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Fort Smith Adult Education Center

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Friday, April 10 is our next Friday Career Workshop, Preparing for Job Interviews. 

This workshop provides practical steps to help participants anticipate common interview questions and discuss responses to tough questions in advance. Participants will explore appropriate dress for interviews and the workplace. Mock interviews will give participants extra practice and the confidence needed for that next interview. Visit our website for more information or call 784-8185.

Coeta Dooly had wanted to attend culinary arts school since 1990 when she opened her firstbusiness, Coeta’s Country Kitchen. This dream seemed impossible as she was married, had two daughters, and was working at Whirlpool while running her own business.  After about 10 years, Coeta closed her business and opened a small catering service, called Manna, a few years later. Coeta had planned to run her catering business and to continue working at Whirlpool until retirement age. Her plans changed when the factory closed. Once again, culinary arts school was in Coeta’s mind, but at age 55, she thought her age would keep her from being accepted into a program.

Coeta then enrolled in adult education classes with many of her Whirlpool co-workers to refresh her academic skills. She surprised herself when she saw her test scores. This made her realize she
had the skills to enter college. Coeta looked at several schools and decided on the culinary arts program at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. This was a huge decision as her home was in Lavaca, Arkansas, as was her husband of 37 years. He supported her decision to follow her dream, so she lived in Okmulgee during the week and went home on weekends.

During the two years Coeta was enrolled at OSUIT, she excelled and earned a 4.0 grade point average  every semester. She stated that she learned more than she had ever thought was possible, had wonderful instructors, and made life-long friends who are now chefs as well.

Coeta completed her internship at the restaurant in Mount Magazine State Park in Arkansas on December 12, 2014. They were impressed with her abilities and hired her immediately. She has been working as a chef there since December 23, 2014, with excellent pay and benefits. Coeta has already been allowed to produce a new menu and to make several positive changes in the kitchen.

Coeta credits her adult education instructors for encouraging her to follow her dream by attending OSUIT and earning her degree.  She truly is a success and has proven that you can start over at any age. Congratulations, Coeta!

We hope everyone enjoyed Spring break! Classes resume on Monday, March 30.  


Build your career skills with free workshops taught by a certified Career Development Facilitator. Workshops will be from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 pm in Room 204.  Our next workshop is on Friday, April 3.


Technology is playing a huge role in the educational process for our students at the Fort Smith Adult Education Center. Ms. Trang Ha is visually impaired and is improving her academic skills at our center using Braille Sense US S/W technology. “The technology allows me the ability to read, type, and listen. I can surf the web and easily interpret what is on the screen, even when my teacher emails MS Word documents to me. The program can talk to me, and I can improve my listening, and comprehension skills as well as build my vocabulary and grammar skills,” she explained. The technology is user friendly with a regular desktop or laptop computer.

Trang Ha is currently researching her options for future educational goals. “I may want to become a teacher for the blind or an accountant.” Trang and her tutor Heather Prescott work together two nights a week to help her obtain her goals.

The teachers and staff at the Fort Smith Adult Education Center are pleased to be a partner with Trang as she works towards achieving her academic goals!

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Copyright © 2015 Fort Smith Public Schools   |  479-785-2501
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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