Students at Simon Middle School took their learning outside the classroom this week, with a visit from the Air Medical Helicopter stationed locally.
AirEvac personnel spent the day with Simon's seventh graders, talking to them about how they use the concepts of thermal energy in controlling the temperature of patients during a medical emergency.
They also presented about the kinetic and potential energy the helicopter generates to stay airborne.
"The idea of inviting AirEvac to come visit our school grew out of a 7th Grade Chemistry project where our students use chemical reactions to create and control thermal energy or heat," says 7th grade Science Teacher David Steadham. "Heat is such a vital component to saving a person’s life during an emergency, and yet it is often overlooked by the untrained. So I reached out to the AirEvac Helicopter Ambulance service for help in getting the students excited about the project."
The AirEvan crew consisted of a paramedic, RN, and a pilot. The team provided a real world medical and mechanical example of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.)
The 7th graders enjoyed the real life lesson.
"I liked learning how helicopters worked, how they’re able to carry patients and all the equipment and how fast they are," said Damien. "It made me think about flying helicopters, maybe becoming a pilot one day."
Shya said "It was interesting because they talked about how they looked for the people they were coming to help and they wouldn’t know what to expect when they got there. I’m thinking about becoming a nurse, but I’m not sure about working as a trauma nurse."
"I would like being able to help someone out and working in an ER sounds exciting, like it would give me an adrenaline rush," said Kevin. "I want to be moving when I’m working."
"They had a lot of medical equipment that you could use," added Leesa. "They talked about how the helicopter can glide if the engine goes out. I liked hearing about the jobs like nursing and medical stuff but I don’t think I’d like to work in the helicopter because I’m scared of heights."
Their teacher says this was a tremendous learning experience for the students.
"This is probably a career choice that many students had never thought about or knew existed," Steadham said. "So it became an amazing opportunity to show students how science can save lives as well as show them careers that use science every day to make a difference to the world."
Congratulations to the members of the 2017-18 Conway High School Homecoming Court.
Left to Right
Conway’s District Teacher of the Year, Randi House, has been named the Arkansas State Teacher of the Year for 2018.
House, a Kindergarten Teacher at Theodore Jones Elementary School, was surprised at a school-wide assembly with the announcement.
“Randi House embodies everything we want in a teacher,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “In her classes at Theodore Jones Elementary School, she incorporates reading, math, cooking, gardening and computer coding in her classroom. She teaches life skills while she teaches math skills. She goes above and beyond to ensure every student feels valued and appreciated. In all she does as a teacher, she sets an example of excellence. I trust her reign as the Arkansas Teacher of the Year will enrich her life as much as she enriches the lives of her students.”
Commissioner of Education Johnny Key, along with Conway Schools' Superintendent Greg Murry, Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry, and other State dignitaries attended Friday's ceremony to congratulate her on her honor.
“Today we honor Ms. Randi House, the 2018 Arkansas Teacher of the Year," said Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key. "From her innovative classroom practices to her personal commitment to every student, Ms. House serves as a model of excellence for all teachers. She not only strives to help her students reach their potential, she nurtures every child, helping each develop the personal confidence that is essential to living a happy, productive life. Ms. House is an inspiration to her students, their parents and her co-workers, and I look forward to watching her share her inspirational story this next year.”
A graduate of Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, House has a Bachelor of Science in Education and Early Childhood Education, as well as a Master of Science in Education and Reading. She has served in numerous leadership roles on the school and district levels. In addition to providing professional development for other educators, House recently attended the Arkansas Leadership Academy and has completed her submission to become a National Board Certified Teacher. She is awaiting confirmation. She has been teaching at Theodore Jones Elementary for six years.
Providing opportunities for students to network and experience life beyond her classroom is a priority for House. In addition to taking her students on virtual field trips around the world, House welcomes community volunteers into her classroom to share real-life experiences. Through video conferencing, she invites authors from around the country into her classroom.
House’s desire to help others is passed along to her students. She helps her students write cards for local nursing home residents and assists other schools with growing their own gardens and incorporating cooking lessons in their learning activities. Her innovative classroom practices, including her kindergarten cooking show, which is a hands-on cooking lesson with her students, have been featured by local media outlets.
House was named one of four State Semi-Finalists Aug. 30 at a ceremony at the Capitol. The Arkansas Teacher of the Year selection panel then conducted site visits that included interviews and classroom observations.
