Springdale Schools Blog

Becoming a Dentist is Har-Ber Senior’s Goal

posted May 18, 2017, 8:43 AM by JACKSON BRASWELL

While in junior high school Ismael Salgado shadowed a dentist. He has been fascinated by “the anatomy of teeth” since he was much younger. Now a graduating senior at Springdale Har-Ber High School, Salgado’s future plans include becoming a dentist.
“Dr. Johnny Baker is my dentist and I am always asking him questions,” says Salgado. “He has talked to me about schools I should consider. I am going to the University of Arkansas (with a Whitlock scholarship) to major in pre-dental. After that I’m thinking about St. Louis for dental school.”
Why St. Louis?
“I went there with my church on a mission trip and liked it,” Salgado responds. “I’ve also made mission trips to Sandusky, Ohio and McAllen, Texas. On those trips we serve the community. We work at homeless shelters and food banks as well as the Boys and Girls Clubs. In McAllen we worked at the immigration center and counseled people on being in the United States.”
Service is in Salgado’s DNA. So is being bi-literal. Even though he has been in the Springdale Public School system since elementary school at Elmdale, Salgado is proficient in Spanish and was in the first group of students to receive an Arkansas Bi-Literacy Award.
“Ismael has been one the best of the best in my AP Spanish classes this year,” says Har-Ber instructor Ellen Rainey. “He is an outstanding student, classmate, friend and leader. He is dedicated, driven, a great communicator and collaborator. I’ve known his family since 2011 and they are good people.”

Salgado values any compliment from Rainey. He says, “Mrs. Rainey always motivated me to do my best. She is a good influence. I have had a lot of good teachers in Springdale. I like the opportunities to learn we have in Springdale. I took seven Advanced Placement courses and feel well prepared for the University of Arkansas.”
While Salgado is ready for the next step, he will always have a desire to serve.
“I like to help people,” Salgado says. “A dentist helps people. I liked to help my friends with homework and other things. I like to help my dad. He works in the school system but also has a landscaping business he does on the weekends.”
Even though he will be at the UA soon, he doesn’t expect to lose contact with his classmates. After starting at Elmdale, he advance to Hellstern Middle School and Central Junior High before finishing at Har-Ber. He still has friends from elementary school.
“I have a lot of friends,” he says. “I like to meet new people and also have friends going back to Elmdale. In fact, elementary school seems like yesterday. I was in the fifth grade talent show. I did a dance routine with a partner and we finished in third place.”
His fondness for Elmdale hasn’t faded. He has a brother in the third grade there. His older brothers are in the Air Force and at the University of Arkansas, where Ismael will be a freshman in the fall.

“It’s exciting to graduate and move ahead in life,” says Salgado, who is a Spanish and Medical honor graduate. “I’m look forward to life after high school.”

Salgado is looking forward to his next steps because he is well prepared. He is a testimony to Springdale Public Schools being #THE Choice.

Archer Senior Looking Forward to Medical Career

posted May 18, 2017, 8:26 AM by JACKSON BRASWELL

Estefany Mancia is ready for the next step. The Archer Learning Center senior and winner of a Kiwanis Scholarship is preparing for a career in medicine even though she spoke very little English when she moved to the United States.

“Eventually I would like to go to medical school but right now I am taking it a step at a time,’ says Mancia. “I finished my CNA at NTI and I plan to work on my Licensed Practical Nurse degree at Northwest Arkansas Community College before transferring to a four-year school.”


Mancia has been a high achiever at Archer for two years after spending her sophomore year at Springdale High School.


“Archer has been good for me,” she says “My grades are good and I’ve been able to catch up on credits faster so I could graduate in three years. It was hard in the beginning but I’ve pushed myself and finished the work.”


Archer principal Dr. Shawna Lyons adds, “Estefany is helpful, always here and does her work.”


Mancia has succeeded academically even though she is a young mother and also works part time.


“It hasn’t been easy but I have a son who is two and I work at McDonald’s,” Mancia says. “Now that I am receiving my CNA certificate, I plan to apply to work at a nursing home and hope to work there while I am at NWACC.”


 Mancia is used to overcoming obstacles. She moved from El Salvador to New Jersey early in her elementary school life.


