Republican Debbie Atwell has announced her intention to seek the seat of justice of the peace for District 13 in Crawford County.

"I am proud to be a part of the Mountainburg community," Atwell said. "If I am elected, I see this as an opportunity to work with county officials while representing and being an advocate for the communities of Bidville, Chester, Locke, Mountainburg, Porter, Whitley, and Winfrey Valley."

Atwell served Mountainburg School District as a teacher and principal before working in the Van Buren School District as an assistant principal at Van Buren High School and director of secondary curriculum. She currently serves the Rogers Public Schools as director of professional development and grants.

Atwell is alumni of Leadership Crawford County, an advocate for education and an active member of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, past president of the Arkansas Association of Middle Level Administrators, past president of Arkansas Association of Career and Technical Education Administrators, and former board of director for the Arkansas Association of Curriculum and Instruction Administrators.

"My experience in education ranges from challenges a small district of 750 faces, up to the complex organization and systems necessary for districts that serve 6,000 to 15,000 students," she said.

Atwell currently assists the City of Mountainburg as a volunteer grant writer, preparing applications for funding to purchase "Jaws of Life" extraction equipment for the fire department, roof repairs for the Mountainburg Medical Center, a city sidewalk project, renovations to the community center and proposals seeking funds to support local law enforcement.

"This community holds a special place in my heart," Atwell said. "I hope to be able to give back and serve the places that hold so many memories and shape so many lives."

Atwell and her husband, Roger, reside and operate a small cattle farm in Mountainburg. They have been married over 28 years with three children and two grandchildren.

"My experience as small farm owner and a former small business owner helps me understand how critical small farms and businesses are, and the challenges owners face," Atwell said.

Atwell is a graduate of Mountainburg High School and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Arkansas. She also holds a doctorate in P-20 educational leadership from Harding University, with research emphasis on project-based learning and 21st century skills.

She enjoys livestock management, gardening, archery, hunting and outdoor trails.