I graduated high school from Springdale High in Springdale, Arkansas as an Honors Graduate. I attended college at the University of Arkansas during my senior year at SHS as an honor's student and completed my degree (BSE) in English Literature and Secondary Education in 1983. I took the National Teacher's Exam in the spring of 1982 and placed in the top 10% in the nation. I have continued to develop my teaching skills through APSI--The College Board Advanced Placement Summer Institutes for the past ten years, as well as participating as teacher team member at SHS for A.I.M.S. and subsequent achievement of a three-year training through UALR in Laying the Foundation which was a series of training sessions and materials provided through a grant from the O'Donnell Foundation. I also participated in the first Sophomore Center grant at Springdale High School, learning from Mark Forget the MAX Teaching Strategies and Doug Fisher's Collaborative Learning techniques as outlined in his book and materials,which can be found partially on the link http://fisherandfrey.com/
I consider myself to be a life-long learner and student of the teaching profession. I am currently working on several outside projects in writing, and also have business experience outside of the education field.
I am certified in Secondary English and have additional training in AP through the University of Arkansas Honors College, as well as the Exxon Corporation Laying the Foundation Grant (A.I.M.S.) and through APSI (Advanced Placement Summer Institute) from 2004 to 2014 at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and UALR. I have been certified in "Lit Lab" through Harding University and Dr. Ken Stematis. I have attended the Springdale Public Schools ELL Academy for strategies in ELL learning.
Arkansas teachers are required to update Professional Development each year. I have also plus 15 hours of graduate school from the U of A at Fayetteville.
I have attended APSI (Advanced Placement Summer Institute) and the three year "Laying the Foundation" Professional Development since 2004 through 2014. The "Laying the Foundation" series of workshops and PD was through a grant for AIMS and was supplied by the Exon Corporation.
I have attended Lit Lab at Harding University.
I have completed the TESS modules.
I have completed a recent module on Dyslexia.
I have completed the required and mandated modules on Child Abuse and Mandating Reporting of Abuse.
I have completed various required PD each year by the Springdale Public Schools district and now continue the Eureka Springs School District.
The passion in my life is creating opportunities for young people to achieve their greatest potential.
I have begun my last fifteen years of a wonderful career here at ESHS. I am very excited and gratified to be teaching in such a great environment and a caring community with wonderfully talented children--students that have unlimited potential to assist others and improve the communities and the world in which we all live. I currently teach Pre-AP 9 and 10, Senior English, Honors College Bound. I have had over a decade’s experience in Advanced Placement Pre-AP 10 and Advanced Placement Literature with training through the University of Arkansas Honors APSI and Laying the Foundation, an Exon Corporation Grant with the Arkansas’ AAIMS program at my former school, Springdale High School, under Pete Joenks, Dr. Allen Williams, and David Kellogg. I also worked for the U of A for nine years under Dr. Gary McHenry and the late and great Dr. Donnie Dutton as a correspondence instructor. I have had experience in the business sector since my high school days, working in a hospital as a college freshman in the E.R. as an admitting clerk, then as a medical library clerk, and as a small business owner with my children's father, my former husband, with Blue Irish, LLC. I have also experenced some creative work as a Public Relations representative and assisting with designing a web site for Buck Mountain Construction. I have several blog sites as a writer, phtotgrapher, and artist, and am currently am published on Word Press. These accomplishments are a part of my parents’ training to contribute to others in service. I feel the schools are the hearts of our communities, and the greatest service to our world, in my opinion, is through helping our youth.
I began teaching at SHS in Springdale in 1983 after graduating from the University of Arkansas in 1983, and have had 25 years experience both at the high school and at the University of Arkansas through the Department of Continuing Education (now called "Global Learning") as a secondary and adult education instructor for that department for nine years and 16 plus years in the public school classroom in the Springdale Schools as a teacher and substitute teacher when my children were in elementary school. I created the curriculum for the U of A's Continuing Education Department then under Dr. Donnie Dutton, and my direct supervisor, Dr. Gary McHenry, both excellent educators, and have had 10 plus years of volunteer work that has impacted my teaching career. I was a member of PTA at Westwood Elementary and the Springdale PTA City Council, as well as a member of Junior Auxilary and participated in setting up Washington County's first Teen Court and created the Teen Court Coordinator's first Manual of Operations. I also created and wrote "Puppet Troupe 101" scripts that addressed anti-bullying and cultural diversity acceptance themes. I logged over 40 hours of volunteering work as a young mother before working at the U of A and subsequently returning to SHS in 2004 for full-time public school teaching.I have a passion for helping young people make good choices and feel our community is best served by giving back in ways that further compassionate understanding of others.
On June 6, 2015, I was joyfully married to Kevin Courtney, a native of Chicago, Illinois and a 21 year resident of the beautiful Eureka Springs/ Beaver Lake area. Kevin has one grown son who has a career in Mining Expositions, and his new wife, our daughter-in-law, currently serves as a middle school principal, and both are residents of the great state of Colorado. Kevin has 20 plus years experience in construction, and he is a full-time Carpenter/ Working General Contractor, whose passion is building custom homes and finish carpentry and serving as a mentor to young carpenters and tradesmen and women in the construction business. I am a veteran teacher of 26 plus years in public education, teaching Secondary English and Adult Education (9 years at the U of A Continuing Education Department in the 1990's). I also write and paint as my advocations. I have two grown children--- both are my pride and joys in life--- who presently or in the past have worked as pharmacy techs, and have experience in business with their father's electrical engineering small business, and both presently attend college as well as work full time. Both are also graduates of SHS in Springdale. Both graduated with honors, and both were active in athletics and various activities such as band, newspaper, tennis, swimming, volleyball during their high school years. Both are seeking degrees in Biology, but in differing areas, ---one likes the study of insects while the other is interested in the medical profession. Both are creative and artistic. My oldest spent two years as a paralegal for a now-retired attorney friend. I currently live on a mountaintop near Beaver Lake with my husband and my adopted four-legged babies, dog and cat kids along with a flock of dedicated hummingbirds, and a family of raccoons, a dozen resident turkeys, etc. Life is good here in the Ozarks, and each day is a blessing.
I am an artist and writer in my "spare time," and plan to continue writing and creating art pieces over breaks and vacations. I adore the process of artistic expression and do so through the mediums of photography, watercolor, pencil, pen and ink, and acrylics as well as writing. I enjoy gentle yoga, as well as taking a nice swim, and traveling with my fiance when not teaching. I currently live about 15 minutes south and a bit west of Eureka Springs, with my fiance and wonderful four-legged babies on top of a mountain that overlooks Beaver Lake to the south, and the valley toward Berryville and my former home, Fayetteville to the north. My girls are grown and working and attending school in Fayetteville. Both of my daughters currently have great relationships with wonderful young men whom I call my 'sons' by proxy, and this family is the joy of my life. I continue to love the Ozarks, residing in Northwest Arkansas all of my life. As a teacher, I see my father, Hugh Means, hospital administrator for many years in Springdale, as a primary influence in my life. My mother worked at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, during the late seventies and eighties, and then passed in 1988. I would say that one of the most significant influences in my life had to be the work my father did in his community. Hugh D. Means taught me that the greatest life to lead is one of service. He taught me that all of us choose our attitude and our purpose each day. He passed from this good earth having helped many people, and that is my goal as a teacher. I hope to assist many young people find purpose and great passion for doing good in life. The goal of my teaching is to open doors for students to further their own goals and passions in life.