“I didn’t speak any English,” Mancia recalls. “It was hard because all the teachers and kids spoke English. I didn’t understand. I wanted to cry. I didn’t want to be there. It took me about a year to be comfortable with the language. By the time we moved to Springdale, I was okay.”

Her father’s family lives in Arkansas so Mancia came to Springdale as a seventh grader and was enrolled at J.O Kelly. Language was no longer a barrier but the culture in Arkansas was quite different than that of New Jersey.


“There were a lot more things to do in New Jersey,” she says. “New Jersey has the ocean. But, in Arkansas you do have more space for yourself. There is a lot of nature to explore. There are some fun places to visit. Also, I’ve made a lot of friends here. We all have come to Archer for a reason. I love this school. The teachers have helped me a lot.”


Archer’s staff also suggested she apply for the Kiwanis Single Parent Scholarship. She did and was the winner. That will help her considerably in her post-high school education.


“I’m looking forward to NWACC,” Mancia says, “but I’m a little nervous, too. It’s great to finish high school but college will be way different.”


It shouldn’t be that much different for Mancia, who has balanced school, work, parenting and still spent recreational time running and playing soccer. Her academic success so far and promising future are indications of why Springdale Public Schools are #THE Choice.

SHS Academy Partners with Kawneer

posted May 16, 2017, 1:17 PM by JACKSON BRASWELL   [ updated May 16, 2017, 9:41 PM ]

The academies at Springdale High School have produced numerous successful students and helped students find their calling for a career after they leave SHS. The engineering academy is no exception and thanks to a partnership with Kawneer in Northwest Arkansas, seven SHS seniors will be interning at the local architectural manufacturer this summer.

The partnership with Kawneer began eight years ago when Springdale High was looking to launch the robotics program. With robotics being an expensive endeavor to start, professor Claire Small reached out to community businesses to help fund a grant and Kawneer, stepped up.

“They picked up our grant and have been supporting us ever since,” said Small.

The relationship that began with funding the grant has then carried over to Kawneer and other businesses visiting SHS to see the senior engineering academy students’ capstone projects. Professor, Jeff Holland teaches the capstone class and every year he asks students to identify a problem, research it and then spend the entire year building a prototype that solves that problem. The students then get to test their prototypes and show them off to those companies.

“Having the companies come to the school and see the students is great exposure for them,” said Holland. “The cohesiveness of these students as seniors is incredible and they really do some amazing work.”

After last year’s exhibition, Kawneer brought in a Springdale High student for a summer internship and after a successful summer, the representatives from the company said they wanted more engineering Bulldogs.

“They loved the student from last year,” said Small. “They came back this year and said they would take up to six kids. We had students fill out resumes and go through an interview process and after all of that was done they actually chose seven of our students.”

SHS senior Reece Williams is one of those students that will be working for Kawneer this summer and is excited about the opportunity.

“It is a huge honor,” said Williams. “Before this process I never had to create a resume or go through a formal interview and going through that process and then actually getting the internship is a great feeling.”

Williams and the six other students will have a chance to get real workplace experience in a variety of engineering fields. By building a relationship with Kawneer now, that will give them the opportunity to return to Kawneer during the summer while they continue to improve their working skills as the material advances in their college courses. The idea is that by the time they graduate, they will be set up for full time employment at an engineering company. Kawneer representative, Brian Lehman hopes they stay with Kawneer.

“We want to grow the community and have a good involvement with the community and with these students pursuing a technical degree, we want to see how we can support them,” said Lehman. “As a company, the best thing for retention is hiring people who live in the area. That makes you a stronger company.”

As their time at SHS winds down, the students are excited about their next step at Kawneer as well as their time in college. However, they may not be as excited as their teachers. After years of pushing their students to take the hardest courses and put in the time to succeed, the reward of seeing the students put it all together is the icing on the cake.

“That is why we teach,” said Small. “To see these students grow from their first year and then go to college and actually become engineers is extremely rewarding for us all here in the Engineering Academy.”

Setting students up for success truly is what teaching is all about and Springdale Schools and the SHS engineering academy continues to find new and innovative ways to get students opportunities to show their skills in the community, something Kawneer’s Lehmann is thrilled to see.

