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Claudia Utley, Communications Director
October 24, 2019
For Release to Media in Sebastian County
For Immediate Release
FORT SMITH TEACHER TO RECEIVE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Sheila Humphrey to be honored at Bessie B. Moore Awards Luncheon Nov. 13 in Little Rock
LITTLE ROCK—A former longtime school teacher at Woods Elementary School, Fort Smith School District, will receive the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Economics Arkansas.
Sheila Humphrey will be honored for her innovative, creative economics teaching and mentoring during a career spanning almost 30 years, mostly with the Fort Smith School District. The award presentation will take place during the 24th Annual Bessie B. Moore Awards luncheon on Nov. 13 at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. Also recognized during the luncheon will be four teachers from Sebastian and Benton counties for excellence in economic teaching during the 2018-19 school year.
“Sheila is a star among economics teachers,” said Marsha Masters, associate director of Economics Arkansas. “She is revered not only by generations of Arkansas students, but also by educators and administrators across the nation. Anytime her young students talk about economics learned in the classroom, they wow the audience with their knowledge!”
Kristina Thrift, a teacher at Woods Elementary, explained Humphrey's impact on her with these words: "Sheila taught me the importance of teaching our students economics at a young age. If our students learn to make the right choices now, it will impact their future," Thrift said. "Every time Sheila taught economics through a book or a song, you knew as an observer her passion for it," she said.
Humphrey taught at various schools in the greater Fort Smith area, eventually joining Woods Elementary, where she taught for 22 years until her retirement in 2017. She won numerous awards for projects such as No Bees, No Honey, No Work, No Money!, Cornering Economics-The Woods Patriot Way, Serving the Community from ‘Our Neck of the Woods’, Economics is a ‘Natural’ for Baseball, Fun in the Fort – A Tour Guide Map for Kids and Patriot Pride Since ’75 – Economics in Our Lives. Her projects excelled because they involved not only her classroom students, but also their parents, family members and the community at large, thus bringing economic and personal finance education to a much larger audience.
In 2006, Humphrey was selected a Master Economics Teacher by Economics Arkansas, providing professional development training certified by the Arkansas Department of Education to other Arkansas educators. In 2013, she was named Teacher of the Year in the K-4 division by the Council for Economic Education of New York.
Economics Arkansas presents the Lifetime Achievement Award periodically to exceptional teachers and advocates of economics, personal finance and entrepreneurship education in the PreK-12 classroom. Honorees are recognized at the annual Bessie B. Moore Awards luncheon.
Economics Arkansas launched the Bessie B. Moore Awards program in 1995 to honor exemplary teachers for successfully integrating economic principles into the classroom. The program is open to PreK-12 educators from public and independent schools in Arkansas. To enter, teachers submit written descriptions of their projects, which are reviewed and judged by an independent panel of economic education specialists. The winners receive cash awards and a “Bessie” statue. The deadline to enter is typically in early to mid-July.
This year’s winners are:
• Amy Nicole Gordon, Barling Elementary, Fort Smith School District
• Valarie Harp, Hackett Elementary, Hackett School District
• Amy Mileham, Grace Hill Elementary, Rogers School District
• Anna Badders, Grace Hill Elementary, Rogers School District
The awards luncheon is scheduled for Nov. 13, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. Keynote speaker will be Sarah-Catherine Gutierrez, founder and partner of Aptus Financial Services and the recent Save10 grassroots campaign to inspire Americans to save 10 percent (or more) of their gross earnings for life and retirement.
Individual seats and sponsorships are available at https://tinyurl.com/BBMawards.
Photo of Sheila Humphrey available upon request.