Alternative Education is on the forefront of improving educational outcomes throughout our nation and the world. Social Emotional Learning and Social Intelligence have been primary ingredients in every successful ALE. Arkansas continues to provide positive interventions for students that are not meeting their potential for a variety of reasons. It is with the strong support from DESE and our Arkansas legislature that school districts create alternative learning environments (ALEs) to support students, families, administrators, educators and community members.
The Arkansas Association of Alternative Educators (AAAE) continues to help and support developing programs. We provide stellar training to enhance learning in the classroom. We also provide support administratively, behaviorally, socially and emotionally. We recognize tremendous turn around situations from students annually through our Diamond Students and also recognize positive achievements during our Leadership Day at The Capital. Whatever your needs are, please let them be known; our AAAE Board is full of peers and experts readily available to help. I accept the leadership opportunities and needs with tremendous vision as we continue to build positive relationships and programs to help students succeed. Opportunities are available to serve on committees. Please contact your Regional Directors or any AAAE Board member concerning your needs and interests. Our 100% volunteer board members are here to serve you!
Life’s journey creates many chapters as we write our book of experiences and adventures. I am proud to say mine is full of experiences from childhood until now connected with alternative education. One of my most favorite adventures was learning how to sail with Marcia Last, my mentor and foster mother. She taught me how to tack back and forth, a sort of zig, zag from point to point as a sailor maintains focus in the distance of the final destination. That is very similar to my journey through career choices. I’ve known since 3rd grade that I wanted to be an educator that makes a difference with challenging, struggling students. That is what I have done. Texas, North Carolina and Arkansas have allowed me opportunities to work with students of all grade levels and abilities. Arkansas also honored me for nearly 15 years to lead our state as the Arkansas Department of Education, ALE Director. The National Alternative Education Association (NAEA) is also a group I gained leadership opportunities with after serving as Vice President and President during the creation of exemplary practices. I am now equally blessed and honored to finish my final professional chapter back in the classroom with students. I consider this a fulfillment of an opportunity to practice what I’ve been preaching. I’m committed to the students which I am entrusted with, it is a privilege to finish my career returning to the classroom at Mansfield Middle School, it is my heart song!
I am encouraged and inspired by YOU!