Three named to Van Buren High School Hall of Honor

Philip Brodie, Gary Deffenbaugh and Debbie Thomas recently were named as inductees to the Van Buren High School Hall of Honor. The induction ceremony for the Hall of Honor Class of 2019 will be 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in the Van Buren High School Commons at Van Buren High School, 2001 Pointer Trail. A reception honoring the 2019 inductees and the 2019 Senior student leaders will also be held that evening. Inductees will be recognized during activities surrounding the Pointer football team’s Friday night home game Oct. 25.

Brodie, a 1909 Van Buren High School graduate, has been selected for his outstanding high school achievement and post-secondary career accomplishments. Brodie served as VBHS Senior class president and participated in football, baseball, track and field, and coached the girls basketball team. He attended the University of Arkansas and later returned to Van Buren, where he served as a principal and head football coach.

Deffenbaugh is a 1967 Van Buren High School honor graduate. He has been selected for outstanding post-high school achievements and service to the Van Buren School District as a coach and staff member. As a student, Coach “D” excelled as both a football and basketball player at VBHS. He received a football scholarship to Ouachita Baptist University and became a standout player, being selected to the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference All- Star game in 1969. He graduated in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in education and went on to have a distinguished 39-year career as an educator. Deffenbaugh spent 28 of those years as a math instructor and football coach in the Van Buren School District.

Thomas, a 1971 Van Buren High School graduate, has been selected for outstanding civic contributions and achievements. As a student, Thomas served as the VBHS senior class president and participated in the Pointer pep squad, glee club, Treblettes, music council, and was a library worker. Thomas has dedicated her time and talents to numerous organizations. She is an active member of Heritage United Methodist Church, and is Past President and Board member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC)-Women’s League of Van Buren. She is a graduate of Leadership Fort Smith and has volunteered with Leadership Crawford County for the past 20 years.


Donors open concurrent enrollment opportunities for Sequoyah County high school students

State Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, recently announced that several anonymous donors in the Sallisaw area have come together to provide a $250,000 project initiative that will offer concurrent enrollment between high schools in Sequoyah County and Carl Albert State College.

Traditional concurrent enrollment requires students to drive back and forth between their high school and the college, costing them time and money. Now, utilizing zoom technology, students will be able to take their college class at the high school they normally attend, making it possible for more students to join concurrent enrollment, a news release states.

“Concurrent enrollment has been available to our high school students for several years, but for families that are struggling, it can be expensive or inconvenient,” Olsen says in the release. “Thanks to the generosity of these donors, our high school students will have better opportunities to succeed in their careers and enhance the workforce of eastern Oklahoma.”

Olsen said high school students who participate in concurrent enrollment are far more likely to go to college than students who do not utilize. Students in concurrent enrollment also save money because they do not pay tuition, only a much lower college fee, thanks to the anonymously donated scholarships.

High school students in Sequoyah County who are interested in learning more about concurrent enrollment options should contact their high school counselors’ office or the Carl Albert admissions office for information.


Names of Note


Taylor Gilbreth, U.S. history and world history teacher for grades 10 and 11 at Future School of Fort Smith, was recognized by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, the Arkansas Department of Education and state and national partners on June 13 for his successful completion of the Arkansas Declaration of Learning program. Gilbreth was one of four educators to receive a Best of the Best award for his outstanding lesson plans and civic engagement project.


Levi Smith of Van Buren was one of three students in western Arkansas who won a Taco Bell Live Mas Scholarship. Smith was awarded a $10,000 scholarship. He intends to pursue filmmaking at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.


Sarah Bird, Matthew Shultz and Andrew Todd, all of Fort Smith, recently graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.


Anna Mullis of Fort Smith recently graduated from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.


Arturo Ortega of Heavener recently received the Stringfield Scholarship and the Randall and Shirley Pogue Centennial Math Endowment Scholarship from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.


Kennedy Thomas of Howe recently received the Dr. Dennis and Elsie Williams Math Scholarship from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.


Sophie Price of Fort Smith recently was named to the dean's list at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.


Amber Alzufari, Julia Brixey, Abby Denison and Abigail Short, all of Greenwood High School, Patrick Jones of Southside High School and John Shelton of Scranton High School recently were named as part of the 2019 Class of Honors College Fellows at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.


The following area students recently were named to the spring 2019 dean's list at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia: Garrison Jensen of Alma; Michaela Finley of Cedarville; Lindsay Gills, Lucas Riley, Matthew Ward and Jenna Whitlow, all of Fort Smith; Zack Tomlinson of Lavaca; and Sabreena Alfaro of Magazine.


The following area students recently were named to the spring 2019 president's list at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia: Ceira Carpenter of Altus; Breanna Parker of Clarksville; Emma Shortes, Colton Sims and Michael Ward, all of Fort Smith; Taylor Harper of Mena; and Madison Shankle and Mitchell Waite, both of Van Buren.


Andrew Rickard of Fort Smith recently was named to the dean's list for the 2019 spring semester at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


Cara Shipley of Fort Smith recently was named to the dean's academic honor list for the 2019 spring semester at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.


Kylie McKeever of Fort Smith recently was named to the spring 2019 honor roll at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma.


