JOHN THOMAS BOROWITZ
CAITLIN MORRIS - DEREK MURPHY, JR. - STEPHANIE NGUYEN - MASON WINDHAM
JOHN THOMAS BOROWITZ
CAITLIN MORRIS - DEREK MURPHY, JR. - STEPHANIE NGUYEN - MASON WINDHAM
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”- Abraham Lincoln
How many of you think about what it would be like if you could go back in time and re-do your entire life? Or maybe just starting when you got to high school? I, for one, would never want to do that. I am all about creating something for the future, not about going back and changing what has happened in the past.
High school is such a struggle for most people. I certainly wouldn’t want to go back now when everything anyone does is on social media, and most of it is untrue. Have you wondered why everyone’s life seems so great? It’s because that is what they want you to think. Nobody has a perfect life. Everyone has something going on that is not exactly what they would picture.
My time in high school was definitely not full of perfect moments. I was very much a nerd and not a part of the “in” crowd. I’m still that person today, although I can say that I have many more friends now than I ever had back then. I would hate to think about what my life would have been like if social media had been around then. Remember that anything put on the internet is there forever! High schoolers don’t always understand that, which can become an issue in future pursuits.
This month, we are so happy to highlight area high school students. I love showcasing what wonderful young people are doing and planning for their lives. This year is the end of an era for them, and hopefully, they will begin new pursuits – college, trade school, or work. Everyone has to do what they feel is best for them. Each person must create the future they believe in.
Education is an essential part of making lifelong dreams come true. Whether you have a goal of obtaining a Ph.D. or learning a trade, each person must choose their way and make it work. There are lots of jobs open everywhere to fulfill anyone’s dream for their future.
Make it happen. Make it work. Make it a reality. Dream big. You never know what you can accomplish if you give it your entire effort. I have re-invented myself several times, having many different career paths. You can too.
May God bless you and yours…Senior, 1975
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F“Finish strong” is a phrase Parker Bennett’s father, Kenny, would use to encourage his son to do his best in everything. Parker has definitely heeded his father’s advice as he successfully accomplished his high school career and now prepares to graduate from Arkansas High School next month. Being involved in the National Honor Society since his sophomore year and the Texarkana Arkansas Razorback Trap Team for eight years has allowed him to learn some valuable life lessons. Parker says, “Being inducted into the National Honor Society my sophomore year proved that hard work pays off. Another valuable lesson I have learned is time management and being able not to get behind. I plan to work hard and be determined in everything I do in the future, no matter what it consists of. I also plan to manage my time wisely when completing different tasks.”
Parker’s list of achievements is not for the faint of heart. He is proud to be an A Honor Roll student and be at the top of his class. “I have always prioritized my academics in ways to achieve everything to the best of my ability,” Parker says. Outside of the classroom, Parker devoted time to achieving the rank of Eagle Scout when he was just 14 years old. Requiring a lot of hard work, time, and dedication, this accomplishment allowed him to prove his work ethic in different ways. Boy Scouts is not the only organization that has shaped him but also his church, Trinity Baptist Church, where he serves in the high school student ministry. Parker truly believes these organizations have provided him with many excellent life skills.
Parker’s future plans include attending the University of Arkansas next fall and pursuing a degree and career in civil engineering. He firmly believes that Arkansas High School has influenced him academically and personally. According to Parker, “They allow students to enroll in advanced placement (AP)/concurrent credit courses through University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana that are challenging. Being enrolled in multiple AP classes has provided
college readiness. I have been enrolled in engineering classes for the past three years, and they have provided me with a better understanding of the career I plan to pursue. Being involved in advanced placement and engineering classes throughout high school has prepared me for college and future career plans.”
Behind any great school are teachers that care greatly about their students, and in Parker’s case, Mr. Chris Brisco became Parker’s favorite teacher throughout high school. Parker took Mr. Brisco’s engineering classes for three years. Parker describes Mr. Brisco saying, “He is always there to help and guide when doing different projects and tasks, and his teaching skills are great. He has taught me many different things regarding the career I wish to pursue, and his classes have been great learning opportunities for me over the past three years. His teaching style and hands-on learning environment influenced my choice of career greatly. He has just been an all-around great teacher.”
Looking at the younger classes behind Parker, he encourages the students to stay involved in school and not take anything for granted. “Being involved in different activities throughout high school just makes
the experience greater and allows for growth as a person. Also, try and make every experience the best experience,” Parker says. His advice is genuine, as these four years in high school do fly by quickly.
Cheering on Parker in his future endeavors is his supporting family: his father, Kenny, his mother, Jo, and his brother, Riley. “The constant support from my family has been one of the key factors to getting me where I am today,” says Parker. Family has greatly influenced Parker and instilled the values of hard work and determination. He is confident his family is by his side today, tomorrow, and all the days to come.
JJohn Thomas Borowitz will graduate from Texas High School in May, and while many seniors are questioning their future plans, John Thomas has his future mapped out. “In ten years, I see myself as a financial advisor in New York City. For the first decade out of college, I want to work on Wall Street before transitioning to Washington, D.C., to work for the Federal Reserve or become Secretary of the Treasury,” John Thomas says. “In college, I will study political economics or finance, depending on the school I attend.”