“After working with Springdale High for the last eight years, we have seen these students grow and have seen the projects and curriculum they have tackled and that is just great for our community,” said Lehmann. “To have that technical knowledge being poured into the students of Springdale is a great asset.”

Springdale Schools is hopeful and confident that the SHS engineering academy will continue to churn out future engineers and professionals and is proud to say that the academy is one reason why Springdale Schools is #THEChoice


Har-Ber Senior: From Little English to Future in Medical Field

posted May 12, 2017, 12:50 PM by JACKSON BRASWELL   [ updated May 12, 2017, 12:51 PM ]

 Har-Ber senior Estefany Rivas-Lemus moved to Springdale from El Salvador when she was in the ninth grade. She spoke some, but not much, English and was slow to adjust to a new culture. Four years later her adjustment is so compete she is about to embark on a future in the medical profession.


“Even though I was in the ninth grade, they enrolled me in the Bilingual Academy at Har-Ber,” Rivas-Lemus recalls. “I knew colors and numbers but not enough English to communicate. My personality is to want to do things fast. By the time I was a sophomore I was out of the Bi Lingual program and was taking regular classes.”


Regular classes have included several in the medical area. In fact, she not only has a 3.91 grade average, she will graduate with Medical and Spanish Honors.


“I started in engineering because I like math but discovered I liked medicine more,” says Rivas-Lemus. “I’m going to start by taking nursing classes at NWACC (Northwest Arkansas Community College), then transfer to pursue becoming a doctor. I’m not sure which field. I’m interested in radiology and optometry.”


How has she made so much progress in four short years?


“My father has had a business here for 18 years and he would visit us once a year in El Salvador,” Rivas-Lemus explains. “He speaks English and so does his brother, who we lived with when we first moved to Springdale. My mother, sister and brother came at the same time.


“My sister is older than I am. She wants to be a dentist and is at NWACC now. My brother is in the fourth grade at Elmdale. So, it is easier for him than it was for us since he has been learning English since he started school.


“The Language Academy was especially helpful because there were other students there who were just like me. They came to the United States when they were already in high school. We were all motivated. It gave me friends who spoke my language. It was hard leaving friends in El Salvador but it helped being around others who all wanted to achieve.”


While Rivas-Lemus advanced quickly, she still says adapting to speaking English all the time was tough. However, to take on a new challenge, she added a third language when she took classes in Mandarin Chinese.


“I was done with Spanish so I wanted to do something out of the box,” she says. “I only took Mandarin Chinese for a year but I made new friends and learned a great deal about the Chinese culture. It’s very different. I learned how they look at us.”


Rivas-Lemus also has learned how the Har-Ber staff looks at her. She was nominated for a Migrant Scholarship by Barbara Arnold, the Migrant tutor at Har-Ber. In her letter to the scholarship committee, Arnold was quite complimentary of Rivas-Lemus.


“Estefany is well-organized, utilizes her time efficiently, works well with other and is a peer leader,” Arnold wrote. “She is mature and level-headed. She has high moral values and I would trust her in any situation. She is a great role model for other students.”


Rivas-Lemus appreciates the kind words and has enjoyed her time at Har-Ber High School but knows the hard work is just beginning.

“Getting a high school degree leads to a new challenge,” Rivas-Lemus says. “College will push me. It’s not easy. But, I’m looking forward to the new people I’m going to meet and all I am about to learn.”

She's already learned a lot and has progressed at a faster rate than could ever be expected. Estefany Rivas-lemus is a perfect example of why Springdale Public Schools is #THEChoice

Lakeside Student Likes To Build

posted May 9, 2017, 12:45 PM by JACKSON BRASWELL

 Ethan Luper likes to build. As a member of Lakeside Junior High’s Maker Club he has built a small projector, a control board and a Lego balancing statue. An eighth grader, Ethan isn’t through building. His goal is to become an electrical engineer.

 “I got my first Lego set when I was four years old and I’ve been interested in building ever since,” Luper says. “I like to create things. The best thing I’ve ever created was a crossbow that I built starting with a wood plank we bought at Silver Dollar City.”

