Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Signing Day!!

We are so proud of Tara. She signed today with Arkansas Tech. Way to go!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

6th Grade GT Projects

6th grade GT projects are on display in the Dragons' Den. This one is full of HOPE!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mountainstache 5K

The 1st Annual Mountainstache 5K and 1 mile fun run is tomorrow. Yupp, those are mustaches on the medals.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

OEP Awards

Each year, the Office for Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas creates a report titled the Outstanding Educational Performance Awards highlighting the highest-performing schools in Arkansas based on the Benchmark and End-of-Course exams. I am pleased to announce that Mountainburg High School won a “High-Achieving High Schools” OEP award. These awards are based on the OEP-created “school GPA,” calculated on the basis of the percentage of students that perform at a particular level on the Benchmark exam (advanced, proficient, basic, and below basic). Our area of recognition is for the EOC Algebra I exam. Way to go students! Way to go Mountainburg!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Red Ribbon Week

Yupp, I work with these ladies, and they're awesome. Twin day has struck at MHS.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Positive Referral

     Faculty Focus
                      October 21, 2013
                Positive Referral          Jason Rutherford


A great teacher makes it cool to care. –Todd Whitaker

            “Mr. Rutherford, I need to speak with you about a student on my bus. Remember how much trouble ________  ________ was last year? Well, she has been fabulous this year. I wanted you to know how well she has been doing.” My jaw dropped, then I smiled, and then I thought, “How good is that!” So I called the student to my office, acted as serious as I could, and then told her she got a positive referral and I told her why. Her jaw dropped, then she smiled, and then we said, “How good is that!” So I called her mom at work. “Ms. _________, I am sorry to interrupt you at work because I know how busy you are, but I wanted to speak to you about your daughter….” And then her jaw dropped, she smiled (I could hear both of those over the phone), then she said “Glory Hallelujah” or something like that.

As educators, we are trained to look for problems. I have been thinking about my list of first-of-the-year rules and procedures that I shared with you all at the beginning of this year. So many pertain to catching students doing wrong. Why not catch students doing right? Why not catch them improving? Why not catch them as they shine? Ms. Bogan felt good by telling me about that student. I felt good speaking to the student and the parent. The student felt good hearing this. The parent almost cried. It was a win-win-win-win scenario. And it cost me nothing.

So, catch a student doing right. Write it up on a referral sheet and send it to me. I would love to receive one a month from you. The good will it would create would be well worth the time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Importance of the Why

Here is this week's Faculty Focus.

 Faculty Focus
      The Importance of the Why           October 7, 2013
Jason Rutherford
            I always feel a little guilty when I go to those inservice meetings where someone says, “I didn’t go into teaching for the money.” Here’s my problem: I did go into to teaching for the money. I did not set out from high school to be a teacher. I wanted to go into speech-language pathology, but I surrendered to the ministry shortly after high school, changing those plans. I needed to find a line of work that could support my preaching, a line of work that did not require weekends or summers. Teaching was it. So, I always feel a little guilty about that.
            It didn’t take long, however, for my motives for teaching to change. I saw something more than a paycheck. I found something that gave meaning. Some teachers call their classrooms a mission field. Some teachers say that teaching is a calling for them. No matter how you view your classroom and your students, there must be an overarching reason for teaching, a goal greater than simply exposing students to new content, a reason why we teach. I believe we must teach for life change. This doesn’t have to be spiritual, but it could be. This doesn’t have to be emotional, but it could be. We teach for life change because that is the essence of true education.
          If you do not have this goal in mind, if you do not have this purpose in mind, you will more than likely soon despise your students, you will more than likely soon despise your principal, and you will more than likely soon grow bitter and angry. Let’s be honest: we have to put up with a bunch of stuff (to put it lightly) in education. Sometimes it comes from the ADE, sometimes from court cases, sometimes Federal laws, sometimes from your principal, and sometimes from one another. Often it feels that we have squeezed the joy out of being a teacher. If being a teacher means keeping up with all the stuff, teaching has lost its meaning.