These big dreams are possible for John Thomas because of the continued support of his family and teachers and his growth opportunities through the Texarkana Independent School District. “My school has supported my every move by offering me resources needed to be effective in my community, state, and nation,” John Thomas says. “From my days as a kindergarten student at Morriss Elementary to my final days as a senior at Texas High School, the administration at Texarkana Independent School District has been there for me and my best interests.”
John Thomas’ favorite teacher is his AP English Language teacher, Mrs. Anita Badgett. Throughout his junior year, he felt that Mrs. Badgett cared about her students’ well-being, both in and out of the classroom. “English is my least favorite subject, yet Mrs. Badgett made an effort to make her class as simple as possible while preparing me extremely well for our AP test at the end of the year. When our student council ran for President of Texas, Mrs. Badgett came as a chaperone and helped run our presentation booth. She also wrote me a fantastic letter of recommendation that I have sent to every college in hopes of receiving admittance and scholarships,” John Thomas says. “Lastly, Mrs. Badgett is very understanding of my workload outside of school, so she always gives me the grace to make up for the work I miss.”
At home, John Thomas is supported by his family. His dad, John, and mom, Julie, have given him the
freedom to pursue his interests and make critical decisions; however, they are always involved in anything he does. “My mom will be the first to yell at me if my shirt isn’t ironed, and my dad will always be certain I have practiced a speech hundreds of times before I get on stage,” John Thomas says. “My sister, Hollan, is 21 years old and a junior at Texas Christian University, majoring in nursing. Hollan has always been my biggest competitor and supporter. We have battled over test scores, college acceptances, and who gets to ride in the car’s front seat, yet she will be the first to call me when I accomplish anything.”
John Thomas has had many accomplishments in his four years at Texas High School. He was elected Student Body President, a position that required four years of dedication and commitment to the students at Texas High School. “I was elected as President because of my constant desire to be the face of our school by leading pep rallies, anchoring our daily announcements show, and working with our administrators,” John Thomas says. “I have learned how to work with both students and adults, even when both sides disagree.”
John Thomas is also the President of the Texas Association of Student Councils (TASC), leading 1,297 schools across the state. Over 5000 students
elect the president position at the annual state conference held in Irving. “Our cancer project for the conference has raised over $300,000 towards childhood cancer relief and prevention,” John Thomas says. “I chose to become involved with TASC because I believed I could make a genuine impact at the state level—a goal that my student council has well surpassed. Through this experience, I have improved my public speaking, social skills, and economic budgeting ability. I’ve had the opportunity to speak to large crowds and work with a board of directors.”
In addition to both positions as president, John Thomas has been the statistician for the varsity basketball team since his freshman year. “Coach Skinner asked me to keep stats for the team, and I agreed, but I never expected the fun I would have. Being in the locker room pregame, sitting Courtside, and eating post-game meals every Tuesday and Friday during basketball season always kept me busy,” John Thomas says. “I played many sports growing up, but keeping stats gave me a new perspective on the analytical side of basketball and sports in general.”
John Thomas grew up playing basketball due in part to his height. One interesting fact about John Thomas is that he is 6’5” and still growing. “It is almost impossible
to find pants that fit my long legs in stores, so I always have to order them,” John Thomas says. “I have recently been growing super fast, so my mom has had to order me many new clothes that fit before college.”
Looking back at his senior year, John Thomas was most excited to cheer on the Tigers as they played at Cowboy Stadium. “The facility completely met my expectations, and it was cool to watch the Tigers play from the sideline at an iconic venue,” John Thomas says. “Unfortunately, we lost a close game, so the happiness was short-lived.”
Of all his high school achievements, John Thomas says that one stands out: his perfect 36 ACT score. Not only is this a feat that is rarely accomplished, but it is also a score that beat out his sister’s 35. “Winning a competition against Hollan is always a success. Also, I am only ever satisfied with perfection, so now the ACT is something I feel I have ‘conquered’ in life, along with being valedictorian of my class,” John Thomas says. “I am very dedicated; I would’ve taken every available ACT my senior year had I not gotten that perfect score. I’m glad that the 36 freed up a lot of Saturdays! Not many students can say they are in the 36 ACT club, so it is a nice accomplishment.”
WWhen Joshua Camacho, a Hook High School senior, opened his acceptance letter to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), he was overcome with the weight of that moment. This accomplishment was the culmination of everything he had worked for since childhood. “I couldn’t help but feel like all of my efforts had led up to that moment; all the qualities of hard work, tenacity, discipline, and character I gleaned from my experiences built the foundation for my ability to perform well in my school. Even my other treasured accomplishments contributed to my acceptance. My recognition as a Questbridge College Prep Scholar helped me to become later selected as a National Match Finalist, which allowed me to apply to M.I.T. through my Questbridge application,” Joshua says. “Also, my acceptance into the MITES program led to gaining crucial skills that I applied during the application process and excellent final course evaluations from my instructors. All this and much more led me to be accepted into a university I could only dream of attending as a kid.”
Growing up, Joshua’s parents, Juan and Maria, modeled the work ethic and determination that have pushed Joshua to excel. “Ever since I can remember, my parents have worked tirelessly to ensure my sister, Ashley, and I had food on the table, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our heads. My sister probably knows me the best out of anyone in the world, and I couldn’t have made it this far without her support,” Joshua says. “I also absolutely adore my dog, Zeke, and cat, Mr. Kitty, and I know they always have my back when I need a fluffy shoulder to lean on. I am immensely grateful to my family, a debt I can only dream of repaying.”