The following area students recently graduated from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville: Parker Jane Battles,  Sarah Jo Bayird, Brent Burden, Alex Michael Clark, Rebecca Lynn Dean, Kristin N. Edwards, Ashlyn May Elliott, Kendra Kay Flanagan, Jason Doyle Hensley, Caitlin Valerie Hicks, Peyton Seth Linker, Misty Lee Love, Ryan Matthew Pointer, Patrick Alan Quarles and Deidra Steele, all of Alma; Elizabeth Ann Hardister, Breanna Gail Hatchett, Kaylie Brooke Jones, Elizabeth Ann Leding, Melissa Ann Mayner and Micha Thomas, all of Altus; Madeline Mae Michelle Carter and Angela Sue Stout, all of Cedarville; Aaron Wewers Collier, Haley Jae Crowley, Kara Lindsay Greb, Allie Harrison, Mallory E. Heft, Richard Rankin, Elizabeth Morgan Verkamp and Gabrielle Young, all of Charleston; Lindsey Ann Avlos, Autumn Michelle Barto, Stephen Earl Blackard, Maria Guadalupe Carrillo-Medina, Jose A. Casas, Elizabeth Dawn Chamberlin, Samantha Jean Christian, Melissa Danielle Coffee, Sarah Rae Cox, Charles Randal Downen, Sherry Lynn Downen, Karely Flores, Emily Mechelle Goodman, Lakin Renae Goss, Keaton Alan Graves, Remington Hawkins, Steven Robert Hollowell, Maria Anita Hula, James Michael Jeffers, Stephen Kajdan, Kyle Keefer, Cederick James Lee, Frederick Lee, Sydne Rachel Lorfing, William B. Maddox, Tanya Michele Makepeace, Erika Martinez, Kelsey Dale Meek, Melanie Magen, Anne Kristen Nelson, Tomas Jayson Nepivoda, Paula Ober, Siddhi Rajesh Patel, Ayanna Resha Perry, Tierney Paige Redding, Gavin Ambrose Alequin Richardson, Candra D. Roberts, Abigail Lee Sanders, Lydia Sears, Sydney Nicole Stone, Chloe Taverner, Bethany Leanne Taylor, Hunter Vickers, Vanessa Villarreal, Lindsey Zachery Whitecotton, Whitleigh Elizabeth Wilhelmi, Jonathan David Wyatt, Jared S. Young,  and Britni Kay Yount, all of Clarksville; Anna Rose Adams-King, Tabitha Bailey, Tabitha Joy-Yu Bailey, Lily Cao, Emily Cecil, Patrick Nicholas Conrad, Scott Cameron Conrad, Christopher Lee Davis, Calvin Jose Espinoza, Ashley S. Farrish, Ruby Starr Feight, Rachael S. Foster, Emily Grace Geels, Grant Martin Geisbauer, Payton Mary Goins, Zachary Charles Hakl, Emily Paige Hamilton, Sydnie Peyton Henson, Jaelyn Lizette Herrera, Meghan Herrlein, Ann Marie Elizabeth Hornung, Brett Evan James, Russel Anthony Alan Jones, Justin Deshawn Kinnard, Drake David Lee, Kayla Nicole Ludgood, Amy Bucher Manley, Hunter Nicole Martin, Misty Dawn Minor, Corey Rush Montgomery Jr., Caylon Kendall Mustiful, Benjamin Joseph Neumeier, Alex Phetchareun, Tiquana Q. Philpott, Andrew Edward Rideout, Devin Tyler Rogers, Abby Saviers, Austin Michael Sevier, Alexander Sharum, John Michael Sisco, Lauren Ashley Smith, Meagan Anne Thompson, Megan Ruth Tucker, Olivia Hanna Vinson, Reid Austin Wheeler and Tarshawn Khiry Whitehead, all of Fort Smith; Nikala Dori Lynn Bacon, Erica Ashton Brakefield, Jacob Clay Freeman, Wesley Ryan Herman, Dillon Hunter Johnston, Kyler Scott Keddie, Taylor McKenzie Lamberson, Abigail Marie Moore, Garrett Andrew Plummer Napier, Preston Alan Self, Maggie Elizabeth Silva, Samuel Snodgrass and Macy Webb, all of Greenwood; Abigail Marie Few, Tanner D. Graham, Brandi Lynn Green, Melissa Jean Irby, Cierra Cheyenne Martin, Daniel Douglas Romo, Erica LeAnn Schuster and Lori Ann Spinato, all of Lavaca; Dalton Lee Haller, Bo Hibbs and Crystal Diane Strain, all of Magazine; Angela K. Jones, Jordan Noelle Watford and Malinda Gail Wesley, all of Mansfield; Justin Castor, Talyssa Kaye Fretz, Amanda C. Johnson, Jami Miller, Megan Moon, Kristen Michelle Pounds, Cassie LaRae Powell, Seth H. Puckett, Ashley Purtell, Marilyn A. Winger and Dennie Shawn Youngblood, all of Mena; Kylie Jeanine Ladd of Mountainburg; Sarah Jon Cady, Kristina Elise Cottrell, Melanie Elaine Dean, Katie Michelle Dunn, Taylor Mae Finley, Katelyn Michelle Gibson, Ashlee Hope Griffin, Raegan Rachelle Haberer, Ryan Joseph Dean Hopper, Christena Lynn Joy, Robin Anne Elder Lane, Bethany Ann Lucius, Amanda McCormick, Jami N. Melton, Cynthia LaWanda Mounts, Jordan Andrew Nagel, Jessica Michelle Oliver, Ashley Nicole Phillips, Calista Helene Gore, Amber-Ann Ross, Kody Duncan Rudolph, Tristan Miguel Salazar, Shilo R. Schluterman and Jessica Elizabeth Spicer, all of Ozark; Baily Nathaniel Atchison, Crystal Nicole Beirne, Kevin Ray Beirne, Alison Michelle Clayton, Evan Lee Franklin, Miranda Inez Holman, Katelyn Victoria Kemp, Erica Siambun, Lauren Noel Trusty-Brittian, Wesley J. Warden, Rachael Nadine Wigley and Chilai Yang, all of Paris; Jennifer Renee Anderson, Payton Lynn Crawford and Cierra F. Henry, all of Rudy; Kendra Lee Bailey, Andrea Marie Lensing, Shelby Lynn Hallum and Shaleena White, all of Scranton; Phillip Alexander Bowman, Samuel Garrett Canada, Emily Jane Schlaf and Hannah Elizabeth Simmons, all of Subiaco; Keeley Dawn Allison, Shaylee Anne Altman, Keri Michelle Barthel, Evan Lee Burris, Ariana Caballero, Natali Colina, Delmi Elizabeth Diaz, Courtney D. Franklin, Prisilla Stephanie Grande, Stacy Guzman, Jonathan Michael Harris, Bradley Weldon Ikenberry, Katelyn Elizabeth Jennen, Tobin L. Johnson, Chelsea Marie Lairamore, Tyler Lyles, Sean Patrick McGinnis, Ashley Meuangmany, Ranferi A Miranda Benitez, Mackenzie JoAnn Oliver, Callie Poole, Jacob Aaron Simmons, Alechia Marie Smith, Ally Nicole Smith, Tristan Faith Smothers, Katherine Shelby Wheeler and Brittany Woelber, all of Van Buren; Tara Kennedy Satterfield of Pocola; and Treonia LaShaun Martin and Trey-Lee Deroy Martin, both of Roland.