            But we know that’s not what teaching is. We know that’s not why we teach. We teach to change lives. We teach to shape, form, mold, build, and grow. We teach to love, to care, to help, and to nurture. We teach for life change. Remind yourself of that often. Remind yourself of that next time you hear TESS, IEP, AIP, ELL, SES, ALP, ALE, ISD, ADE, EOC, NSLA, PGP, LEADS (we have enough acronyms to choke a horse), or anything else educationalese. Remind yourself of this when you deal with your next difficult student. Remind yourself of this when you have one of those days. We teach to change lives.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Faculty Focus

I began writing a weekly Faculty Focus letter to my faculty and staff this year. My desire is to inspire, encourage, and equip all of us to achieve our goal of student success. Below is my first.

 Faculty Focus
  To the Top                                     August 15, 2013
            During our Leader in Me training today, the elementary school and middle school watched an incredible video about Eric Weihenmayer and his assent to the top of Mt. Everest. Getting to the top is an incredible feat accomplished by only a very few who attempt it. What makes this particular story even more incredible is that Eric is blind. I have problems making it from the sink to the bed once I have taken my contacts out at night! Eric, though, made it to the top of Everest.
            But he did not ascend alone. It took a dedicated team, a dedicated system, and a dedicated plan spanning years to make his goal and dream attainable. One particular statement by one of Eric’s team members still reverberates in my ears. On the last leg of the climb, a snowstorm nearly made them turn back, but they waited it out and outlasted it. As the storm passed and they picked up to move, the team noticed that all of the guide ropes they had in place for Eric were covered in inches of snow and a thick layer of ice. It would take incredible energy—in an environment where the atmosphere is causing the body to be in the process of dying—to break the ropes free. One man, at the peak of exhaustion, knowing that his efforts to free the guide ropes could very easily tire him to the point of his not being able to finish the climb, said (paraphrased), “The goal is for Eric to get to the top, not me. So I did what I had to do and freed the ropes.”
            I was moved by this for many reasons, but one thing sticks out as being so pertinent to us at Mountainburg Schools: his dedication to a clear goal. When all seemed lost, this man’s dedication to getting Eric to the top helped him make the right decision. He knew the mission was about Eric and not about himself. He knew the buried ropes would prevent the reaching of their goal. So he knew he had to exhaust himself to accomplish that goal.
            So I ask you, and I ask myself, what is our goal at Mountainburg Schools? Why are we doing what we are doing here? Is it not to get our students to the top? Are we not trying to get our Eric and our Cynthia and our Joe and our Susan to the top? Our goal and our focus must be student success, raising our students to levels they could not attain without us. It is not about busses, about lunchrooms, about classroom furniture, about me or about you; it is about providing the plans, equipment, training, and guidance for our students to achieve their dreams.
            We are a school. Students are our reason for existence. I look so forward to working with you this year as we take our students “to the top.”
--Jason Rutherford

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Senior Night

We were blessed tonight with a large turnout for our senior night. With a meal, admissions advice, financial advice, college reps, vocational school reps, military reps, and senior cap and gown ordering, many good things were accomplished tonight. Thank you to all who attended and participated.

Monday, September 30, 2013

HS English

Some really cool work is on display in our high school done by some of our English classes. We are pleased to have Ms. Fain with us this year.

MS Science

MS science students recently created 3D models of cell structures. Here is an example.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sage Advice

More sage advice from Ms. Cindy in the MS office. We are lucky to have her.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Talks with Royalty

The 6th grade library officially opened yesterday. We celebrated with punch, cookies, and special guests. This year's Mr. and Ms. Mountainburg shared book talks and enjoyed the opening along with the entire sixth grade. Each year we celebrate this time with the hopes to instill and grow a love for reading in all of our students.

Office Door

Ms. Cindy's words of wisdom for the day.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Morning Schedule

Every morning at MHS we have a routine at the beginning of the day. It is taped to the top of our intercom to keep me on track. State law now requires a minute of silence at the start of the day. Our students have responded beautifully to this. Also taped to the top of the intercom is the Pledge of Allegiance. My very first day of being principal 2 years ago, I forgot it in the middle of leading 200 students. So, my secretary made a copy and taped it where I could have a ready reference. I feel loved and taken care of!