Outside school, Joshua helps his parents at their small food shop, El Rey. Before Joshua became busy with extracurricular school activities, he used to spend every weekday evening there. “Even though I’m not there every day, the lessons I learned there remain. Besides being taught practical life skills like cooking and cleaning, I was also indirectly taught valuable principles that served as the foundation of my current character,” Joshua says. “Growing up in an environment where I witnessed my parents’ enormous work ethic firsthand was central to my own development. Additionally, I learned to adopt qualities like patience, responsibility, and pride in my work that continue to serve me well today.”
Joshua has also learned many life lessons through his time at Hooks ISD. He is currently the president of the Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society chapters and serves as the Student Council treasurer. When he first joined these clubs, he did not have any significant motivation to do so, but today, he is truly glad that he did. “Through these clubs, I learned about working well with others and the importance of contributing to your community,” Joshua says. “I also participate on a few of our academic UIL teams; they provide a challenge outside of the classroom, remind me that I always have more to learn, and stoke my competitive spirit. Above all, these clubs have allowed me to forge irreplaceable memories with my peers, teammates, and friends.”
Joshua also participates on several athletic teams, including cross country, powerlifting, and track teams. “Joining athletics during my freshman year was definitely a huge step outside of my comfort zone, and I couldn’t explain why I took it. Simply staying in the class was a huge challenge the first year; however, I am genuinely grateful that I stuck with it,” Joshua says. “Over the past few years, athletics has helped me improve physically and mentally, instilling qualities like discipline, humility, and tenacity.”
Along with opportunities to excel in school and pursue his interests, Joshua says that Hooks ISD provides students with incredible teachers, coaches, counselors, and staff. “They have all played a huge role in my development in
high school, and it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say they were pivotal on my journey to higher education. When applying to scholarships, programs, and eventually college, I was met with more support than I could hope for, whether it was for recommendation letters, documents, or just advice,” Joshua says. “I am more grateful than I am able to express in words.”
Besides his teachers, family, and coaches, one other group of people in Joshua’s life continues to inspire him: his friends. “Out of all my brushes with luck, I was most fortunate to have been placed in an environment with such remarkable people. Though I may be biased, I firmly believe that they are people of the utmost quality, whether that be due to their immense talent and skill, awe-inspiring work ethic, or sheer character,” Joshua says. “When surrounded by peers who invest a torrent of effort into areas they are passionate about, I find it impossible not to find myself doing the same. Though I won’t share names for privacy’s sake, I hope they know they hold inexhaustible amounts of my respect, gratitude, and care.”
Joshua’s support from his parents, sister, friends, teachers, and coaches resulted in the experiences that shaped him into a person of integrity, determination, and confidence. Due to these traits, he earned acceptance into the MITES Semester for the 2022 cohort. MITES Semester is a STEM/ college preparation program by M.I.T. that is composed of two phases: the Academic Phase and the Enrichment Phase. The former takes place during the summer and consists of being placed into a core course and a project course—Joshua’s were science writing and architecture, respectively. The Academic Phase culminates in presenting their final projects in the Symposium. “As the first semester of senior year begins, the program transitions to the Enrichment Phase, providing students advice on college, essay reviews, mock interviews, and more,” Joshua says. “Above all, I am grateful for the awesome people I was able to meet, both peers and instructors.”
Through his varied and unique opportunities, Joshua has learned that you must often venture outside your comfort zone. Though it can be easier said than done, he thinks the effort and risk are definitely worth it. In fact, most of his favorite memories were from times when he explored outside his self-imposed bubble, like cliff jumping with friends and applying for the MITES program his junior year. “I’ve learned that becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable places me in the ultimate position for growth and learning,” Joshua says. “I’ve also learned to work earnestly and with the intent to improve. It can be easy to trudge along an assignment/activity or take a shortcut, especially under pressure. However, remaining disciplined in difficult situations rewards individuals with exceptional growth. In any situation, working with the intent to improve guarantees I won’t walk away empty-handed; at the very least, I’ll be a little stronger, faster, or wiser than I was before.”
Joshua has also learned to appreciate the small things. His life can feel stressful and overwhelming with school, work, extracurriculars, and more. “However, I’ve found that recognizing the intrinsic beauty that life holds makes it a lot more bearable. Whether that’s going for a walk with my dog to smell the freshness of the air, listening to the chirping melodies of birds, watching the colors seep across the sky as the sun sets, or something else, appreciating the world that surrounds me is soothing and comforting,” Joshua says. “I hope to apply everything I’ve learned to college and my life beyond. I will keep pushing myself outside my comfort zone to find and seize opportunities, working earnestly to pursue growth, and cherish the delicate qualities of life to keep me grounded.”
Even though Joshua is looking forward to M.I.T. next year, his main goal is to enjoy life, no matter what comes next. “I plan on studying computer science or engineering to become skilled at what I’m passionate about; then I hope to have a successful career, a happy family, and repay those who have helped me thus far,” Joshua says. “It may seem mundane, vague, or even a bit cli·ché, but the idea of having lived an enjoyable life is more than enough to push me to fight to become a better person—one percent, one day at a time.”
