Return to Headlines

April Board of Education Recognitions

School Board Meeting

April 23, 2018


Superintendent’s Star Award Winners

Alan Calvillo, a sixth grader at Pike Elementary, is the son of Cecilia and Ramiro Calvillo. Alan was nominated by Principal Monica Austin because he is a very conscientious and responsible student, and an extraordinary person. He is an honor roll student and a member of the morning announcement team.  He participates in District STEM Wars challenges and has great ambitions. He plans to finish high school and attend college. Alan aspires to be an electrical engineer or a computer programmer.

Jaclyn Evans is the daughter of Jaclyn and Mark Fisk and she is a fifth grader at Orr Elementary School. Principal Pat Cagle says that Jaclyn is a natural leader in the classroom. She is a hard worker and a great citizen. She is always willing to help other students and teachers, and is always looking for ways to improve. Her positive attitude and leadership skills make her a valuable addition to her school and we are proud to be able to recognize her.

Caleb Ferguson is the son of Caroline Ferguson and a sixth grader at Ballman Elementary. Principal Lori Griffin nominated Caleb because he is the embodiment of a student reaching success.  He demonstrates mastery of content skills and exhibits great character.  Other students mention how kind and helpful Caleb is. Recently, a fifth grader commented that Caleb’s kindness start a domino effect in the school.  Caleb’s actions are natural and he makes everyone want to be a better person.

Ryan Gaytan is the son of Brenda Frias and a sixth grader at Barling Elementary.  Principal Carl Hill says that Ryan is the most respectful student in his classroom. He is a Straight A student who always completes his assignments. Ryan follows Barling’s PRIDE motto: Politeness, Respect, Integrity, Discipline, and Excellence. He is a safety patrol leader and cares about the safety younger students. He has also completed requirements to graduate from English as a Second Language instructional programming. Mr. Hill notes that Barling is very proud of the tremendous progress Ryan has made toward his goals.

Misael Jaramillo the son of Maria Jaramillo and he is in the second grade at Sunnymede Elementary.  Principal Krystle Smith that Misael demonstrates perseverance in his learning, making great progress in his reading and math. He always shows a growth mindset, working until an assignment is complete. He does all of this with a huge smile!

Denver Kaylor is the son of Chris and Jessica Kaylor.  A fourth grader at Fairview Elementary, Denver was nominated by Principal Peggy Walter because he always puts the needs of others first and looks out for his classmates. He has a constant smile that is contagious to those around him. Denver is one of those students who never gives up. When he is challenged academically, he always rises to the challenge and perseveres.  Denver sets a positive example for his classmates and friends by always following the rules, coming to school prepared, showing respect to others, and treating everyone equally.

Kevin Luevano is the son of Glen Minix and Maria Luevano. He is an outstanding fifth grader at Howard Elementary School. Principal Velmar Green says Kevin has grown, not just academically but in his behavior as well. His teachers think he is a true joy to teach and a quiet and humble leader.  Kevin has such a kind heart and always displays good manners.  He works hard to help others to make strong choices. He is a true example of a serving leader.

Luke Mireles is the son of Gabriela Morales and he is a sixth grader at Cavanaugh Elementary. According to Principal Hank Needham, Luke is a proven and exemplary leader.  He has served as captain of the Safety Patrol and is vice president of the K-Kids Service Club. Luke makes sure that he and his peers fulfill responsibilities.  He has earned the respect of students and teachers alike by being a friend to all. He maintains straight A’s and has been honored as “Student of the Month” and “Student of the Quarter” every year he has been at Cavanaugh.

Piper Murray is the daughter of Linda Murray. As a fourth grader at Beard Elementary, Principal Pam Siebenmorgen says that Piper is an exceptional leader.  She follows all of the habits of excellence emphasized at Beard and understands why they are so important. Piper is a hard worker and goes beyond expectation. She is selfless, gentle and cares for others in a way that is not expected of a student her age. Most of her classmates aspire to be like her and do the right thing, even if no one is looking.

