Today . . . and . . . in the Future

Thelma Cortez has been a student at the Fort Smith Adult Education Center for 3 years.  Ms. Cortez attends English classes four days a week.  She always comes to class with a smile and a great attitude.  She is prepared and ready to work hard in class.  In fact, she motivates and helps those students around her.  When Ms. Cortez first started coming to class, she was very shy about speaking and afraid of making mistakes.  Now, however, she practices every day in order to learn English. 

I asked Ms. Cortez to tell me a little bit about herself, and this is what she said.
“I am from El Salvador.  I went to college.  I am a teacher.  I worked for three years as a teacher in El Salvador.  I came to the United States with my family, my brother and sisters.  We left my country because of the civil war that was going on. For me, the culture and the language are difficult to understand.  I’m trying my very best to learn English.  The classes that I have at the AEC are very good.”

You are an excellent student Thelma!  Keep up the good work!

Starting September 30, 2014, adult education classes will meet Tuesday and Thursday nights, 5:00-9:00pm in the beautiful new computer lab at Mansfield High School.

All adult education classes and testing are FREE! Earn your GED diploma, a Career Readiness Certificate, and more.  Call 785-1232 for details.


Dr. Crystal Maree Beshears enrolled at the Fort Smith Adult Education Center in 1995 when she was 17 years old.  “I was a student at Northside High School at the time.   I began classes and enrolled my daughter into the daycare at Adult Ed.
I earned my GED in October of what would have been my senior year in high
school and began college at Westark Community College in January.”

Dr. Beshears earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Arkansas in 2012.   She has worked as a high school Social Studies teacher for Lincoln Schools in Arkansas.  “I had a heart for working with teens due to my
experiences as a teen.”  Beshears has worked as an Instructional Coach at
the district, state, and national levels.  Dr. Beshears also served as
Senior Program Specialist for the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
in 2012/2013 in Arkansas. 

“There were a lot of great teachers at the Adult Education Center and my family supported me. At one time I felt embarrassed with having earned a GED.  When I began graduate school, I was concerned that if people knew I was a teenage mom and had to get my GED that it would hinder me as I moved forward in my career.
Eventually, I decided that I would let me skills, ability, and personality speak for itself.  I feel an obligation to share my story and let other people know that anything is possible.  There were a lot of great teachers at the Adult Education Center and my family supported me.”

Dr. Beshears, the teachers and staff at the Fort Smith Adult Education Center congratulate you for all of your accomplishments. Your story is inspiring!

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PO Box 1948 | 3205 Jenny Lind Road | Fort Smith, Arkansas 72902

In compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws, the Fort Smith Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, genetic information, or disability in its employment or educational practices. If you have questions regarding the professional qualifications of your child's teachers or paraprofessionals, you are encouraged to ask Dr. Annette Henderson, Associate Superintendent for Human Resources and Support Services. • Le invitamos a que hable con la Dra. Annette Henderson si usted tiene alguna pregunta sobre las capacitaciones profesionales de los maestros o asistentes de maestros de sus hijos.

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