AAubrie Kiser has a clear vision for her future. After graduating from Queen City High School, she plans on attending Southern Arkansas University (SAU) to major in pre-veterinary medicine with a minor in engineering. “In 10 years, I see myself working in a veterinary clinic with other more experienced veterinarians to help build my knowledge of the field before starting my practice,” Aubrie says. “One day, I hope to open an animal hospital with the necessary emergency services for the surrounding areas. Then I would like to travel to animal centers around the globe to work with different species of animals that one can’t find here in America.” Aubrie has already been able to work towards her future goals at Queen City High School (QCHS), where she is on the veterinary medicine and trap shooting teams with her FFA chapter. “My school has supported me in many different ways; for example, my teachers have always helped me in any circumstance concerning my future and present. They have always supported my life goals and opened new opportunities for me to build a strong foundation for my future,” Aubrie says. "With college coming up and the endless amount of scholarships and forms I have to fill out, my teachers have helped me with the very stressful process of ensuring everything is filled out correctly and ready to send in. The support my teachers and the staff of QCHS have given me is out of this world.”
At Queen City High School, Aubrie is a part of the varsity basketball, golf, and powerlifting teams. She has also been a National Honor Society member for two years and secretary for the National Honor Society for one year. She started as a Greenhand officer her freshman year and has served as treasurer for one year and chapter president for the past two years for the QCHS FFA chapter. Furthermore, Aubrie has served as an active member of the student council for three years, Interact Club for two years, and the school’s bass fishing team for five years.
Aubrie’s favorite teacher is Mrs. Robinson, who pushed her out of her comfort zone and urged her to join the FFA organization and become an FFA officer.
“She has constantly reminded me to be myself and not to let my anxiety get the best of me. You can say she has always been a personal therapist,” Aubrie says. “Without Mrs. Robinson, I would definitely not be the person I am today. I am very thankful to have had her throughout high school to be someone I can go to.”
Through all her activities, sports, and classes, Aubrie says that she has learned some fundamental lessons through high school, but the one that stands out the most is to look forward and not get stuck in the past. “I believe this is an essential thing to remember because there are things in life that I can not control or change after they have already happened,” Aubrie says. “This is important to remember in the future because I won’t always make a good grade or accomplish a goal I set for myself. Still, I can put it behind me and strive to improve for the next task.”
In her free time, Aubrie volunteers at Queen City First Baptist Church’s Awanas classes and helps coach a pee-wee girl’s basketball team. “Being involved in many different extracurriculars has taught me many leadership, time management, and communication skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life,” Aubrie says.
No matter the early start times of competition or late evenings of practices and games, Aubrie always has her family supporting her. Aubrie says that her mom and stepdad, Laini and Doug Simmons, and her dad and stepmom, Neal and Heather Kiser, have always encouraged her to follow her dreams, no matter how big or small. “They have always seen my potential and ensured I see it too. Throughout my life, they have given me every opportunity I could ask for,” Aubrie says. “Along with my parents, I have five siblings: Arri, Avie, Edie, Noah, and Olivia. We are all pretty close in age, which is helpful when I need to talk about specific situations or make a Sonic run to get away from all of the stress. I am very thankful to have such a caring family, for I have no idea where I would be without them.”
Aubrie is especially inspired by the example her mom, Laini, set for her. “I have looked up to her since I was younger when it was just her and me. She has always found a way to support me and give me opportunities to grow and learn,” Aubrie says. “My mom has shown me how to show kindness to everyone in any situation, and she has shown me how much hard work can go a long way.”
Even though Aubrie Kiser has much to look forward to, the life-changing season of high school graduation and starting college can also be sad. Over the past month, she has realized everything she will leave behind when she heads to SAU in the fall. “I have already experienced a lot of ‘lasts,’ from my last basketball game to my last trap shooting competition. However, I will miss my family and friends the most,” Aubrie says. “It’s hard thinking that I will be leaving the people I see pretty much every day behind, but I know that if I ever need to come home to see them, I can, which brings me comfort.”
AAfter Caitlin Morris graduates from Atlanta High School this May, she plans to attend Texas Tech University. She aims to major in biology to attend Texas Tech Medical School later. “After I graduate from medical school, I will look to serve my residency in a major city that offers many different hospitals or offices,” Caitlin says.
Atlanta Independent School District has supported Caitlin’s goals by offering dual credit biology, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry classes. These courses helped her discover the passion that solidified her dreams for the future. “Not only did these classes guide me towards my college and career goals, but they prepared me for the classes I will take for my major,” Caitlin says.
The high school also offers various extracurricular activities that inspired Caitlin to be active in her school community. She began with cheerleading, volleyball, student council, theater, and academic UIL in her freshman year and continued many of these activities throughout her time at Atlanta High School. “I am so grateful that I got involved because I made friends that ended up being more like family through these activities,” Caitlin says.
After serving on the student council for four years, she was elected executive president and has honored her position by working to better her school. While on the student council for four years, Caitlin has been active in the theater department since her freshman year. “I was immediately drawn to the theater because of the immense joy it seemed to bring to all the members involved. Two of my crowning achievements in high school are participating at the state level for prose speaking my junior year and being awarded best performer at the district one-act play level my senior year,” Caitlin says. “Theater has brought me so close to so many people and has made me push my limits for all four years of high school.”