 Luper constructed the crossbow without any help. He has used it to the extent he is out of skewers, which are his arrow-like projectiles. He hopes to secure some more soon.

Already thinking about enrolling in the Engineering Academy when he arrives at Springdale High School, Luper hopes to someday work for a gaming company called “Razor.” He loves video games and utilizes them to help him overcome being dyslexic.

 “I didn’t know I was dyslexic until I was in the third grade,” Luper says. “I told my mom and my teachers I had a hard time reading and writing and they’ve helped me. This year I have raised my MAP reading skills by 14 points. For Christmas I got an X-Box and on some of the games you can read what is being said while the words are being spoken. That has helped me a lot.”

 Luper, who was at Monitor Elementary and Sonora Middle School before moving up to Lakeside this year, has not only significantly improved his reading but also is exceptional at math. He notes, “I do BARK, which is higher math. It has a lot of math that 12th graders take.”

 Overcoming dyslexia was one of the reasons Luper was recently saluted with a Kiwanis Youth Excellence Award. He also earned the recognition because of his extracurricular activities, including Mi Futuro, a program that provides mentorship by Walmart employees.

 “We just finished Mi Futuro for the year,” says Luper. “I learned how different skills can lead to jobs and that being who you are helps you overcome obstacles.”

 One of the obstacles Luper still faces is any lengthy writing. Lakeside counselor Lauren Willis explains, “When the Walmart mentors asked the students to write about their future, they had no idea Ethan was dyslexic. I am glad I was there. I asked Ethan to share his thoughts and I would write them down. He dictated eloquently, clearly and quickly.

 “Mi Futuro has been good for Ethan. The celebration for those who participated in the program in all our schools is coming up at the Sam’s Club headquarters in Bentonville. It will be a great event and he is looking forward to it.”

 What does a student who already is so focused on becoming an engineer do for fun other than video games and math?

 “I love to shoot and I’m learning to play the guitar,” Luper responds. “My dad is a shooter. He likes to hunt and shoot at targets so I enjoy it too. I’ve had a guitar about a year but have just started lessons. Someday I want to earn some money playing the guitar to help me get through college.”

Of course he has another year at Lakeside and three at Springdale High School before heading for college. He is very appreciative of the staff at Lakeside, noting, “The teachers are very helpful and encouraging. The Kiwanis Award was a great encouragement to me. I didn’t even know I had been nominated until I was told about the event where the honors were announced.”

 Willis and the entire staff at Lakeside are proud of Ethan’s accomplishments so far. She says, “For an eighth grader Ethan stands out. He is mature beyond his years. Great things are going to happen for him sooner than later.”

 Luper is a shining example of why Springdale Public Schools are #THE Choice.

ACT Scores Surprise Hellstern Seventh Graders

posted Apr 25, 2017, 12:14 PM by JACKSON BRASWELL


Rarely do we honor students in the Springdale School District for their accomplishments on the ACT unless they obtain a perfect score. However, when students perform like Hellstern seventh graders, Preston Mcallister, Noah Seiter and Audrey Walker did, some praise is in order.


Mcallister, Seiter and Walker all took the ACT this semester for the first time and none of them thought their scores would jump off the page like they did.


Mcallister who made a 29 on Science, a 31 on reading and a composite score of 27 thought his parents were joking when they told him his scores. “I thought my parents were playing a prank on me,” said Mcallister. “I was at a soccer tournament at the time so I had to wait until I got home Sunday night to look at the papers and I couldn’t believe it.  I was very happy.”


Seiter also thought his father was playing a prank on him and when he learned he made a 32 on the science portion, he couldn’t wait to tell his teacher. However, he didn’t get the reaction he was expecting.


“My science teacher didn’t believe me,” said Seiter.


Walker the only one of the three who hadn’t prepped for the exam, took the ACT while attending a thespian festival in Jonesboro and figured she would just take it to get an idea of what the material looked like for the future. She ended up scoring a 31 on reading and a composite of 23.


“I came home and my mom told we what I got and I thought it was good,” said Walker. “Then she told me what I got in reading and thought, gosh I will never get that again.”


