Monday, December 14, 2015

Toy Toss

Tonight we held our second annual Toy Toss sponsored by the cheerleaders to benefit students in need within the community and within the area. We had a great response with many stuffed animals to give out this Christmas, as well as to give to local police and fire departments to give to children during difficult times. We especially appreciate the Hackett fans and cheerleaders for so generously and eagerly participating.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

End of the Week...Means Football

Fall is officially here and our boys of Fall are officially doing awesome. Our Junior High team plays tonight at JC Westside at 7:00, with 7th grade playing at 5:45. Our Senior High team plays its first home game Friday at 7:00. Come on out and see what all the talk is about. The map to JC Westside is below. Go Dragons! #Dragonpride

District Golf

Congratulations to the MHS Golf teams. Boys won their district and girls were runner up. Both teams will now advance to State. #Dragonpride
2015 MHS Boys and Girls Golf Teams

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Busy Day at MHS

It was a busy and productive day at #MHS, especially in regard to having visitors on campus and in preparing for seniors' next step.

MHS Seniors at Van Buren HS
State Senator King, with MHS Senior Class President
and MHS Student Council President
We started the day with a trip to Van Buren HS for a college and career fair. We are very thankful for their hospitality.

We were honored to have State Senator King with us today. He toured our campus, spoke with students and teachers, and ate lunch with us. We are appreciative of his work and his interest in our school.
Mark Shaffer

We also held our first ever Young Republicans meeting today. As we are fully into an election cycle, several students showed interest in having this club started here at #MHS. We appreciate Mark Shaffer coming to help us kick off this new club.

Miranda Liggett, presenting to seniors
We also had a couple guests present to our seniors during their advisory period. Miranda Liggett (formerly Creel, #MHS graduate of 2010) spoke to them about her transition from high school to college and then to the workforce. We certainly appreciate her giving of her time and expertise.

Ms. Betty Dennis from Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology also spoke to our seniors about the post-secondary training and school that her school offers in Tulsa. Again, we are so glad she come to help us today.


Outdoor Activities

It's a beautiful day for outdoor classes at #MHS. Ms. Kannett's class is doing a review exercise. Mr. Hall's class is learning tractor safety and skills. #Dragonpride

Friday, September 11, 2015

Football Games and Football Service

This morning as our elementary students got out of their cars and their buses, they were greeted by several members of the #MHS Dragon football team. I am proud of our young men for stepping up and helping out.

Tonight we play Union Christian in Fort Smith. Hope to see you there! #Dragonpride

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Vote for Clayton!

Watch the video and make sure you go to the link to vote for Clayton. He has been nominated for a Yarnell's Sweetest Play of the Week on Channel 5. Here is the link:

Friday, September 4, 2015

It's Football Time!

9-4-15 is upon us, and that means that we are ready for some football. We are playing tonight against Cedarville at their house. Hope you can come to support the Dragons tonight! #Dragonpride

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Digital Transition

This year at #MHS we are transitioning to a more digital environment. In a few classes we are utilizing online or digital textbooks. In many classes, teachers are utilizing Google Classroom to facilitate the exchange of ideas and the delivery of content. Each student carries a Chromebook to class--and home--to access this digital content. We are also hoping that we are not just delivering digitally, but also giving freedom and power to create digitally, to collaborate digitally, and to discover digitally.

We are not attempting to go paperless, but we are trying to use less paper. We are not trying to remove the pen and notebook, but we are trying to add the pixel and screen. We don't desire to eliminate the connection created between teacher and student in a face to face environment within our own walls, but we do desire to have our students create greater connections to other educators and students outside of our walls.

In essence, technology at #MHS is a tool; it's not the only one, but it is a powerful one. We hope to prepare our students for college, career, and life--and the responsible use of technology will play a large role in all three.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ACT Scores

Faculty, Students, and Patrons,

We have just received the overall ACT results from the graduating class of 2015. We would like to congratulate them on a job well done. These are strong scores and we are very proud of their performance. The district Composite score is the highest in the past 5 years. Below is a table with the results as compared to the State averages. #Dragonpride

District      State
21.4             20.0
District      State
20.7             20.0
District      State
23.0             20.9
District      State
21.3             20.3
District      State
21.8             20.4

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Heifer International Ranch

The #MHS Student Council and class officers are developing their leadership skills at the Heifer International Ranch. Lots of learning and lots of opportunities these two days. #Dragonpride

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Another ACT Achiever

We are so proud of our high achieving students at #MHS. For those who score a 27 or higher on the ACT, we place their name in the "27 Up Club" display in the front lobby. #Dragonpride

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wednesday at Work

We had a great day of learning today. The #MHS teachers worked hard, albeit in a relaxed environment, thinking through the implications of a High School that is going 1:1 with Chromebooks. We have such a good and strong staff. I am looking forward to seeing the learning at #MHS this year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Arkansas Leadership Conference

We had five Mountainburg FFA students attend the Arkansas Leadership Conference this year at Camp Couchdale. This camp is an excellent opportunity for students to learn leadership skills and build confidence in their abilities. This was Mr. Hall's first opportunity to spend extended time with our FFA students. We are very glad he is with us this year.