Caitlin advises students not to give up at the start of their high school careers. “At times, it may seem
rough, and you will want to stop trying, but you have to push through. You will appreciate it in the long run, especially when you look back and think about all the hard work paying off,” Caitlin says. “As a senior, I have a lot of time to reflect on my past decisions, and what I am most proud of is my unrelenting determination and dedication when it comes to my school work. This does not mean I never questioned myself or my academic prowess. I spent countless nights pouring over the same ten pages of notes wishing I could make myself understand; however, I would not do anything differently if I could go back.”
Though she learned many lessons throughout high school, Caitlin says the most important lesson she learned was not to question her value or worth. “There were many instances in my life where I thought that I was not up to the task presented to me, but every time I put my mind to something, I always come out on top,” Caitlin says. “There will be many more obstacles placed in my path over the next few years, but high school has taught me that there is nothing I cannot overcome on my own. I will never again question what I bring as a student, friend, coworker, or in any other facet of my life.”
Caitlin says that every member of her family
has supported and pushed her to be the person and student she is today. When she was only a sophomore, Caitlin’s dad, Joel Morris, accepted an assistant principal job at the same school she attended. “The transition, at first, was difficult, but I learned to appreciate my father always being nearby for emotional and scholarly reasons,” Caitlin says. “My mom, Alisa Morris, started teaching me when I was fourteen in the ninth grade, and I had never been pushed that hard academically. She changed the way I looked at school and the way I looked at biology. After finishing my mom’s freshman year in advanced biology, I knew I wanted to pursue that. My passion and love for science only grew as I took her other classes.”
When Caitlin started high school as a freshman, her brother, Colin Morris, was a junior, and he immediately took his younger sister under his wing. “He protected me as any older brother would, but he never let me forget that I did not need him to protect me. He reinforced what my parents always taught me: that I was strong and independent,” Caitlin says. “I also have a younger sister, Cameryn Morris, who has always been the reason why I do the things I do. I have always wanted her to see me as a positive role model like I saw my brother. She inspires me to improve myself in all the ways I can and continue to persevere, even through the rough patches.”
Caitlin’s family also supported her nonacademic interests. In fact, Caitlin says that the most interesting thing about herself that is not present in her college essays or transcripts is her love for makeup. “Ever since I was a little girl, I can vividly remember breaking into my mom’s bathroom to steal all of her ‘good’ makeup, which was weird because I was not raised in typically girly fashion,” Caitlin says. “ In fact, one of my favorite summer activities was collecting worms from my backyard; however, makeup was my one true weakness.” Every Christmas from the time she was six, Caitlin would beg every family member to buy her makeup. Then she would sit in her room and add layers on top of layers until she got the perfect look. “This usually included a blue eyeshadow look with bright red or pink lipstick that only matched in my imagination,” Caitlin says. “This passion for makeup has not left, but it has settled to a bit more of an understated look.”
As Caitlin looks to the future and her big goals to complete medical school, she is inspired by the younger girls who may follow in her footsteps one day. “It is important to me that younger girls have a positive role model to look up to, and I thought about that when I held leadership roles, acted on stage, or decided that women belong at the STEM table,” Caitlin says. “Many women have come before me and laid the groundwork for the house I will continue to build, but I want those girls younger than me to feel at home in these areas. There have been so many instances in my life where I have looked to these strong, independent women to get me through a tough time. All I want in the world is to be that role model for some little girl—and if it happens to be my little sister, that would just be great”.
AAfter graduating from Liberty-Eylau High School in May, Derek Murphy, Jr., plans to attend Texas A&M University College Station, majoring in political science and minoring in business. “After that, I want to attend graduate school for my master’s degree in public service administration and then to law school,” Derek says. “My goal is to enter the world of corporate law and, one day, to pursue a career in politics.”
With this future goal of leadership, Derek has found many ways to build his resume in high school. He served as President of the Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, and Student Council. He was also the Head Drum Major for the Liberty-Eylau High School Band for two years and an active member of student leadership, academic UIL, varsity golf, Interact Club, and Spanish Club. “All of these activities helped build and develop my character,” Derek says. “I gained an abundance of social and leadership skills that I can use in the future.”
Though he has many achievements, one interesting fact about Derek that you cannot find on his transcript or resume is that he can name all Presidents in order. “I am also a World War II history buff,” Derek says. “Overall, high school has supported my goals by allowing me an outlet to express myself and be able to reach out to other people. Through my various extracurricular activities, I was provided many opportunities that allowed connections and partnerships to form that I could use in the future.”
Derek’s favorite teacher in high school is his current varsity golf coach, Martin Bryant. Derek says Coach Bryant is “a hidden gem” within the Liberty-Eylau School District. Coach Bryant is passionate about all aspects of
school and prioritizes academics before athletics. “Sometimes he can be intense, but I know he wants the best for the team. He has helped me understand that mediocrity, in any aspect of life, is subpar and to reach for the stars. Whenever I get discouraged, he is always there to cheer me up,” Derek says. “Outside of golf, he has been a confidant and someone I can admire. Watching him raise good children and trying to reinforce that within the golf team is comforting because he cares for all of us. Every conversation is full of laughs and some advice I will carry on to the future. To some, he may be just a coach, but I see him as someone who has shifted the dynamic of my senior year of high school, and I have so much appreciation for him.”