Chances are all three of these students will not only match what they got on their scores but will vastly improve. After all, they are just in the seventh grade. To put their scores in perspective, the average ACT composite score for high school seniors in Arkansas is a 20. With Mcallisters 27, Seiter’s 25 and Walker’s 23, all three are well above average with five more years of school to improve on those numbers.


The students will move to Central Junior High next year and are grateful that they go to school in Springdale. They credit their teachers for helping them do great on their first try at the ACT.


“I think the teachers really focus on the students,” said Walker. “They make sure every student is performing at the best of his or herability. This is just a really positive environment to go to school in.”


“The teachers have been hard on me at times but they always push me to do better,” said Seiter


“The teachers are constantly focused on improvement and always push me to do my best,” said Mcallister.


With five more years in Springdale Public Schools and countless interactions with excellent teachers, the trio is on a path to greatness. They will undoubtedly take the ACT more times in the future and the three agreed that they would all like to score a perfect 36 but would settle for anything 32 or higher.




Mentorship Program Working at Sonora Middle School

posted Apr 7, 2017, 9:48 AM by JACKSON BRASWELL   [ updated Apr 12, 2017, 1:01 PM ]

Rob Sanchez is a member of the Springdale police force but not a School Resource Officer. But, when he became aware of a need at Sonora Middle School, he responded and has been a mentor there for two years.

 “Philip Group, the SRO at Sonora Middle School, asked his friends for help and I got hooked up with Marcus Raymo, who was a sixth grader at the time,” says Sanchez. “I’ve enjoyed visiting him every week.  My own children are 29 and 21 so it is nice dealing with a younger student again.”

Raymo is quick to add how much he enjoys the visits.

 “The counselor (Jamey Cochran) asked me if I would like a mentor,” Raymo says. “My mom said it would be a good idea. The first time we met it was weird because I didn’t know him. Once we got to know each other, he was perfect.”

During their weekly lunch time visits, what do they talk about?

“We talk about my family and we talk about his family,” Raymo says. “We see each other outside of school as well. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone who isn’t a family member. He’s a police officer and I know I can trust him.”

Sanchez adds, “It’s easy to cheer for a kid like Marcus. He’s going through some of the same things my son did. I can relate to the sports activities he participates in and the challenges he faces because I’ve had experience with those.”

Raymo likes several sports. He participated in seventh grade football at Sonora and loves baseball. “I want to be a member of the Springdale Bulldog baseball team when I get in high school,” he said.

Sanchez not only encourages Raymo to continue his involvement in sports, he encourages other adults to get involved in the mentorship program at Sonora.

 “It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community,” says Sanchez , whose nephew Michael was a basketball standout at Har-Ber High School and played for the Arkansas Razorbacks. “I had a mentor when I was young. His name was Johnny May. He was the leader of Young Life while I was at Southwest Junior High and Springdale High School. He took an interest in me.”

Raymowould also encourage other adults to get involved. He noted, “Some kids need help to make sure they have the right kind of friends. They need an adult to look up to.”

Sonora principal Dr. Martha Dodson is looking for additional involvement from members of the community.

“Middle school is a tough age for students,” Dodson said. “Parents obviously provide great guidance for their children but sometimes students can receive excellent influence from a mentor. They will listen to someone who is there as a friend.

“We ask our mentors to have lunch with their student once a week. Obviously we do a background check on candidates. We need several more mentors. It has done wonders for Marcus. His confidence and attendance have improved significantly.”

Those interested in serving as mentors at Sonora Middle School may contact Dawn DeShazo (ddeshazo@sdale.org) or contact the school at 750-8821 for additional information. Sonora’s mentorship program is another reason Springdale Schools are #THE Choice.


Westwood Teachers Visit Cuba

posted Apr 6, 2017, 8:50 AM by JACKSON BRASWELL   [ updated Apr 7, 2017, 9:51 AM ]

Teachers and students around the district look forward to Spring Break every year as a time to rest and sometimes go somewhere they have never been. However, Westwood Elementary teachers Elizabeth Fowler and Jacque Hodge-Goff took that a step further and traveled to Cuba for the week long holiday.

