Return to Headlines

Teachers, Schools and Staff among many November Board Recognitions

Board of Education Recognitions  |  November 2018

Woods Elementary first-grade teachers Tracy Floyd, Rheachel Hendricks and Kristina Thrift, are winners in the 23rd Annual Bessie B. Moore Arkansas Awards Program for Excellence in Teaching Economics with their entry Economics Comes Naturally in the Natural State. They were recognized on November 7, 2018 and join a long line of Woods teachers who are known for excellence in economics education.

Kevin Kaelin, Physical Education teacher at Sutton Elementary, was named the 2018 Elementary P.E. Teacher of the Year by the Arkansas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (ArkAHPERD). Mr. Kaelin is a 24-year veteran physical education teacher with 20 of those years at Sutton. He has received more than $100,000 dollars in grants for Sutton. He sponsors the 6th grade fishing derby, and he has hosted a school-wide dance program coming up on December 4 for 15 years. This fun and energetic activity is so popular that they have had to move it to Kimmons Junior High.

Cavanaugh and Sutton Elementary Schools and Chaffin Junior High have earned recognition by the Office for Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas with Outstanding Educational Performance Awards: Highlighting High-Growth Arkansas Schools, 2018.

Cavanaugh was recognized in Top 20 Elementary Schools in Arkansas based on Overall ACT Aspire Growth, Top 10 Elementary Schools in Arkansas based on ACT Aspire ELA Growth and in the Top 5 Elementary Schools in Arkansas by Region, ELA Growth -- Northwest Region.

Sutton was recognized in the Top 10 Elementary Schools in Arkansas based on ACT Aspire ELA Growth.

Chaffin Junior High received the Statewide High Overall Growth: Middle Level, Statewide High ELA Growth: Middle Level, High Overall Growth: Middle Level (Northwest Region) and High ELA Growth: Middle Level (Northwest Region).

Hank Needham, principal at Cavanaugh Elementary School and 33-year veteran educator and administrator, has received the Life Achievement Award from the National PTA. This is the highest honor given to PTA members and leaders. It recognizes a person who lives out his or her commitment to children on a daily basis and tirelessly advocates for children's education, health and well-being. Mr. Needham was nominated for this important recognition by the Cavanaugh PTA for his work in developing the Cavanaugh Park near Cavanaugh Elementary School.

Dr. Gary Udouj, director of the Fort Smith Adult Education Center, was elected by his peers as the president of the Arkansas Association of Continuing and Adult Education (AACAE). As the Director of the center since 2008 he has served in the leadership teams of his professional organizations. And, he has been recognized by many for outstanding service. Additionally, he contributes his leadership skill as a volunteer in many capacities including as a graduate from Leadership Fort Smith, serving on the Mercy Board of Advisors since 2013 and currently the BOST Board of Directors president.



November Superintendent Stars

Superintendent’s Star Award Winners

Superintendent Stars are selected for this recognition as students who are exceptional citizens and who consistently make good choices.

Malia Burnett is the daughter of Michelle and Eric Burnett.  She is a sixth grader at Orr Elementary. Principal Dawn Childress nominated Malia because she is dependable and she works hard, putting great effort into her school work. She is a leader in her classroom, and is a positive role model to her first-grade reading buddy. Students at Orr know that they can look to Malia for support whenever they need it!

Carlie Burris is in the sixth grade at Barling Elementary School and she is the daughter of Adam and Susan Burris.  According to Principal Carl Hill, Carlie has the qualities of a super citizen. Honesty—She tells you like it is. Compassion—for her fellow classmates. Respect, for herself and others. Responsibility, for her actions. Accountability, for herself.  Courage, to do the things that may be difficult or unpopular. She takes pride in her behavior and celebrates those around her.

Kimberly Dimas is also a sixth grader and is the daughter of Marisa and Heriberto Dimas.  She was nominated by Tilles Elementary Principal Regina Thompson to receive the Superintendent’s Star Award because she is a bright leader who works hard in the hearing-impaired classroom. She is a natural caregiver and a true friend to the other students in Ms. Bobb's class. Kimberly is eager to help others communicate with her and she teaches them some sign language during lunch and recess!

Sixth-Grader Nelso Gonzalez is a leader at Fairview Elementary School. He is the son of Lucia Gonzalez and Juan Raymundo and was nominated by Principal Peggy Walter because he demonstrates a positive attitude in all situations. He is always prepared for class and his willingness to help others goes above and beyond expectations. Nelso possesses strong leadership abilities and displays exemplary behavior. He is model citizen at Fairview Elementary. 

Sunnymede Kindergartner Julissa Guzman is the daughter of Maribel Hernandez and Jose Guzman. Principal Krystle Smith nominated Julissa because in spite of an illness called Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia that requires her to take chemotherapy, she never complains. She is always following procedures, doing her best work, listening, and helping others in her classroom.  Even though she doesn't always feel good, she is at school every day--unless she has to go to a doctor’s appt. She is a superhero at Sunnymede!

Ballman Principal Lori Griffin selected second grader Sadie McGaugh because she says that Sadie, who is the daughter of Kenna McGaugh, is an incredibly kind young lady and an absolute ray of sunshine. She loves making others happy by joking or playing tricks on them. AND, she loves learning! Sadie, who is making the world a better place just by knowing her, also happens to be a type I diabetic. She doesn’t let this illness cause her to fall behind. She can’t wait to return to class and often asks, “What did I miss?!” It is particularly appropriate then that Ballman’s star student for November, 2018, which is National Diabetes Awareness Month, just happens to be Ballman’s sweet and kind, Sadie McGaugh.

Beard second grader Sparrow Musgrove is the daughter of Leah and Wesley Musgrove. Principal Pam Siebenmorgen selected Sparrow to receive the Star award because she is a model student who earns praise from Beard teachers because of her behavior and positive attitude. She has a kind and caring heart and is a role model at school and at home. She works hard and applies the 7 Habits and Essential 10 at school and at home every day.

Titan Nicely
is the son of Crystal Shores and Daniel Nicely. He was nominated by Pike Elementary Principal Monica Austin who says that Titan is a very positive influence at Pike and is excelling in his reading and math. He is a mediator for problem solving on the playground. This helps to ensure that other students stay safe. He is also the student ambassador for his classroom. His teacher, Ms. Duncan, Ms. Austin and others are very proud of the progress that Titan continues to make in school!

Demarion Raullerson is in Kindergarten at Howard Elementary. He has matured tremendously since the beginning of school. His efforts are noticeable throughout the school building, and he is quickly becoming a model kindergartner.

Trusty Elementary School’s 6th grade STAR Student Manuel Garcia Reyes is an outstanding role model for everyone who knows him. He works hard in class and always strives to do his very best, not just with his academics, but with his positive behavior as well. He is always ready to help in whatever way he can and his calm presence gives assurance to those around him.

Armani Tuttle is a sixth grader at Cavanaugh Elementary and is the daughter of Lena and Nick Tuttle. Principal Hank Needham says that Armani’s vibrant smile and exemplary character have warmed the hearts of Cavanaugh students and teachers throughout seven school years. Dependable, mannerly, respectful and civic-minded, Armani has set the citizenship standard for all Cavanaugh students to emulate. Scholastically, she has distinguished herself by achieving “All A’s”.

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