Please welcome REAGAN HANSARD to the staff at Holly Harshman Elementary! My name is Raegan Hansard. I am a graduate of Mena public Schools and I’m excited to be joining the Mena public school team as a special education paraprofessionalI have a two year old daughter who is the joy of my life. I also have two wonderful Great Danes Creed and Flynn. I’m looking forward to a fantastic year and helping to make a difference wherever I’m at!
Final Day of Summer School at HHE!
On Thursday at HHE we are practicing cleaning up the ocean from trash and oil, after reading about the famous ocean conservationist Jacques Cousteau
Mena School administrators are teaming up with our local Walmart for the annual “Tip the Tank,” a fundraising activity for the Arkansas Children’s Miracle Network. Pictured are Louise Durham Principal Curtis Black and Superintendent Dr. Lee Smith.
Please welcome STACY SALISBURY to the staff at Mena Public Schools ! Hello Bearcat Nation- I am so happy to be a part of Mena Schools as your dyslexia specialist and coordinator of the dyslexia program at Mena Schools. I am a CALT or Certified Academic Language Therapist. I received my CALT training from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, Texas at the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders in 2007. I have been a dyslexia therapist for several school districts in Texarkana,Texas serving grades K-12. I started my teaching career in 1982 (graduating from Texas A&M- Texarkana with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education) and have been a classroom teacher for grades 1st-6th until becoming a dyslexia therapist. I retired from teaching in Texas in 2017. After only being retired a few months, I returned part-time as a dyslexia therapist for Texas High School in Texarkana. I truly enjoy helping students overcome their dyslexic challenges and achieving their highest academic success. My husband of 42 years, Dennis Salisbury, and I found your beautiful community about 4 years ago and bought property on Highway 8 West. We have been busy building our home here and finally Dennis has decided to retire! He has been a quality home builder in the Texarkana area building beautiful homes for over 30 years. I look forward to continuing my passion of helping dyslexic students and bringing my experience and knowledge of dyslexia to Mena Schools. I feel extremely blessed to be a part of Bearcat Nation!
Mena School Staff are wrapping up three days of professional development at the Arkansas School Counseling Association Conference in Hot Springs.
The history of Mena Public School Part 5: Friday, June 10, 1949 will always be remembered as a very special day for Central School. This was Louise Durham Day for all the pupils. Teachers and community came together to honor Miss Louise Durham who was retiring from the Mena Schools after fifty-seven years in education. All students in grades seven through twelve were housed in the high school building. The enrollment in these grades had increased in number until the high school building was not large enough to care for the students without overcrowding. Mena Junior High School was organized in 1951. A new gymnasium was approved by district patrons and construction on the project was completed in 1958. In 1960-61 a much needed school auditorium was added to the high school building. In 1968 students first occupied a new cafeteria. The 1968-19 term was a time of change at Stillwell. The first four grades were all moved to Louise Durham School. Only fifth and sixth grade children attended Stillwell. In 1973, the district asked for a five-dollar-per-thousand tax increase to build a new high school. Following the completion of the high school project, the Mena District underwent a reorganization as a middle school was created and kindergarten was added to Louise Durham Elementary. This reorganization began in 1976. The middle school housed 6-8, and the high school housed 9-12. The Stillwell school remained until 1983. In the fall of that year, grades three, four, and five were moved to a new elementary facility that was named after Miss Holly Harshman who had served the Mena District 45 years as a teacher and elementary principal. In 1986 a total of 10 new classrooms plus a band room and athletic facility was built by the district to help meet new state standards. Two years later a new 2200 seat stadium was constructed to replace Boyd Stadium which was plagued by inadequate seating, restrooms, and lighting. The Mena District went from 1973 to 1991 without asking its patrons for a millage increase. However, In September of 1991 district patrons were asked to vote a two mill increase in order to bring the district into compliance with Arkansas Law. The two mills were approved by the people. As of May. 2022, the Mena District has a present enrollment of 1696.. Louise Durham PreK-2 has 460, Holly Harshman has 368, Mena Middle School has 391, Mena High School has 463, Polk County Virtual Academy 14.
Please welcome ANDREA BLAIR to the staff at Mena Public Schools! My name is Andrea Blair and I am a family of four. My husband’s name is Jesse, daughter is Madison, and son Chandler. I graduated from Mena and so did my children. I have been in education 27 1/2 years which includes long term sub, special education para, high school and middle school math teacher, and currently a Special Education Teacher. My hobbies include watching my children and grandchildren playing sports, reading and being outdoors. I love spending time with my family. I am looking forward to being in my hometown teaching resource special education at Holly Harshman Elementary.
Summer School is COOL at Holly Harshman Elementary!! Making macarons, making slime, painting, reading about mermaids - can it get any better??
Mena Counselors Delivered over 300 pounds of can tabs to the Arkansas School Counselors Summer Conference today. Tabs were donated this past school year to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Thank you to all who helped by donating!
The Mena Little Cats Basketball Camp came to a close on Friday at the Union Bank Center. There were smiles all around as awards were given for their hard work this week. GO BEARCATS!!!