Friday, August 30, 2013

MMS Friday Note

Dates to Remember

9-6-Jr. High Football vs. Cedarville here @ 7pm

9-6-Sr. High Football vs. Cedarville away @ 7pm

9-6-Grandparents Day- Invite your grandparents for lunch.  $3.50 for guest tray.

Thank you to all who attened the Open House. 

This is a reminder that all students entering into 7th grade this year are required by Arkansas law to have a TDAP shot if they have not had one in the last 5 years. Also, any 7th grader who doesn’t have a history of chicken pox must have either 1 or 2 varicella vaccinations, depending on age.
The school must have proof that your child has received the required vaccinations no later than 30 days after the beginning of school. You may contact the Crawford County Health unit at 479-474-6391 if you have further questions. Thank you.

Students are reminded that you will have to return a completed Health History form in order to receive over the counter medications such as Ibuprophen, Tylenol, Tums, etc.

Monday-No School
Tuesday- Pepperoni Pizza
Wed.-Beef Tacos
Friday-BBQ Sandwich

The cafeteria welcomes any comments or suggestions.  Please call 369-4224
Mr. Hamilton is collecting Box Tops for education.
Every 3rd Saturday @ Pigeon Creek FWB Church 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Every 4th Saturday @ the Presbyterian Church from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Every 3rd Tuesday @ The Living Waters Church in Chester from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitors & Parents
Please check in with office personnel when coming onto campus.
Dragon t-shirts & hoodies are for sale with proceeds to benefit the Jr. High boys’ basketball team. Samples are hanging in the Dragons Den.  Mr. Hamilton will have order forms & you must pay when you order.
All forms from the handbook must be returned to the office.  If the handbook forms are not received you will not be allowed to participate in any extra-curricular activities, including athletics, fieldtrips, etc. for the remainder of the school year.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Math People!

I love math jokes. Fortunately I get this one. I don't understand most of them, but since I know Star Wars, I can understand it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Goal Setting

Decorating the hall outside Mr. Foster's classroom are the goals of his students. The 2013-2014 school year at MMS is off to a great start!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Upcoming Open House

Open house for the Middle School and the High School will be on Tuesday, August 13th. It will begin at 4:30 in the HS cafeteria. We will be serving hot dogs, drinks, and chips. We will have a few announcements, and then we will transition to the classrooms at 5:00. Teachers will be in their rooms until 6:30. We hope you will come out and visit our new teachers and your student's new teachers.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Room Updates

Several of our rooms in the HS and MS received some updates. This is a picture of Ms. Sherwin's room at the high school. The new sheetrock, paint, and ceiling tiles really brighten up the room.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Schedule Pick Up Days

The following dates and times have been scheduled for MHS students to pick up their schedules:

Seniors--Tuesday, August 6th        9:00-12:00
Juniors--Wednesday, August 7th     9:00-12:00
Sophomores--Monday, August 12th  9:00-12:00
Freshmen--Wednesday, August 14th   1:00-3:00

We are looking forward to the return of all of our students. It is going to be a great year at MHS!

Band Room Color

Our band room got a little bit of color this summer. Mr. Kain is working hard to get ready for a new year with Mountainburg. I am really looking forward to seeing Mr. Kain's work with our band and choir.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ballet and Dance

We were very pleased to host an intensive ballet and dance seminar at Mountainburg this summer. We are very proud of the work our students. This was new for Mountainburg and we hope to be able to continue this in the future.

Monday, July 1, 2013

EOC Good News

We have just recently received the End of Course (EOC) scores for the High School. A big congratulations must go out to our students for their great performance. Our Algebra I students scored at 91% Proficient/Advanced. Our Geometry students scored at 79% Proficient/Advanced. And our Biology (a very tough test) students scored at the State average. We are so very proud of how our students did this year.

As we transition this year to the Common Core State Standards, and as we transition to the Next Generation Assessments with PARCC, we know that we are well-positioned to be successful under this new system. It will be a tough transition, and we will hit bumps along the way, but I know that we will continue a strong tradition of success.

