December 2019

Virtual Arkansas

@ArkansasEd teams up w @UALR @ucabears & @VirtualArkansas to provide cyber security education pathway & curriculum for AR high school students & teachers #CSforAR #ARKidsCanCode #CSforAll #Cybersecurity #WeAreVirtualArkansas #VA4AllAR

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Student of the Month

William Cole

Mt Ida High School

William has been a diligent and exceptional Chemistry (and other VA courses) student, earning all A's thus far. Early this semester, Will lost his grandfather (a second, recent death in his family) and they were very close. I sent Will a message regarding the loss of his grandfather and this was his response: "My grandfather practically raised me. I spent my entire elementary life running around with him in his fast cars. I am surely going to miss him. I will get my work done as soon as possible! Thank you!" He did follow through and completed all missing work quickly, maintaining his high grade through a difficult time. Will is a polite, respectful student that has been a pleasure to have in class.

Nominated by: Whitney Milliken Virtual Arkansas Science Instructor

Facilitator of the Month

Mrs. Lesia Hall

Fordyce High School

About Me:

Our family is made up of leaders but most of all giving of oneself to serve others, most of us have served in the United Stated Armed Forces, works in the medical field as an traveling nurse or just giving service to our community as a environmentalist.

We are proud of every one in their respectful careers and it hold such an honor to be among such great individuals that includes my husband, our adult children of three and last but not least our two furry friends.

Why did you decide to work in education?

I actually tried to run from education but it kept calling me, I found myself at our disabled son's school when he was young often and after going to many conferences and learning so much about the needs of students in every capacity. I joined the team of educators around the world and its been rewarding.

What is the best part about being a facilitator?

The best part about being a facilitator is watching the faces of a student when they discover something new, Meeting a student right where they are...being the best advocate for a student especially when their support system is shaky and the ground is crumbling underneath their feet and you (the teacher/facilitator/specialist) stand up and fight with them, you cry with them, hold their hands and let them know it might be hard right now but in time it will get better. Lastly, watching a student that odds were against them walk across the stage and reach for the diploma they have worked to receive at graduation and they look for you in the crowd of teachers and hold it up in appreciation signifying they made it!

Position at Virtual AR:

Alternative Education Facilitator Specialist for 5 plus years

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Dumas, Arkansas down in the Delta Region where there was agriculture for miles on end.

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

Your Choices will affect you and those around your best!

Teacher of the Month

Position at Virtual Arkansas:

DYS Science Instructor


BGS in Biology - 2010 @ Texas A&M University - Texarkana

Master of Education in Secondary Education - 2011 @ University of Arkansas - Little Rock

Ed.S. in Educational Leadership - 2018 @ Arkansas State

Tell us a little about your family:

My husband and I are coming up on our 10th wedding anniversary soon. We have two little wild boys ages 3 and 7. They love all things hunting and sports and I'm right there with them!

Where did you grow up?


Tiffany Caldwell

Virtual Arkansas Science Instructor

Why did you become a teacher?

The reason I became a teacher and the reasons why I remain a teacher have definitely evolved over the years. I became a teacher because I love science and sharing that passion for learning. I just thought that I cared about kids then and wanted them to find their passion for learning as well. After having children of my own, and experiencing different classroom dynamics, I'm a teacher to be here for these kids all day long. In the end, the most important thing is that they leave my classroom on the path to become better people, stronger, braver, and more prepared for life.

What is the best part about being a teacher?

There are so many great parts of teaching that it is hard to choose just one. I love when my students find meaning in science, when they connect with it. That light bulb moment is a beautiful one to see happen as well. With the group of students that I work with now, the best part has been seeing a shift happen in their focus. When they realize what it is going to take to be better, to be successful, when they find themselves... that's the best part.

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

Poor choices don't make you a bad person. They give you a chance to learn a greater lesson. Make the most of that second chance.

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.


The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

If you love psychological thrillers you will love this book. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins or Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl fans will want Ruth Ware in their collection as well! I have read her first two books, the third and fourth are on the shelf waiting for me, and the fifth pre-ordered on Amazon.

My favorite of the first two is The Woman in Cabin 10. From start to finish, I was wrapped up in suspense of what happened to this mysterious person in Cabin 10, or was there even really a person in Cabin 10? The story starts out with a young traveling journalist having flashbacks from a recent traumatic event in her own life. She is “assigned” to cover a luxury yacht cruise traveling to see the northern lights, for a magazine that she writes for.

So many things seem out of place, but to the reader, you can’t help but wonder if the young woman’s perspective may be altered from her flashbacks or foggy thinking. Once she reports a missing woman on board, suspicion turns to her. The drama escalates when the young journalist begins her own investigation. If only she knew what others on board knew, maybe she wouldn’t have continued digging. From here, there are death threats, a kidnapping, murder and suicide to follow.

This book will keep you on your toes and having you questioning what’s really happening around the young journalist. Who can be believed?

Person Sharing: Tiffany CaldwellVirtual Arkansas Position: Instructor | Core Campus