The other important people in Derek’s life include his parents, Derek and Angela Murphy, who Derek calls “his biggest supporters.” They attended every football game and watched him lead the National Honor Society induction ceremony. “They are always there for me,” Derek says. “They never put a limit on my success, and they always remind me that I could do anything
I put my mind towards. They are my biggest motivators, support system, and all-around the best parents I could ask for.” Derek also says that his mom, Angela, is the true definition of a hero—someone who is admired or idealized for bravery, extraordinary achievements, or noble qualities. “My mother is my hero, role model, and everything. She has always given me advice and motherly love, and she has always been there for me,” Derek says.
Anglea is also the person who inspires Derek to keep going and never give up. “She taught me the importance of higher education and perseverance. I watched her transform from a cosmetology student to a successful entrepreneur,” Derek says. “Through the thick and thin, good and bad, and everything else, I know that when I need something, she will come. I have watched her sacrifice so much for me, and everything that I do, all of my accomplishments and success, I do for her.”
Looking back at his achievements, Derek says the best advice he could give to younger students is to stay true to themselves. “Don’t let people peer pressure you into becoming something you’re not. I have seen people configure themselves into the image their friends want them to be, and not who they were raised to be,” Derek says. “It is perfectly okay to have morals, standards, and beliefs and not let other people interfere with what you believe. Be proud of the person you are and will continue to be."
SStephanie Nguyen’s motivation and desire to succeed stem from her close relationship with her family. She is especially inspired by her parents, Hung Nguyen and Le Nguyen. Her father, Hung, lived through the Vietnam War and immigrated to the U.S. “He has experienced many difficulties all at once and has learned some things the hard way. He’s taught me to be humble,” Stephanie says. “The struggles he has faced have made me realize how much he has sacrificed to give me the life he couldn’t have.”
Stephanie’s mother, Le, has been another motivation to succeed in school. “She goes to work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. She doesn’t speak English well, but she works hard to learn as fast as possible to help my dad and me. I admire her determination to stay strong when facing difficult challenges despite her language barrier,” Stephanie says. “She’s also motivated me to improve my Vietnamese and be confident in it.”
Stephanie’s two brothers, Johnathan and Steven, also inspire her to realize her potential in school and life. “They have encouraged me to keep pushing for the best while also taking care of myself,” Stephanie says. “I probably wouldn’t have survived high school without them.”
After graduation this year, Stephanie plans to attend a four-year university and major in biology on a premedicine track with a possible minor in history. She is still waiting on a few college decisions to determine which school she will attend, but no matter where she starts, Stephanie hopes to find a career she loves that will allow her to travel more.
Stephanie’s future dreams were built on the foundation of opportunities provided to her through Pleasant Grove Independent School District. “I was able to take rigorous classes to prepare me for college and apply to highly ranked colleges like the Ivy Leagues,” Stephanie says. “Pleasant Grove High School (PGHS) also gives students a wide range of different clubs and activities to join, which
provides the opportunity to strengthen their resume. The teachers and administrators are also very flexible with participating in opportunities like internships and involvement during school.”
During her freshman year, Stephanie took art because she loves drawing as a hobby, and she wanted to continue developing and improving her art skills. “The projects in this class were very memorable and interesting to do, and this class has definitely helped me learn how to manage my time,” Stephanie said.
Looking to lighten the workload, Stephanie decided to replace art with graphic design to continue her creative and artistic side. Since making this decision, Stephanie has earned two internships and certifications in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. “I’m currently obtaining my Microsoft Certifications,” Stephanie says. “This graphic design class has allowed me to branch out into other subjects such as my internship with Pleasant Grove’s Director of Marketing and Communications and my role in the PGHS newspaper class.”
Although she joined the newspaper class in her senior year, Stephanie says that the journalism community at Pleasant Grove has been very welcoming and
understanding. “I never felt left out because I was new, and Mrs. Harris has been a big motivation to learn quickly and finish my pages on time,” Stephanie says. “I also took the newspaper class to continue doing graphic design and learn how to write more concisely.”
Jennifer Gibson, Stephanie’s Graphic Design 2 and Practicum in Graphic Design Honors teacher, has been her favorite teacher throughout high school. Stephanie remembers the scheduling conflict she had between two major classes, Graphic Design 2 and AP European History, and Mrs. Gibson allowed her to take Graphic Design 2 despite the conflict. “Having her early has helped me really learn graphic design way quicker rather than going through a PowerPoint and taking a quiz every week,” Stephanie says. “She really forced me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to learn quickly and effectively.”
Mrs. Gibson has also helped Stephanie connect with school staff and allowed her to apply her graphic design skills to the real world, like Stephanie’s Pleasant Grove’s Central Services internship. Mrs. Gibson’s presence in Stephanie’s life has given her the confidence to pursue her goals. “Going to Mrs. Gibson’s office is like going to my second home. She’s always ready to listen to what I have to say,” Stephanie says. “We both have very similar interests and work ethics, which allowed us to bond very quickly.”
Stephanie also joined several clubs in high school. She is involved with the National Technical Honors Society, National Honors Society, and National Art Honors Society. “I found these honors societies to be a great way to get volunteer experience in school and obtain leadership roles,” Stephanie says.
In addition, Stephanie has interests in hobbies separate from school. She has taught herself several skills because of her parents’ cultural barrier with extracurriculars. So far, Stephanie has taught herself how to knit, sew, embroider, and crochet. She also loves playing video games, and when she was younger, she played in a video game tournament for the Wii U game Splatoon. “We didn’t win the first round, but the preparation to play in a tournament and learning the types of communication when playing the game has taught me a lot about teamwork and cooperation,” Stephanie says. “It has helped me learn to work with others more easily.”