We have wonderful teachers doing a wonderful job. Mountainburg, you have much in which to take pride.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Working With the Best

I just had a fun conversation with our summer cleaning crew. We picked on Mr. Roper and Will, so you know these ladies have class. They are doing great work in our buildings this summer, and I know everything will look great when school starts back up in August. I appreciate all of their hard work. It is a privilege to work with them.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Parking Lot Glory

Our HS and MS parking lots all received a facelift this summer. They will be ready for use tomorrow and ready for all of our students August 19th.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Attendance Reward Trip

All of my students, 5th - 12th, who had two or fewer absences for the year, were treated to pizza at Mazzios today. We had a great time. I am proud of these students' great attendance.

Friday, May 17, 2013

FFA Banquet

Tonight was the annual FFA banquet. This evening's banquet was the best attended in many, many years. Our students did a great job tonight. Thank you to all of our alumni and sponsors who help make this possible.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

7th Grade Engineering

MMS math students are working on a toothpick engineering/bridge project.

5th Grade Science Lab

I learned something today. Owl pellets are similar to cat hair balls. Our students dissected them today in a lab and were able to piece together skeletons of rats eaten by the owls. Pretty cool!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sr. High Athletic Banquet

Tonight is our Sr. High Athletic Banquet. We are very proud of all of our athlete's accomplishments.

Monday, May 13, 2013

M Awards

Today we had our annual M Awards. With these we recognize academic achievement and growth in the classroom. I always enjoy this day when we celebrate what happens well in the classroom.

ACT Achievers

We had two more high scoring ACT Achievers. We are very proud of how well our students are doing. At this rate we will be buying a new achiever board soon. Good problem to have.

More ACT Achievers

We had two more high scoring ACT Achievers. We are very proud of how well our students are doing.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Mr. Lawson was given a small retirement gift by his students. I think the sash is quite attractive.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

School Report Card

Each year school districts receive a report card from the Arkansas Department of Education. We have just received ours for the 2011-2012 school year. Please take a look, and if you have any questions concerning the middle school and high school, please feel free to email me or call me. 

Please click on the link below to access the report.

Friday, April 26, 2013

More ACT Achievement

Congratulations to another new member of the 27 Up Club. We are very proud of you, Will!

All-Star Athletes

As of right now, we have four seniors who will be participating in All-Star games this summer.
Maddy Backus - West Team, All-Star Basketball Game, Thursday, June 20, UCA
Stephen Stearman - All-Star Football Game, Saturday, July 13, UCA
Nathan Jones - All-Star Football Game, Saturday, July 13, UCA
Alexis Reed - All-Star Dance Team (will perform at the All-Star Football Game), July 13, UCA

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dance Show

Make plans to come!

US News and World Report Ranking

There are many ways to assess a school, but Ms. Kannett just shared with me the US News and World Reports' ranking of Arkansas High Schools. We were ranked 29th out of 319 high schools in Arkansas. There is much to celebrate in that report. Also, we were ranked 2237 out of over 21,000 high schools in the nation. Way to go! 

Click here to see the report.
US News and World Report Ranking

8th Grade Engineering

Spaghetti, tape, marshmallow, creativity...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

High Point Seniors

These three seniors all achieved a 3.75 or higher high school GPA. This is quite an accomplishment.

Academic Banquet

This past Thursday we held our MHS Academic Banquet. We celebrate the success of our students and are very proud of their accomplishments.

27 Up Club

One more addition to our high ACT Achievers.

Monday, April 8, 2013

College Signing Day

Destiny, we are proud of you. Bacone College has gained a good ball player and a great person.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Benchmark Bootcamp Is Underway!

The 6th grade classes are in review mode for the upcoming Benchmark exams. They are starting each day this week with listening games. Our teachers do a great job not only teaching our students, but also getting them mentally prepared for the Benchmark.

Art Class Creations

Ms. Hubbard's HS art classes created book covers recently. Here is an example.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We Are Proud of You

In the March 18th edition of "Ozarks Farm" one of our own, Lillian Beasley, was featured. We are proud of you Lillian!