Kitchen Chemistry Camp ! Mrs. Frost did an outstanding job guiding students of the proper use of knives. All students successfully sliced their own lemons for the lemon volcanoes. Once sliced, each student added a few kitchen ingredients, which resulted in a beautiful chemical reaction. That beauty was then captured on paper by making lemon prints. The finale of the week was creating their very own “Slush-ees”. It took a lot of patience while waiting for the “Slush” to occur but they were well worth the wait!!
The THRIVE Academy launched this week with educators learning how to implement multi-tiered systems of support for behavior and mental health. The Mena Public Schools were well represented!
The Mena Public Schools are pleased to welcome GEORGIA WEIL to our staff ! My name is Georgia Weil and I’m excited to be teaching 3rd grade Math and Science this year! I was born and raised in Texas where I have been teaching for 15 years. I graduated college from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Production. I am married with two daughters, Collins who is 11 and Caden who is 5. We also have Great Dane named Pippin! I love to be outdoors watching sports and fishing. I also love being with family and friends. I am so excited to be here and look forward to this school year!
Wednesday was the first day of the Little Cats Basketball Camp at the Union Bank Center. Coach Randy Peters & the Bearcats put camper thru their paces. Those left handed layups were a challenge.. GO BEARCATS!!!
The History of Mena Public Schools Part 4: During the school years of 1907-1920 many changes were taking place in the history of education in Arkansas. The Uniform Text Book Law and the Compulsory School Attendance Law were passed by the Arkansas Legislature. Also measures for the protection of the health of small children were passed and the public drinking cup was banned. Compulsory vaccinations against smallpox was instituted. Another great step forward was the coming of the Free Textbook Law. Some of the money raising projects carried out to provide for the needs of the school included teas and plays. With the funds thus obtained many things were bought. Among these were a large Victrola for music appreciation, a suitable and large library for the children, a number of appropriate pictures by master artists, a large school bell, and a first aid cabinet. The community’s educational needs had increased so greatly that in 1922 the Central and High School buildings were added on to and a manual training building was erected. Furthermore, in the 1932-33 school year a model college for the home economics department was provided. Mr. J. E. Bishop, Superintendent of Mena Schools, said he had a faculty of twenty teachers as good as the best in the state. In 1926 the rating of the schools was raised from a “B” to an “A”. In 1927 the high school became a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. This was as high a rating as any school in Arkansas could achieve at the time. In 1934 school census showed 1,103 pupils attending the Mena Schools. All the pupils walked to school in those days. For many years about one fourth of the children brought their lunches to school in a sack or lunch pail. The rest of the pupils walked home for lunch. When the Junior High School was started they built a cafeteria for all the schools in Mena. Central pupils were transported by buses down there to eat every day. The transportation of Mena students by bus increased as consolidation proceeded in the county. Each time one of the outlying schools closed and sent its students to Mena, a new bus had to be added to the school’s growing fleet. By now each classroom had its own library in the room. In 1940 the Mena High School and its contents were destroyed by fire. Shortly thereafter a new high school was constructed on the corner of Mena Street and Church Avenue. In the spring of 1940, plans were made for a lighted athletic field. In the fall Mena defeated Hartford 27 to 12 in the first game to be played on the newly lighted field. The new high school was used for the first time in April 1943. On May 20, 1943, thirty-one seniors graduated.The Boyd Stadium was constructed on the athletic field in 1946. In 1947 a $40,000 bond issue for a new Southside School to be built in Stilwell Park was secured. This new building was scheduled for completion in the fall of 1948. The years 1950-1951 were busy building years for the district. A new home economics cottage was built, a band building was erected, remodeling took place for grades 6-8, and buildings acquired from the Fair Association were remodeled for vocational agriculture classes and shops. Check back for part 5 next Wednesday!
Kitchen Chemistry Camp Continued on Tuesday for MMS & HHE students. Is cabbage juice acidic or alkaline? Kitchen Chemistry campers experimented with household kitchen items to change the PH of purple cabbage juice, changes were observable by the color of the cabbage juice. Campers learned about ways to observe PH differences in everyday life from plants to water quality. Day 3 is coming up and the campers can’t wait to “taste test” our next experiment!
Kitchen Chemistry Camp began on Monday at Mena MIddle School. Campers from MMS & HHE learned about milk plastic and experimented with a “recipe” to make some milk plastic of their own. Milk plastic was used during the 20th century to make ornaments, jewelry, and even belt buckles. More fun experiments and learning opportunities are planned for the rest of the week!
We are pleased to welcome ANNA SCHAUBLE to the staff at Mena Public Schools ! I am moving to Mena with my husband and three boys (13, 9, and 6) and can’t wait to be a bearcat! We are moving from Colorado but have also lived in Texas, Washington, and British Columbia. I’ve taught 5th grade since becoming a teacher 5 years ago, and before that was an accountant for 9 years. In my spare time, I love to spend time with friends and family, camp, ride, read, watch and play sports, and adventure. We feel so blessed already to be part of this community and I can’t wait to learn everything there is about Mena, HHE, and 3rd grade.
Preparations for 2022/2023 are well underway & Mena librarians met today to discuss and share practices related to the library. Pictured are Holli Plunkett-MHS, Tiffany Williams-LDE, Staci Brooks-MMS & Paula Cox-HHE.