Even though she has many achievements and successes, Stephanie says that she regrets learning many things in high school the hard way and pushing off opportunities because she was so reserved and
introverted. “I underestimated my capabilities and felt lonely a lot throughout high school. I’ve learned that there’s no harm in jumping in and doing something for the fun of it,” Stephanie says. “I plan on not repeating my freshman year of high school in college and hope to become more bold and more confident in my abilities and skills.”
Due to these experiences, Stephanie advises younger students not to let a reserved or introverted personality keep them from participating in activities. “You might regret that you didn’t do those activities, and they could have helped you find your friend group in high school,” Stephanie says. “If you join many different classes and clubs, you will find your friend group. Don’t rush your friendships and relationships; keep your head high.” She also urges freshmen to explore what high school has to offer and find their study style so that they can set good habits for more challenging classes in their junior and senior years. “Then, when you become an upperclassman, start finding what makes you happy. It’s okay to leave something you don’t enjoy,” Stephanie says. “Don’t do things for college applications or resumes; do things that you are passionate about, which will make you proud to talk about for hours.”
WWhen Mason Windham graduates from Redwater High School this year, he will walk across the stage as the Salutatorian of his class, a feat that makes him proud. “I am honored to hold this title, and it’s just another way that my hard work has paid off,” Mason says. “I wouldn’t say that I chased this honor, but when I found out how close I was at the end of freshman year, I had a new wave of motivation.”
After graduation, Mason plans to attend Northwestern State University and major in music business. “I want to improve as a musician and work for a major music corporation,” Mason says. “Other potential occupations include designing marching shows or owning a music shop.”
Mason’s academic potential and love of music were supported and encouraged by the band directors, teachers, and coaches at Redwater High School. “They always had my back in all my endeavors,” Mason says. “The Redwater High School staff is phenomenal and knowledgeable. I always ask my counselor, teachers, and principals for advice and opinions because I trust their judgment, and I know they want the best for me.”
Redwater ISD also provided Mason many opportunities through clubs and organizations that helped hone his skills and passions. He has served on the class officer team, National Honor Society, and Key Club, where he learned to find joy and humility in volunteering. “I love serving beside my classmates,” Mason says. “Through Key Club, I have also learned that I can always help in some way, even if I feel that I won’t be of use.”
As a freshman, Mason joined the powerlifting team because he thought it looked “cool.” However, through the experience, Mason learned how powerful mental blocks can be. “Through the four years, most of my failed lifts were because I didn’t believe in myself and focus on my form,” Mason says. “I know this because I succeeded almost every time I tried again if I was confident.”
Mason also joined the Spanish Honor Society to further his love of learning the Spanish language and culture. He joined Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) because of encouragement from his family and consumer sciences teacher. “From FCCLA, I learned that there are other communities you could never learn about. When I went to my first FCCLA competition, I was amazed by how many people were there for a club I had just heard about,” Mason says. “From then on, I have never thought of a club or extracurricular to be unimportant, no matter how little I knew about it.”
Of all his activities, Mason is most involved with the high school band due to his true passion for music. He started in the sixth-grade band and will continue in band throughout college. “Band has taught me that practice does not make perfect, but growing brings confidence and pride in myself. I have also learned that I thrive when I am in a leadership role and serving the band,” Mason says. “I also joined Jazz Band. At first, it was simply a class period filler, but I also learned to explore my instruments and take musical liberty in the pieces I play.”
Mason says that even though he has had a lot of performances, competitions, and concerts, his
parents, Matt and Stephanie Windham, always support him and try to attend as many of his events as possible. “My parents and older brother, Seth, have always been there for me,” Mason says. “My parents are attentive to my grades and do their best to hold me to a high standard. They listen to my rants whenever I get overwhelmed and ensure that I’m mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy.”
Mason’s parents know him well. Recently, Mason’s dad, Matt, pointed out an interesting observation about his son. “He made me aware that when I have free time, I fill the new time slot quickly. For example, as soon as school let out last year, I had already put together a band of my own.
I was planning rehearsals and finding sheet music like there was no tomorrow,” Mason says. “Another example is when the marching season was over, and I was waiting for the powerlifting season to start, I put together an ultimate frisbee game with full teams. I tried to continue the ‘league’ afterward, but the race of extracurriculars and study nights began again. I plan to fill this summer with more Poolside performances, ultimate frisbee games, instrumental practicing, and cardio and calisthenic workouts.”
Poolside band is Mason’s friend group’s band that plays throughout the Texarkana community. “It is very difficult to organize during the school year, but it is always a great experience. We have performed for Wadley, Cornerstone, New Boston’s Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Army, Saint Micheal’s, Redwater High School, Redwater Key Club, and friends and family,” Mason says, “We will continue to perform as much as possible until we all go our separate ways into college.”
Even though Mason constantly stays busy and thinks ahead to the next big thing, he remains grounded through his faith. “Recently, I’ve learned that when you put your relationship with God first and pursue Him in your daily life, the challenges of your personal objectives begin to only build you up rather than tearing you down, no matter the degree of success or failure,” Mason says. “I started attending READY, and I have learned that there is always someone seeking the Lord and wanting to learn more about the relationship between our creator and us. Seeing students gather for a common purpose that doesn’t involve their recognition and success brings me much joy.”
