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Southside Teacher Receives 2021 Distinguished High School Mentor Award

Southside High School AP Chemistry teacher Jeffrey Rice has been recognized with the 2021 Distinguished High School Mentor Award from the Ralph E. Martin Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas. Mr. Rice is the fifth Southside High School recipient of the award.Jeffrey Rice

The Distinguished High School Mentor Award is presented to recognize outstanding high school mentors who have consistently motivated their students to strive for higher achievement.  Nominations for recipients of this award are made by students currently enrolled in Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Kaida Sheets, Katie Settle and Barrett Weidman, three chemical engineering students and former Southside students, nominated Mr. Rice.

“Knowing how crazy busy college students are, I’m honored that  they took the time to nominate me for this award. Words cannot describe how blessed I am to have had the opportunity to not only teach them, but to get to know them,” said Mr. Rice.

“I am very proud of Mr. Rice and all of our previous Southside educators who have received this distinguished award. Southside teachers are dedicated to helping students reach their full potential, and it is very meaningful to us when graduates take a moment to recognize the excellent work of their teachers," said Dr. Lisa Miller, Southside High School principal.

In recognition of this honor, the Arkansas Academy of Chemical Engineers will make a $1,000 donation to Southside High School for use in Mr. Rice’s classroom activities. Established in 2002, a maximum of three awardees are chosen each year. Past Southside honorees include: 

  • Jeffrey Rice (2021)
  • Dana Goins (2020)
  • Sheryl Waggoner (2015)
  • Gary Ford (2005)
  • Jim Townley (2005)
  • Jim Townley (2002)

Current and previous honorees for the Distinguished High School Mentor Award can be found on the College of Engineering Chemical Engineering website