Kaden Starr Collier is the son of Fallon Brewer and is in the second grade at Bonneville Elementary. Principal Sharla Whitson says that Kaden comes to school with a smile on his face every day.  He loves to listen to others reading out loud and also loves reading to his classmates. Kaden embraces challenges and perseveres with confidence even if whatever he is working on takes multiple attempts.  He is a good friend who demonstrates loyalty and helps those who need it.  He joyfully approaches life with a good attitude.

Congratulations to the Fort Smith Public Schools April Superintendent Star Award winners!


Each month FSPS recognizes and celebrates what students accomplish in academic, athletic and activity competitions.

  • Jackson Wollscheid, an 8th grader at Chaffin Junior High School, won first place the National History Bee and National History Bowl over Spring Break. He is the only student to have an undefeated tournament record too! His wins qualified him for the championship finals in Germany. Amy Markham is his advisor. 
  • Isaiah Joe is Gatorade’s 2018 Arkansas Basketball Player of the Year. The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, and high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, and it distinguishes Joe as Arkansas’ best high school boys basketball player. Additionally, Joe is an All-State honoree, a member of the Southwest Times Record All-Region team, USA TODAY’s ALL-USA Arkansas First Team, a Vision 2023 team member and a youth basketball camp volunteer. He has done all of this maintaining a 3.76 GPA. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at the University of Arkansas this fall, and as a Gatorade Player of the Year, Isaiah will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.

Student Journalists

The Arkansas Scholastic Press Association state conference was held in Fort Smith this past weekend. Southside High School Journalism Advisor Susan Coyler and her students had another successful year receiving the following awards.

  • Newspaper Editors of the Year- Gia Berklund and Kayla Curry
  • Designer of the Year- Maggi Bodiford
  • Best of Arkansas Scholastic Press Association

Maggi Bodiford and Taylor Stubblefield- Yearbook Theme Development

Maggi Bodiford-Centerspread Design 

  • First Place On-Site Contests

Maggi Bodiford-Yearbook Computer Generated Advertising 

Melanie Rice-Newspaper Computer Generated Advertising 

  • All-Arkansas Awards

Southworld, Editors—Gia Berklund and Kayla Curry

Southworld, Online Editor—Melanie Rice

Southerner, Editors—Taylor Stubblefield and Maggi Bodiford  

  • Arkansas Press Women

Maggi Bodiford qualifies for national competition with her first place win in Design


Southside High School Future Business Leaders of America won state recognition as the largest chapter membership in Arkansas, and the following students qualify to go to the National Leadership Conference in Baltimore this summer because of their success at the recent Arkansas competition. Kelley Todd is their advisor.

First place winners:

  • Evan Perez, Tony Thach, & Nate English in 3D Animation
  • Noah Foster, Business Law
  • Wesley Schwartz, Will Robinson, & Wyatt Robinson, Digital Video Production
  • Stephanie Nguyen, Jennifer Pham, & Brooklyn Poole, E-Business
  • Keaton Black, Tyler Saitang, & Martin Tran, Network Design
  • Bryan Zavaleta Arens, Personal Finance
  • Madelene Riché, Public Speaking

Second Place Winners:

  • JT Jones & Emily Stouffer, Business Financial Plan
  • Kate Haddock, McKayla Phan, & Caitlyn Phan, Business Plan
  • Sarah Long, Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure
  • Maggi Bodiford & Chandler Littleton, Local Chapter Annual Business Report
  • Mackenzie Shell, Jenna Hunter, Amy Truitt, Ford Maurras, & Morgan Baugh, Parliamentary Procedure
  • John Freeny, Terry Uhm, & Walli Zaman, Social Media Campaign
  • Miles Epperson, Word Processing

Third Place Winners:

  • John Freeny, Will Robinson, & Wyatt Robinson, American Enterprise Project
  • Dominik Garretson, Dania Rahal, & Skyler Simpkins, Emerging Business Issues
  • Wyatt Robinson, Who’s Who in Arkansas FBLA

Fourth Place

  • Kaitlyn Slater, Emily Weaver, & Breanna Padilla, Mobile Application Development

 Fifth Place

  • Will Robinson, Who’s Who in Arkansas FBLA

 Top 6 Finalists

  • Ben Jimenez, Client Service
  • Stone Vaughn, Future Business Leader
  • Carol Phan, Website Design

Top Ten Finalists

  • Persephone Himes & Blakelynn Roberson, Banking & Financial Systems
  • Kate Keyser, Lilly Smith, & Tran Nguyen, Computer Game & Simulation Programming
  • Zac Hernandez & Bren Schilling, Entrepreneurship
  • Tatum Castaneda, Help Desk
  • Wesley Schwartz, Andrew Kutchka, & Dominik Garretson, Partnership with Business


  • Dominik Garretson, Who’s Who in Arkansas FBLA Recognition
  • Southside FBLA earned the Hollis & Kitty Guy Gold Seal Award of Merit at the state level and will be one of only eight Arkansas chapters recommended to National FBLA for national recognition.
  • Southside FBLA also earned the FBLA Glow Up Award for increasing local membership.

 National Business Achievement Awards—Future Level (first level)

  • John Freeny
  • Dominik Garretson
  • Will Robinson
  • Wyatt Robinson
  • Terry Uhm
  • Emily Weaver
  • Walli Zaman

 National Business Achievement Awards—Business Level (second level)

  • Will Robinson
  • Wyatt Robinson
  • Emily Weaver

 National Business Achievement Awards—Leader Level (third level)

  • Will Robinson
  • Wyatt Robinson

 National Business Achievement Awards—America Level (fourth & final level)

  • Will Robinson
  • Wyatt Robinson

 National Community Service Achievement Awards—Community Level (50 hours, first level)

  • Maggi Bodiford
  • Allison Brannan
  • John Freeny
  • Kate Haddock
  • Sheena Qiu
  • Tyler Saitang
  • Emily Stouffer

 National Community Service Achievement Awards—Service Level (200 hours, second level)

  • John Freeny
  • Sheena Qiu
  • Emily Stouffer

 National Community Service Achievement Awards—Achievement Level (500 hours, third & final level)

  • Sheena Qiu

 FBLA Clinton Leadership Training

  • Adama Barnett
  • Hayden Blythe
  • Miles Epperson
  • Kaelyn Hawkins
  • Lauren Leroy
  • Ashley Martinez Figueroa
  • Clay Montgomery
  • Mary Ruple
  • Olivia Shock
  • Brock Slater
  • Kaitlyn Tran
  • Alyssa Truong

State Officers

  • Wyatt Robinson completed his term as Arkansas FBLA State Treasurer. Wyatt was the first State Treasurer from Fort Smith Southside.
  • John Freeny was elected Arkansas FBLA State President. John is the first State President from Southside High School.
  • Terry Uhm was selected as Arkansas FBLA State Parliamentarian.

Scholarship Winners

  • Will Robinson, Heather Stocks Scholarship Award, $350
  • Wyatt Robinson, Mary Alice Elam Scholarship Award, $400
  • Wyatt Robinson, Hettie Lou Martin Scholarship Award, $1,000


 Arkansas PTA Reflections Awards

Every year many of our students enter the Arkansas PTA Reflections Contest and every year many of those students win in a variety of categories. With 1,043 entries in various categories, Fort Smith Public School District students won 47 awards. The purpose of the National PTA Reflections program is to encourage artistic creativity. The theme for 2017-2018 was “Within Reach” nine students earned first place recognition.




Oliver Durham, Fairview Elementary won first place in the Intermediate Music division

High School

Kenneth Pham, Southside High School, won first place in the High School Music division.