 The idea for the trip started when Jacque and her husband were on the verge of booking tickets for a trip to Chicago when they realized that it was less expensive to go to Cuba. Once they looked into the logistics of visiting Cuba they learned that there were quite a few hoops to jump through.

 “There are only 12 reasons you can go to Cuba and most of them fall under a people to people mission,” said Hodge-Goff. “Humanitarian, religious and educational focused trips are a few examples of those reasons and we went under education.”

 Jacque and Elizabeth had to apply for a visa, create an itinerary showing all of the cultural activities they planned on experiencing and keep a journal while in Cuba. The strictness of the itinerary and the validity of the journal are things that the United States Department of Treasury takes very seriously.

 “The Department of Treasury has the opportunity to call us at any time in the next five years to review our journal and our itinerary,” said Hodge-Goff. “If they found that we didn’t do what we said they can fine us up to $250,000 a person.”

 While the threat of getting fined for not doing what they said they would do is interesting, it is what the two teachers did in Cuba that made the trip so special. With the focus on education specifically, Jacque and Elizabeth linked up with the Convent of Bethlehem, a school in Cuba, to bring supplies and observe everyday life in Cuban schools.

 “We had read you should bring things to give away in Cuba because a lot of the things they have are not necessarily great quality and we witnessed that in the stores and in the schools,” said Hodge-Goff.

 Elizabeth gathered everyday school supplies from leftovers in her classroom at Westwood and packed them in a suitcase to give to the school. Crayons, markers and pencils were high on the list but what really shocked the students, teachers and the head of the Convent, Ivan was that Elizabeth and Jacque had brought glue.

 “When we pulled out a bottle of Elmers glue, Ivan was delighted. You would have thought we brought him a cart of gold,” said Fowler. “We wish we would have brought more. Ivan almost cried receiving the supplies and had so many ideas of what he could do to not only help the students but others in the community with just a bottle of glue.”

 In order to fill out their itinerary Elizabeth and Jacque toured Havana and got to see much of the historical aspects of Cuba as well as meet some incredible people. Meeting those people is what they describe as the most rewarding part of the trip.

 “Meeting Ivan and our tour guide was the best part of the trip,” said Fowler. “We both feel like we have brothers and sisters in Cuba now,” said Hodge-Goff.

 Now back in the classroom, Hodge-Goff and Fowler have shared their experiences with their students and are already planning ways to continue to help their brothers and sisters overseas.

 “Our kids have been so excited to learn about Cuba and we are already looking at ways to continue to help the students at the Convent of Bethlehem and send more supplies,” said Hodge-Goff.

 Fowler and Hodge-Goff are a great example of teachers who used their time off to continue to reach children with their gifts and resources. While the duo is happy at Westwood, they will continue to think about their peers and new family in Cuba. #THEChoice


Sargent, A Seventh Grader, Soars on ACT

posted Mar 29, 2017, 9:09 AM by JACKSON BRASWELL   [ updated Mar 29, 2017, 9:09 AM ]

Emily Sargent, a seventh grader at J.O. Kelly, had no expectations when she and about 20 other students from her school took the ACT at Springdale High School. She was more than pleasantly surprised when she learned she scored 30 in English and 25 overall.


“Our GT (Gifted and Talented) teacher (Lacinda Files) told us about the ACT and recommended we take it,” Sargent says. “When we first got there the room was full of high school juniors and I was very nervous. Then they put us in smaller rooms and some of my friends from school were in there. And, the teacher was very friendly. That helped us relax.”


How in the world did she score so well in English?


“I love to read,” Sargent responds. “I read a lot. I like science fiction. Reading has really helped me with vocabulary. My grandmother was a math teacher for 42 years. She helps me with math and gives me books to read.”


Her grandmother is among many family members who have been teachers. Her mother is in nursing. Emily has thought about becoming a teacher but is also interested in law and medicine.


“I have five cousins who are all younger than I am,” she says. “When I visit them I watch them a lot. That is what made me want to teach. I like younger kids. But, I want to look into law and medicine and attend an Ivy League school. I don’t know which one but I want to go to one of the best colleges in America.”


Sargent has time to choose a college. If she improves on her ACT each time she takes it in the future, they will be recruiting her. She hopes to take another step toward future higher education by attending a camp this summer at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.


