines:


1) Must be an Arkansan or have graduated from a school in Arkansas.

2) Received an award, scholarship, medal or promotion.

Pageants, deans' lists, graduations or military enlistments are not accepted.

No photographs please.

To submit an Achiever email us at with the words "Arkansas Achievers" in the subject line.


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