October 2018

Student of the Month

Russell Salyer


"Russell is a leader in school, active in many clubs, a member of the champion bowling team, and he was recognized as an Eagle Scout this month. He is an excellent student! "

Nominated by: Kellye Wood Virtual Arkansas CTE Instructor

What's happening?

Facilitator of the Month

Carli Isadore

Arkansas High School

Tell us a little about your family:

My husband and I love adventure. We recently moved from Nashua, NH to Texarkana, AR, after a year of exploring New England. We have 3 fur babies (Goldendoodle, Jack Russell Terrier, & Pekingese).

Position at Virtual Arkansas:

Facilitator at Arkansas High School


Some college - I plan to finish my degree to become a teacher.

Where did you grow up?

Hot Springs, AR

Why did you decide to work in education?

I want to make a difference.

What is the best part about being a facilitator?

Hands down, cultivating relationships with students is the best part - getting to know students and helping them grow.

If you could give your students one piece of advice, what would it be?

Do not give up! You are loved. You are amazing. You can do this.

Teacher of the Month

Kellye Wood

CTE Campus

Tell us a little about your family:

I've been married for 36 years to Stan Wood, my high school (really junior high!) sweetheart. We have two wonderful grown daughters, who each work in education - and the smartest, sweetest, most handsome 3 year old grandson ever!

Position at Virtual Arkansas:

Health Sciences Instructor


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (1986) and Master of Science in Education (2013) - both from Henderson State University.

Where did you grow up?

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Why did you become a teacher?

I came to teaching in a little different way. I have been a RN for many years in various settings from ER to ICU to Home Health - but when we lived in Texas for awhile, I became a school nurse. I loved my students and teachers and began to think that my future was in a school setting. After we moved back to Arkansas in 2004, I was invited to do some classroom things in Booneville and I was hooked. I went through the Department of Education to get my non-traditional teaching license and taught 5th grade science for several years. When we moved back to Arkadelphia, I was thrilled to be hired by Dawson Education Cooperative to teach health sciences in their Distance Learning department (now part of Virtual Arkansas), and combined my love of medicine/nursing and teaching.

For me, teaching has been a "calling" - I felt that it was something I just had to do. I love being able to explain things to my students in new and different ways and hopefully impact their lives in a positive way. From those 5th graders (now grown!) to my current high school students - my goal is to help them learn, grow, believe in themselves, and aim high! I want to help give my high school students the foundation they need to be successful in whatever comes next - particularly those headed into the medical professions.

What is the best part about being a teacher?

Wow - there are so many great things about being a teacher. One of the best parts for me is seeing students get excited about what they are learning and wanting to dig deeper into it. It is also a "best day" when former students come back and tell you that you made a positive difference in their life.

If you could give your students one piece of advice, what would it be?

I have 2:

1. Aim high and have a backup plan

2. Don't let your circumstances determine your future!

A good book read...

In this section of our blog we are sharing what some of our Virtual Arkansas Educators are reading. Each month will have a book review by one of our own! We hope by sharing our love of reading with you, you may find a book to enjoy as well.


To promote reading in my own household, I told my 11-year-old daughter that I would take her to Universal Studios once she completed the Harry Potter series. She countered the wager by stating that I had to read the books as well. The challenge was accepted by both of us and the quest began.

I recently finished the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. I know the book has been out for over 20 years, but it is new to my family. Reading this book was a way to start a new dialogue with my daughter. It has also allowed me to connect with my students over a subject they are very passionate about. The Harry Potter series opens up a connection with more of my students that I may not have otherwise connected with.

I often do not take the time to let my mind wander into the world of fantasy that J.K. Rowling takes her readers. I found this book allowed me to let go of my daily demands with my job and family, and enjoy thinking about how Harry was going to stop Voldemort from stealing the Sorcerer’s Stone. I read the book very quickly. It kept my interest piqued and was well written. I highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Reading a book like this can help a person escape from life’s daily demands and, at the same time, allow us to connect with others, including our students, through a common interest.

Person Sharing: Regina WhiteVirtual Arkansas Position: CTE Criminal Law Instructor