Besides receiving a $14,000 check from the Walton family foundation and a proclamation from the mayor declaring it "Randi House Day", House will now travel and share her story around the state of Arkansas during the 2018-19 school year.
Conway High School Art Student Mae Roach has been chosen as the winner for the "Art for Education" Cover Contest by Downey Publishing.
Roach's artwork of a toad wearing a crown is now featured on the front cover of the new Conway/Faulkner County Telephone Directory.
The CHS Senior, pictured here with her teacher Crystal Certain and Downey Publishing District Sales Manager Jeri Butler, received a $500 Visa Gift Card for the grand prize in the contest. Certain and Conway High School also received a $500 check for being the winning school.
Artwork from other Conway students and surrounding area schools can be found throughout the 2017-18 Telephone Directory.
Conway High School's "Skills USA" float won first place in their division at the Faulkner County Fair Parade this week.
But it wasn't only that award that made everyone so proud of the teachers, students, and staff who made this float, and the story behind it, a reality.
This year's parade theme was "Superheroes and Fairytales."
Auto Collision Teacher Wayne Pendley knew about Conway student Savannah Westover's struggle with cancer. But when he found out she had always wanted to be a princess, he decided he could do something to help make her dream come true.
Pendley rallied together his fellow teachers in the Conway Career Center to make it happen. They solicited local businesses to donate money to rent a horse-drawn princess carriage, as well as donate a fancy princess dress, white gloves, and a tiara.
One of the teachers altered the dress while the cosmetology teacher and her students did Savannah's hair and makeup, as well as pampered her with a manicure. The photography students did a mini photo shoot with the pampered princess for her scrapbook.
"Savannah looked so beautiful and she and her mom had an amazing time," says Pendley. "All our teachers and community members came together to help make Savannah's wish come true."
Nine Conway High School seniors have been named National Merit Semifinalists today in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Chloe Baker, Hunter Davis, Matthew Depner, Gopi Lukhi, Madelyn Moss, Catherine Peppers, Tanner Ruth, Noah Smith, and Epifanio Torres-Smith are 2018 National Merit Semifinalists.
“I speak for the entire Conway High School staff when I say we are very proud of this group,” says CHS Principal Jason Lawrence. “We have had a number of semifinalists over the years who have gone on to great things. This group is not only highly intelligent, but they are also involved, personable, and show a strong work ethic. We will see great things from them as well.”
These nine students now have the opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million dollars.
The semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to go on to become a finalist. 90 percent of the semifinalists will attain finalist standing, with half of the finalists winning a merit scholarship.
“Our parents and patrons should continue to be impressed with the quantity of National Merit Scholars that are produced by our school district,” says Superintendent Dr. Greg Murry. “It reflects a quality student body that has a focus on academic achievement as well as a teaching staff that does significant work to help these students down their path of outstanding performance.”
The students qualified for this distinction by taking the Preliminary SAT /National Merit Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) and scoring in the top one percent of the nation. The number of semi-finalists in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. This year there are approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the nation.
Conway's District Teacher of the Year Randi House has been named a Semi-Finalist for Arkansas State Teacher of the Year.
House, along with three other teachers from around the state, was the first name revealed at a ceremony with the Governor and Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner this morning.
Describing her as a teacher who makes sure to meet her students' basic needs first, and always keeping clothing and food available in her classroom, a classroom where she takes them on virtual trips around the world, Arkansas' current teacher of the year recognized House for her commitment to community partnerships and hands-on learning.
House now moves on to the final round of the competition for Arkansas State Teacher of the Year, where a panel of state education leaders will visit her classroom and school for interviews and observations.
"We are ecstatic at Randi attaining this recognition," says Dr. Greg Murry, Superintendent of Conway Public Schools. "She does such a wonderful job of taking care of our youngest students and they love her for it. We look forward to her continuing this journey as she represents all of our teachers and the excellent work they do."
Conway Public Schools' District Teacher of the Year Randi House has been named a Regional Finalist in the competition for Arkansas' State Teacher of the Year.
House received the news last Friday that she is one of 14 regional finalists for the state award.
House, along with other Conway teachers, was finishing up a week of Professional Development when she and her Principal found out the news.
"It was such an incredible moment when I found out I had been selected," House said. "Dr. Woosley was showing a slide show of our students and noticed an email had popped up on her screen. She excitedly called me over and we read it together in front of our entire school family. It was so special to not only feel my own excitement, but to witness how immensely happy my principal and colleagues were for me. I am so honored to represent Conway Public Schools and thankful for this incredible opportunity."
