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Students, Staff and All-State Athletes Recognized at January's Board Meeting

Board of Education Recognitions  |  January 2019

Superintendent Star Award Winners

Sarah Baldwin is a fifth grader at Howard Elementary. She is the daughter of Medgar and Monica Baldwin. Principal Velmar Greene says that Sarah has been a quiet student who is showing a strong voice this year!  She is taking advantage of the mentoring program at Howard to learn how to talk to adults with confidence.  Sarah continues to set an example for others even when no one is looking. Thank you Sarah, for representing Howard’s great students!

Mackenzie Driver is the daughter of Deidri Pound and James Driver.  She is a sixth grader at Orr Elementary. Principal Dawn Childress nominated Mackenzie because she consistently strives to better her class work and be a leader. Students know that they can count on her to help or be a friend. She tutors kindergartners before school in reading, and her patience and positive attitude has made her a favorite among them. Lead on, Mackenzie!

Kelly Faitala is the son of Kelly and Roberta Faitala.  He is a fifth grader at Ballman Elementary.  Principal Lori Griffin nominated Kelly because he shares his kindness without hesitation.  He is a student who is never seen without a smile on his face. He ALWAYS tries his best to be of service to others.  We are so proud of you, Kelly!!

Parker Jennen is the daughter of Lacey and Aaron Jennen. According to Principal Pam Siebenmorgen, this fifth grader is a true example of selflessness. Last month, Parker organized a group of friends and a penny collection for the Maggie House Children’s Home.  They collected $173.67 for the Children’s Home. Beard is honored to have such a gifted and kind hearted individual on campus!

Lauren LaClair is in sixth grade and is the daughter of Betty and Darrell LaClair.  She was nominated by Barling Principal Carl Hill. Inside of the classroom, Lauren is a diligent student, working hard to achieve her best.  Outside the classroom she offers encouragement to others. She is quick to befriend a new student and show them the ropes, and understands the importance of inquiring about others’ feelings.  Great job, Lauren!

Kevin Luna is currently a sixth grader at Tilles Elementary. He is the son of Jose and Maria Luna.  Principal Regina Thompson says that Kevin is a humble and quiet leader. He is consistent in his positive behavior, work ethic and can be counted on to do the right thing. His personality and outlook is one that serves as an example for others.  Keep shining, Kevin!

Laron Moore is a kindergarten student at Pike Elementary School. He is the son of Amy Schneider.  Principal Monica Austin nominated Laron because he is very respectful, caring, and always willing to help anyone who needs it.  Laron has a very bright and sweet personality that makes others light up. We are proud of you, Laron!

Natalee Quintanilla Libbey the daughter of Suzy Quintanilla.  Natalee is a sixth grader at Trusty Elementary and was nominated by Principal Dr. Shantelle Edwards.  Dr. Edwards says that Natalee works hard in class and is always willing to help. She represents Trusty well in many clubs including Safety Patrol, Student Council, and the Royal Jewels.  Thank you, Natalee, for making good choices and encouraging others to do the same!

Paola Ramirez Barrientos is the daughter of Edwin Ramirez and Martha Ramirez.  She in the sixth grade and was selected by Principal Krystle Smith who says that Paola is EXCEPTIONAL in every way. She is laser-focused on making sure she achieves the high standards she sets for herself.  She is a student that makes every day a GREAT day at Sunnymede. Great job, Paola!

Kaylene Sierra is a sixth grader at Fairview Elementary.  She is the daughter of Delmy and Abdul Yacine. Principal Peggy Walter says that Kaylene is a high-spirited student who is active and very involved. She is diligent and conscientious. Kaylene remains positive and never complains, even when faced with challenging situations.

Jayden Tran is the son of Linda Luu and John Nelson. Principal Hank Needham says that Jayden became the first student to win the Cavanaugh Championship Spelling Bee for three consecutive years! Hard work and high character define Jayden, who is also involved in GATE and the Kiwanis Kids Club. He represents the very best at Cavanaugh School!


Student & Staff Recognition

Arkansas All-State Athletes

The following students are the FSPS Fall Sports All-State Athletes. Some of the students were also named to All-State teams and have represented Fort Smith Public Schools in all-state games around the state.

Volleyball 6A All-State

Lexie Mosby (NHS)

Hannah Hogue (SHS)

Emily Bass (SHS)

Avery Fitzgerald (SHS)

Volleyball 6A All-State Tournament Team

Nicole Medlin (NHS)

Hannah Hogue (SHS)

Emily Bass (SHS)

Hannah Holland (SHS)

Tennis 6A All-State

Kate Files (NHS)

Golf 6A All-State

Lucas Teoh (SHS)

Terry Uhm (SHS)

Football 7A All-State

Derrick Wise (NHS)

Stevie Young (NHS)

Anthony Travis (NHS)

Darin Davenport (SHS)

Taye Gatewood (SHS)

Congratulations to all of these student athletes! They earned these titles for their outstanding sportsmanship and ability.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Day Parade Float
For the past two years, the Superintendent’s Star Award winners have been featured during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade. Behind the scenes, students representing the Senior Councils at Northside and Southside have designed and built the float for their younger counterparts. We have invited all of these senior students here this evening to publicly thank them for the work they have accomplished honoring the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

From Southside Senior Council:
Khoi Chu, John Freeny, Jonathan Humphrey, Michael Teagle, Elise Cano, Allison Brannan, Walli Zaman, Mackenzie Shell, Hannah Schmidt, Terry Uhm. Oretha Ferguson is their sponsor.

From Northside Senior Council
Greg Washington, Sophie Stites, Christa Head and Isabel Hernandez, Leigh Ann Hasley is their sponsor. All of these students were assisted by Courtney Hardcastle, Amy Fairfield and Ken Fletcher.

National Board Certification
Certification by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards is among the most prestigious professional certifications available to educators. The process includes four components: assessment of content knowledge, reflection on student work samples, video and analysis of teaching practice and documentation of the impact of assessment and collaboration on student learning. Candidates have three years to submit all components.

Arkansas educators typically earn a Top 10 ranking of states with the most newly certified teachers. Currently 3,105 Arkansas teachers have achieved National Board Certification. 110 Fort Smith Public School District educators have earned National Board Certification. These teachers earn the district a Top 5 in Arkansas ranking. The certification is supported by the Arkansas Department of Education with a $5,000 per year stipend. The District also supports this important designation with an additional $2,000. This year, three teachers have completed the process and have been duly certified.

  • Katie Mankins-Chaffin Junior High- School Counseling-Early Childhood through Young Adulthood
  • Dejah Stephens-Orr Elementary- English Language Arts-Early Adolescence
  • Pamela Secrest-Trusty Elementary- Literacy: Reading-Language Arts-Early and Middle Childhood

Hank Needham
Mr. Needham is becoming a regular at the FSPS Board of Education meeting. Following the dedication of the Cavanaugh Park and his recognition as a National PTA Lifetime Achievement Award winner because of his work in the community and leadership in the academic performance and growth at Cavanaugh, area legislators Mat Pitsch, Justin Boyd and now Mayor George McGill secured an Arkansas House of Representative Citation issued by the 91st General Assembly recognizing all of Mr. Needham’s many accomplishments.

Fort Smith Board of Education
January is School Board Recognition Month. The elementary schools in the district have once again sent their thanks in the form of beautiful posters that reflect words that schools and their school board members have in common. The Board of Education Directors are the district’s most important volunteers. The District is grateful for their work for children and the future of Fort Smith Public Schools.


Teachers and principal receive certificates

posters to honor board of education

students receive awards