Special Artist

Alejandro Perez, Sutton Elementary, won first place in the Special Artist division.




Sawyer Walter, Cook Elementary, won first place in the Primary Photography division.


Ellia Crase, Chaffin Junior High, won first place in the Intermediate Photography division.

Visual Art

Special Artist

Breanna Cross, Sutton Elementary, won first place in the Special Artist Visual Art division.


Mackenzie Bohanan, Fairview Elementary, won first place in the Intermediate Visual Art division.


Melanny Correa, Sutton Elementary, won first place in the Middle Level Visual Art division.


Film Production


Jackson Austin, Fairview Elementary, won first place in the Middle Level Film Production division.

High School

Wesley Schwartz, Southside High School, won first place in the High School Film Production division.


Dance Choreography


Jaylen Lee, Cook Elementary, won first place in the Intermediate Dance Choreography division.


Additionally District staff and PTA volunteers often receive recognition for their service to PTA and the students for whom PTAs nationwide advocate.  

  • Kelly Daniels, Darby Junior High School Counselor, received the Arkansas PTA Heroic Effort Award.
  • Cook Elementary School PTA received the Arkansas Safety Award.


Other students who won in their divisions include:



2nd-Olivia Lee Fairview Elementary PTA Fort Smith

HM-Ryleigh Fondren Carnall PTA Fort Smith


2nd-Arantxa Cruz Sutton Elementary PTA Fort Smith

3rd-Alee Thongprachanh Barling PTA Barling




1st-Sawyer Walter Cook Elementary PTA Fort Smith

1st-Elan Knight Valley View Elementary PTA Jonesboro


3rd-Ciera Still Northside High School Fort Smith

HM-Cooper Zuerker Northside High School Fort Smith

HM-Savannah Parker Southside High School PTSA Fort Smith

HM-Haleigh House Southside High School PTSA Fort Smith


Visual Art


2nd-Neri Banchi Sunnymede PTA Fort Smith


1st-Mackenzie Bohanan Fairview Elementary PTA Fort Smith

2nd-Kendall Nobles Euper Lane Elementary PTA Fort Smith

3rd-Molly Simms Cook Elementary PTA Fort Smith


3rd-Erendire Vanegas Trusty PTA Fort Smith


2nd-Anthony G. Tello Southside High School PTSA

HM-Hannah Bender Southside High School PTSA




2nd-Slate Stanton Chaffin Junior High PTA Fort Smith




2nd-Malachi Drane Fairview Elementary PTA Fort Smith

3rd-Sydney Klein Chaffin Jr High Fort Smith

HM-Shekinah Donahue Chaffin Junior High Fort Smith


3rd-Jhoana Ornelas Chaffin Junior High Fort Smith

HM-Alexis Brogdon Chaffin Junior High Fort Smith




2nd-Emery Liggett Euper Lane Elementary Fort Smith

HM-Rachel Settle Cook Elementary PTA Fort Smith

HM-Valeina Kwo Cook Elementary PTA

HM-Marely Diaz Sutton Elementary Fort Smith


2nd-Justice Franks Bonneville Elementary Fort Smith

3rd-Austin Herring Bonneville Elementary Fort Smith

HM-Devin Huggins Bonneville Elementary Fort Smith

Congratulations Reflections winners! They will be recognized for these accomplishments at the State PTA Convention in Fort Smith on April 27.


Educators & Staff

Travis Minor Chaffin Junior High School Social Studies Teacher received top honors when he was named as the recipient of the Sarah Fountain Outstanding Novice Teacher at the National History Day State Competition.

Mr. Minor graduated from UAFS in December of 2014. In 2016-2017, he started National History Day as an extracurricular after-school activity. The response from the students was incredible. He even had a student advance to the National contest in Washington D.C. ​The award Mr. Minor received recognizes successes gained quickly, participation at the national level, participation in History Day professional development, and working with other schools and the US Marshal's Museum to build a program at Chaffin that has never existed there before.