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Southside Teacher Selected as 2018 ARKSTE Leadership Award Winner

Oretha Ferguson The Arkansas Society for Technology in Education (ARKSTE) has named Southside High School English Teacher Oretha Ferguson as the 2018 ARKSTE Leadership Award winner. According to ARKSTE’s website, it is “an internationally recognized awards program for educators in the field of educational technology integration in K–12 schools. The program identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation. As an affiliate of the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE), ARKSTE selects a winner and finalists for the statewide Making IT Happen Award.” The award winner receives a plaque and $1000 technology purchase of the winner’s choice and a one year paid membership to ISTE.

“It is a great feeling to receive the award because it highlights the great things that are happening in Fort Smith Public Schools. I am proud to be a part of a district that not only sets high academic standards but also promotes creativity and technology (Spheros, Green Screen projects, digital and physical escape rooms, virtual reality, and so much more) in the classroom,” she said.

Ferguson currently teaches Pre-AP English at Southside High School. She is co-author of The Classroom Management Book with Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong and is featured on She was Fort Smith Public School’s 2010-2011 Teacher-of-the-Year and a 2010-2011 state Teacher-of-the-Year finalist. She presents workshops for her school, the Fort Smith Public School District, Hot Springs Technology Institute (HSTI), Schools Without Walls (SWOW), Technology Information Conference for Administrative Leadership (TICAL), and for educational cooperatives and school districts throughout the state and beyond. She is a part of the Schools Without Walls team and is a member of the Technology Infused Education Cadre, Arkansas Society for Technology in Education (ARKSTE), and the TICAL Community. She teaches in a one-to-one technology-rich classroom. Ferguson graduated from the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville with a Bachelor of Science and is certified to teach business and English. She has been in education for 25 years and has taught for the Fort Smith Public School District for 13 years.