District Wide PD Day

We would like to thank Miss Mountainburg 2015 for coming by to speak to our teachers on Monday. She, as well as several other MHS students, brought a positive note to our meetings.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Football Players, 7-12--Hydration Meeting


It's that time of year again!!! Football season begins on August 3rd. In order for your child to participate in football, they will need three things: a current physical, hydration training, and heat illness training. We have to have these three things on file before your child can step on the field. Most players have already had a physical, but if your child has not, please do so as soon as possible.

We will be doing a brief training on hydration and heat illness on Monday, July 20th. The training will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the football field house. Parents and players need to be in attendance. Parents need to be informed on hydration and heat illness and will need need to sign the form, as well as the player.  

We look forward to another successful season with your kids!!!  Go Dragons!!!!

Coach Harrell

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ACT Achiever

Congrats to Josie Ashbaugh and her recent ACT achievement. So proud of her accomplishment. I look forward to seeing her put this name plate on the wall in August!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

ACT Achiever

Another student makes it to the 27 Up Club. Congratulations!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Student Agency

I am officially back in the office for the first day since returning from the Google Apps for Education conference in Homer’s Glen, Illinois. It was a great conference that focused on student achievement and student engagement enhanced by technology, specifically Google Apps and other related apps and add ons. It was a great conference and I felt privileged to attend.

One idea that kept popping up throughout the conference was the idea of student agency. There were several definitions for student agency given at the conference, but here is my attempt at one: Student Agency is when we provide opportunity for students to think, question, and create into deeper problems and deeper learning, choosing a path driven by their passion. Just as adults have hobbies (hunting, fishing, woodworking, sewing, golfing, etc.) wherein they strive to get better and enjoy themselves, students should have the time and resources to pursue their passions in education. Corollaries to this idea pertain to student voice, student choice, student-centered learning, and student engagement. The central idea to all of this is the student.

Much of the conversation around student agency revolves around the concept of “Genius Hour,” “20% Time,” or passion driven learning. Just as Google at one time allowed employees 20% of their time to create and follow a passion of their own within the company, all of these ideas concern giving students the time to develop themselves with what I call “structured-unstructured time.” This is where we allow students a certain amount of time to think and create and research (structured) a subject, problem, passion of their own (unstructured) wherein they develop themselves, their ideas, and their ability to independently grow.

How can this be done in a small high school with limited staff, limited budget, limited space, and limited (no) corporate partners? How can this be done and we still proficiently address the core subjects? How do we motivate students enough to instill within them a desire to have a passion and then to actually follow it with hard work? (That truly is a subject worthy of lots of thought.) I don’t fully know the answer to these questions yet, but I do see possibilities. I see easily next year a handful of students given the opportunity to take on a problem or a passion. I can see a handful of students given a period a day to become “geniuses,” to follow their educational passions, to solve problems, to find good questions and good solutions. And maybe if these handful of students can see this in themselves, and maybe if others in the building, both teachers and other students, can see them see this in themselves, then perhaps we can see a way for all students to gain greater student agency.

Lots to think about.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Fun/Summer Growth

So, I am halfway through the EdTech Team Illinois Summit and my mind is bursting with questions, thoughts, and hopes for Mountainburg High School. I see so many good practices in other schools, practices that could augment the great things happening at MHS.

Here are some things on my mind:
  • How do we increase student engagement and ownership in Mountainburg High School?
  • How do we help our students gain a greater vision of the world around them and the world within them?
  • How can we incorporate more individual, student chosen learning options that are meaningful and productive?
  • How can we create a culture that guides student thought and motivation?
  • As we transition to a 1:1 environment, how do we stay focused on the most important “1” in the equation, which is the student?
  • I love this quote: “Chance favors the connected mind.” How do we help students develop a connected mind, one that sees connections between disciplines, relationships, conversations, and themselves?
  • Another great quote “Directions are instructions given to explain how. Direction is a vision offered to explain why.” --Simon Sinek   How can we create a culture that is not only effective at giving good directions and teaching students to follow them, but also a culture that helps students gain direction that will guide their lives and careers?
  • A basic but important question: Why is 1:1 important for us to do at Mountainburg High School? What we do is important. How we do this is important. But most important is the why.

How would these ideas fit at our school? How would they need to be modified? What else could we do to help promote student engagement and achievement? Lots of thought-provoking conversations are going on.

I look forward to sharing these thoughts with teachers and with students as we enter into the 2015-2016 school year.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Financial Aid Night

Host Families Needed

Mountainburg High School has been blessed this year with three foreign exchange students. These students have greatly enriched our school and student body through academics, athletics, and friendships.

We are currently looking for host families for the 2015-2016 school year. If you are interested, or even think you might be interested, please contact me through email ( or phone (479-369-2146), and I will get you into contact with the exchange agency. Thank you.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Broken Bridge

One of our classes built toothpick bridges. This particular bridge, built by Tyler Patterson, withstood all the weights we had in the room. So, Mr. Phillips stood on it and it lasted. I then stood on it, and it lasted about 1 second. Since this is the strongest bridge built so far, it now resides in the trophy case.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

ACT Achievers

We have had another round of ACT Achievers, students who have score a 27 or above on the ACT. We are so proud of our kids who excel in this area.