Mark Rash, Assistant Principal of Angie Grant Elementary School in the Benton School District, was recently named the 2018 Arkansas Association of Elementary School Principals (AAESP) Assistant Principal of the Year. Mike Mertens, AAEA Assistant Executive Director, presented Mr. Rash with the award at his school on December 11.

This award is given each year to an Arkansas elementary level assistant principal who has succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students and has been acknowledged by peers for exemplary contribution to the profession.

Mr. Rash has five (5) years of experience as an assistant principal and 17 years of experience as a principal. He spent seven (7) years teaching prior to going into administration. Mark is involved in several professional organizations and community activities.

Mr. Rash is dedicated to the education of Arkansas students and very deserving of this award as is evident in the following statement from Angie Grant Elementary School Principal, Lori Bacon: "Mark is a hard-working person who devotes himself fully to any task he undertakes. He has a high level of honesty and integrity and always follows the 'do right' rule in his personal conduct. He sets a good example for everyone he comes in contact with."

Each year the Office of Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas creates a report highlighting the highest-performing schools and those that have made great progress in Arkansas. Two Benton schools have received awards based on 2015-16 assessments. They are as follows:

  • Benton High School is the recipient of Central Region Science High Achieving Test Scores. The high school science teachers are Susan Allison, Mandy McDougal, Richard Hillman, Ronna McKinley, Clydena Neathery, Karen Shumaker, Suzanne Owen, Tracy Arflin, Mitch Meredith, and Sarah Graham.

  • Benton Middle School is the recipient of Statewide Math High Achieving and Regional Math and Science High Achieving. The science and math teachers at Benton Middle School are Amy Vrana, Jacqueline Daugherty, Ashlyn Meece, Rosa White, Susan Spivey, Anna Grace Davis, Seth Glidewell, Becky McCormick, Amanda Newman, Christina Smith, Melissa Pugh, and Christine Koch.

Congratulations to Benton School district for being recognized as a 20 Best School District in America by Niche.


Three Benton High School teachers recently applied for and received the Advanced Placement Materials and Equipment Grant. The grant is worth $1,000.00 each and is to be used for buying materials needed for their courses. The teachers are:

Susan Allison - AP Physics

Mandy McDougal - AP Environmental Science

Tracy Watson - AP Computer Science

Darci Stoll, a psychology and sociology teacher at Benton High School, was selected to be a member of the Teacher Leadership Advisory Group (TLAG). This group is made up of 30 outstanding education leaders across the state.  Several units within the department will be utilizing the TLAG group throughout the rest of the school year and possibly into the summer. Some of the projects include recommending the criteria for the new tiered licensure rules, aiding in the development of equity labs, and helping to write the new family and community engagement frameworks.

Students auditioned on October 14, 2017, for the Region 3 Honor Choir.  Forty-four of Benton's 55 students were selected to this choir.  Of those selected, the following students were awarded first chair in their respective voice parts:  Kevin Wright, Makenzie McAnally, and Anakin Bumgardner.  BHS had the highest percentage rate of acceptance of any other school in our region with 80% of students selected. Choir is directed by Angela White. Congratulations!

Choir Members

Adam Archer

Natalie Atkins

Deanna Ayers

Bradley Baldwin

Bradley Barnett

Anakin Bumgardner

Brandon Byrd

Grace Carpenter

Brittany Clements

Josie Cochran

Bayli Fox

Kelsey Fritzius

Holly Gamble

Joshua George

Raylen Hall

Jillian Harris

Henry Hicks

David Holcomb

Alex Horn

Jesse Kneisler

Megan Lambert

Makayla Lowrance

Micah Lunsford

Madison Matheson

Makenzie McAnally

Fidelia McCoy

Lauryn Nease

Jessica Nguyen

Shanice Oliver

Alex Ollison

Lawson Overbey

JonDavid Person

Chelsea Powery

Griffin Revis

Joshua Riley

Gabriel Runnells

Jon Sadler

Allison Simmons

Abbi Sullins

Avery Tackett

Danielle Thompson

Olivia West

Veronica West

Caitlyn Wright

Kevin Wright


Three BHS Panther football players were recognized by the coaches of the 6A West and Arkansas Activities Association as All State. Those players are Beau Belcher, DJ Stirgus, and Zach Wallace. DJ was also voted Best Defensive Back in 6A West. Congratulations!

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