Theodore Jones Elementary Principal Tammy Woosley agrees.
"To watch her reaction on receiving the good news, and the reaction of her team was a true joy as their leader. Randi truly lives out our district’s core values and I know that came through in her application to the ADE. Her dedication to each student and our team is a true testament of why she has been selected for such a prestigious honor."
The regional finalists are determined based on their Teacher of the Year applications they submitted last summer. The highest scores for each education service cooperative and Pulaski County move on to the next level, where four state semi-finalists will be named.
This will happen at a reception with the Governor on August 30th at the State Capitol.
Students of Conway Area Career Center (Conway High School) recently attended the International Leadership Conference of student organization Hosa: Future Health Professionals in Orlando, Florida.
Students spent the week at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, which was the conference location.
Along with competitive event participation, students attended educational symposiums sponsored by over 100 healthcare entities, including the United States Army, Office of the Surgeon General, Department of Health, and Association for Career and Technical Education.
Students were also excited to meet other future health professionals from all around the United States and abroad, as Hosa is now a global organization.
As members of this organization, students are eligible to compete in one of over 50 competitive events at the conference which highlight a specific health occupation or promote leadership skills for a future health professional.
This year, Conway High School was proud to send 12 students to the conference who showed excellence by winning awards at the Arkansas State Leadership Conference in March- thereby receiving an invitation to compete at the international conference. Each event averages over 75 individuals or teams and is extremely competitive.
Students Katelyn Caldwell and Kyle Mahan placed 3rd in the event Health Career Display and team members Abigail Allen and Caroline Jones placed 9th in event CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).
CHS is also proud to say that 5 other competitors advanced to round two in their event- these accomplishments are a conference record for the school.
Pictured are--Front row: Emma Cook, Anne-Jillian Clements, Joniya Flowers (in front), Manahil Kazmi, Tatiana McGraw, Bailey Milligan, Caroline Jones
Back row: Katelyn Caldwell, Kyle Mahan, Bryan Jaquez, Motion Foxx, Abigail Allen
Some Kindergarten students at Theodore Jones Elementary School end the year with a day they'll never forget.
Teacher Nathan Howse took his whole class on a fishing trip last week.
Howse,an outdoorsman and nature lover, says he started this tradition seven years ago when he discovered that many of his students had never experienced one of life's simple childhood pleasures.
"Our class was reading a book about frogs and tadpoles and I asked the students how many of them have ever seen tadpoles or frogs, and many said they had not," said Howse. "I asked how many students had been fishing; several students said they had not. I started looking at our curriculum and I quickly realized that I could include a ton of standards, ranging from writing to math into a fishing trip. I am a firm believer that learning should not be limited to our classroom."
Howse and his students walk from Theodore Jones to nearby Courtway Middle School for their annual Fishing Trip.
He says the students always feel like they are going on an outdoor expedition.
"The candid conversations the day of the fishing trip are phenomenal. The trip is always towards the end of the year so we get to experience a solid years’ worth of friendships in the purest form."
"Every year the first fish caught receives roaring cheers from the other kiddos. We have caught catfish, bream, bass, and even a plastic bag! For seven years straight, any student who has wanted to catch a fish has caught one."
The kids are also treated to a "happy meal/kids meal" lunch, thanks to one of Howse's personal friends. He heard about the trip and wanted to make the day even more special for the kids, so his company has donated lunch for the kids every year.
After spending the morning fishing, the class spends the entire afternoon doing follow up work from the trip. They compile all the data from the trip (how many fish caught, who caught the most, length of the biggest fish compared to the smallest fish, which bait caught the most fish, etc.) and they turn a lot of the data into easy to read charts and graphs. The students write in their journals their opinions of the fishing trip.
Howse says the students write ferociously about all they experienced that day. It is their best journal writing of the year.
"You can literally see the students smile as they write about catching that fish. I have had students who struggled with writing and sitting still in the classroom who excel on this fishing trip and even ask for more time on their writing because they wanted to add more details about their fish. Students become learning sponges and they absorb everything, because they think we are just fishing."
"On the last day of school I ask all of my students to describe their favorite memory of Kindergarten. 9 times out of 10 they mention the fishing trip. Parents have also fallen in love with this magical trip. I have several dads that have continued to help even after their kids have left my class. Our principal’s dad has attended every trip, playing a vital role in assisting the students crossing the street and baiting hooks. Other people have offered to help financially and with their time. It is a phenomenal day!"
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