“I sent my information on the first day you could apply so I hope I get in,” says Emily. “It is a three-week camp that allows you to take either a one-year high school course or a one-semester college course in the three-week period. My choices were Mock Trial, Origins of Modern Law, a medical class and a psychology class. I would like to take any of those classes.”


Sargent is aware of how many people have helped her formulate lofty future goals.


“My mother and my grandmother have been great to me and all the teachers at J.O. Kelly and Jones Elementary (where she attended second-fifth grade) have been helpful,” says Emily. “My teachers have all been supportive and have been helpful with whatever I need.”


Does she have a favorite teacher?


“I have liked them all,” she answers, “but my fifth grade teacher at Jones, Ms. (Ashley) Kasnicka has been special. I still go see her. She orders books for me with the points she has earned from Scholastic.”


She and the other J.O. Kelly students who took the ACT also have been inspired by Har-Ber High School sophomore Sojas Wagle, who recently scored a perfect 36 on the ACT.

“Sojas came and talked to us before we took the ACT,” Emily says. “He told us to make sure we knew how to use a calculator and to be prepared. He also told us there would be questions on the test that we would not be familiar with because we haven’t had any higher level math yet.”


Knowing seventh graders would not be ready for some of the math, J.O. Kelly math instructional facilitator Cassie Marquette helped prepare the students as did literacy IF Scott Dunn and head of science Josh Jenkins.


“Math was what brought her overall score down to a 25,” says J.O. Kelly principal Sara Ford. “She made a 27 in science. As she takes higher math classes and takes the ACT again, her scores will go up because she will be more familiar with the material.”


Could Emily Sargent be a future perfect ACT score candidate? Perhaps, but in any event, her future is very bright. She is another example of why Springdale Public Schools is #THE Choice.

Har-Ber Senior Is Ready to Go to Work

posted Mar 15, 2017, 12:17 PM by JACKSON BRASWELL

At the beginning of his senior year at Springdale Har-Ber High School, Daniel Moreno had no idea what he wanted to do when he graduates. Now he’s only two months from graduation and he already has a job secured.

Moreno is thankful for the Construction Management program at Har-Ber and its instructors, Stowe Hoffius and Bob Maples. They helped him plot a path to employment at Marrs Electric in Springdale.

“At the first of my senior year a person from Multicraft came to our class and talked to us about apprenticeships,” Moreno recalls. “I gave it some thought and decided to pursue electrical rather than plumbing. I wasn’t enrolled in the Electrical Systems class and school had already started but my counselor helped me work out getting in the class.

“Then Mr. (Stowe) Hoffius and Mr. (Bob) Maples  helped me earn an OSHA (safety) card and an interview with Marrs Electric. The interview went well, they hired me and I start in June.”

Hoffius adds, “Daniel is highly motivated, willing to work and wants to have a career. All we did was explain some career options and get him an interview. He is a great kid. We knew he would knock the interview out of the park.”

Moreno is happy to have his future settled. He notes, “I stayed up late at night and was scared about what I would do after high school. I thought about college but college isn’t for me. Mr. Hoffius and Mr. Maples helped settle my life.”

Moreno’s life has been very settled since his family moved from California to Springdale when he was in the third grade.

“My parents moved here because they wanted a better life for my sister and me,” he says. “Houses are so expensive in California. It is not as expensive to live here. The Springdale school system is so much better than what we left.  It was an easy adjustment for me. I get along well with people.”

Moreno started his educational career in Springdale at George Elementary. He finished elementary school at Harp, then progressed to J.O. Kelly Middle School, Southwest Junior High and Har-Ber High School. His sister is at Tyson Middle School.

Now Daniel wants to finish strong at Har-Ber and get started on his new job. He will work during the day and take classes for his new profession in the evenings once he begins in June.

“The experience I’ve gained in the Construction Management classes has been a big help in preparing for the job,” Moreno says. “I’m excited to get started. Eventually I want to be a master electrician and own my own business.”

Moreno’s lofty goals combined with all he’s learned at Har-Ber make it evident that Springdale Schools is #THE Choice.

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