The following area students recently were named to the dean's honor roll at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma: Mariah Harris, Gabrielle Travis, Phoenix Walker and Brian Walker, all of Gore; Faith Long of Heavener; Mckenna Covey, Charlee Gilliam and Sara Payne, all of Howe; Madison Long of Marble City; Mason Hamby, Katrina Sterling, Alex Williams and Jacob Wyers, all of Muldrow; Ashley Lotchleas of Panama; Jillian Branscum, Shelby Gregory, Miranda Lum, Noah Martin, Sunnie McConnell, Kenedi Ross, Allison Stone, Deyra Trejo Gonzalez and Blake Williams, all of Poteau; Kayla Gamble of Roland; Brandy Bateman, Lindsey Benge, Desmynn Corry, Jose Estrada-Ramos, Hailey Heekin, Hannah Hudgens, Gary Lattimore, Billie Mooney, Kelsey Plummer, Kadyn Shumate, Amanda Swimmer, Randi Turman and Alan Willard, all of Sallisaw; Jessica Vang of Shady Point; Aunika Anderson, Bradley Beason and Alexis Harrison, all of Spiro; Ryan Dodd, Lori Gibson and Miranda Henderson, all of Stigler; Cassidy Criddle, Britney Slape, Leann Stewart, Dylan Thurber and Dillon Weer, all of Vian; Taylar Lee of Alma; Alexis Henry, Samantha McDonald and Lykita Pledger Thompson, all of Fort Smith; Madison Dunn of Hackett; and Kate Harvey of Van Buren.


The following area students recently were named to the president's honor roll and dean's honor roll at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater: Destiny Newbold of Alma; Olivia Davis, Alexandria Hug, Avery Melton, Isaac Mergner, Sydney Moore, Vanessa Riddle and Haley Shields, all of Fort Smith; Blake Bartlett and Katlyn Young, both of Greenwood; Alyssa Hoyle of Mulberry; Kane Bailey, Kelsi Clawson, Billy Edwards, Nicholas Favre, Samuel Henderson, Eve Nance, Ginifer O'Bryan, Zachary Sharp, Sarah Spradlin and Abigail Weddle, all of Muldrow; Katlyn Bruso and Evan Rackley, both of Van Buren; Frannie Pool of Gore; Samuel Akins and Nicholas Wilson, both of Howe; Morgan Bandy, Dylan Fifield, Kellie Hale, Alyssa Kramer, Alexis Maynard and Hailey White, all of Poteau; Mitch Bradyley and Nicholas English, both of Roland; Kenneth Folsom, Garit Frye, Katelyn Schaefer and Peter Vang, all of Sallisaw; Bailey Cox of Spiro; and Jade Weddle of Stigler.


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