Mason also grows his faith outside of school by attending church. On Wednesdays, Mason attends Redwater First Baptist Church. “At Redwater First
Baptist Church, I am always learning and growing in my relationship with God. Every Wednesday, I feel welcomed and refreshed,” Mason says. “I am also beginning to meet with classmates on certain mornings for Bible studies and daily devotionals.”
On Sundays, Mason attends Heritage Church, where he serves as the director and assistant director of the camera crew. “On a full day, we have six individual cameras that I am in charge of directing through our headsets,” Mason says. “Each Sunday morning, I attend the worship team’s practice and take notes,” Mason says. “When the service starts, I either work as the assistant director and read the notes to the crew and the director, or I work as the director and use the notes while instructing the crew.”
Through his experiences, Mason has learned that it is important not to base your identity on something temporary, no matter how glorifying and rewarding it feels. “If you are a track star or a ‘straight-A’ student, be proud of yourself. But there is more to accomplishing something than adding it to a resume. Achievements, failures, and trials build character,” Mason says, “As I like to say, ‘Don’t work hard TO get somewhere in life; work hard AND get somewhere.’ Work hard for your best interests and future, and challenge yourself by putting 100% of your efforts towards achieving a goal.”
Though sometimes high school graduation can feel like an ending, Mason knows there are many more opportunities for growth ahead. Though he is honored to walk the stage with a ribbon on his neck reading “Salutatorian,” he is more proud of himself for understanding that his rank is not of lasting importance. “I thank God for giving me the ability to succeed in my schoolwork and extracurricular activities. I only hope that I have and will continue to show God’s love through the way I live my life,” Mason says. “I also want to thank my family and teachers for always wanting the best for me.
Kyle Groom has always loved science, so he decided to pursue a biology degree and a medical career. He applied to the radiologic technologist school at Wadley Regional Medical Center and was accepted. While attending X-ray courses, he decided to apply to medical school. Today, Dr. Groom is an emergency and family physician. He is one of the founding partners at Texarkana Emergency Center & Hospital, where he practices emergency medicine, and he is the owner and physician at Dekalb Physicians Clinic. In addition, Dr. Groom is an owner and a medical director at Midsouth Transitions Medical Group, which cares for patients recently released from the hospital. “The best part about my job is getting the opportunity to get to know my patients and help them get better,” Dr. Groom says. “I really enjoy visiting with my patients and treating their illnesses or injuries.”
In the future, Dr. Groom worries that healthcare will become less about what is good for the patient and more about saving money or political goals. “Healthcare careers require intelligent people but also have integrity and compassion,” Dr. Groom says. “Not everyone can or would do what healthcare providers do daily.”
Professionally, Dr. Groom is proud of his opportunities to work in various aspects of the medical field: family practice, emergency department, and transitional care. But, Dr. Groom says that his greatest accomplishment is his family. “I am married to my best friend, Leann. We have three sons—Hunter, Kaden, and Tyler,” Dr. Groom says. “My current goal is to educate my boys and ensure they are good, productive men.”
In 2003, Dr. Groom was diagnosed with stage IV carcinoid cancer. Though 19 years since his diagnosis, he still lives with that disease daily. “I have had major surgery and radiation treatments,” Dr. Groom says. “It has not been easy, but it has made me a better doctor.”
Through it all, Dr. Groom relies on his faith in Jesus Christ to see him through the hard times. “I have found that in prayer, you get a lot of answers and peace in different situations,” Dr. Groom says. “Also, in emergency medicine, you see a lot of tragedy. It reminds me to always tell people how you feel about them daily. Life is precious, and nothing is guaranteed!”
1. I am passionate about hunting.
2. I am involved in my community by giving time and money to local youth sports.
3. My favorite place to eat in Texarkana is a difficult choice. We go to Verona’s for Italian, Twisted Fork for American cuisine and drinks, and Pop’s Place for seafood.
4. If I could create a medical prescription drug, it would cure cancer because cancer has directly affected my family.
5. Most people don’t know I have cattle and a tree farm. My farm is where I go to relax.
Here’s how to deal with finances before, during and – if needed – after marriage.
Love and money can be complicated. According to research by Ramsey Solutions, money is the number one reason married couples fight and a leading cause of divorce. So, when it comes to coupling, finances may be what determines success – or not. These tips will help you no matter your marital status.
Before you walk down the aisle or cohabitate, it’s important to have open conversations about finances. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Be honest about your histories. You need to know if you’re marrying someone who carries a lot of debt or has been through a bankruptcy. These facts may become obstacles when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage together or reaching other financial goals. Play to your strengths. If you’re a savvy shopper and your partner is a calculated risk taker, rely on each other for managing those distinct aspects of your finances. It might evolve over time, but agree on your approach for managing the finances before you say “I do.”
Every time there’s a job change, children enter the picture or new cars and homes appear on the horizon, your financial situation changes. So, check in on a regular basis. Keep these top of mind:
Tell the truth about your purchases. If you tend to hide shopping bags from your spouse (one in three couples who argue about money have hidden purchases from each other), this will jeopardize your financial planning with certainty.
Set financial priorities together. Dreams and aspirations change, which is why it’s important to have regular check-ins with your spouse about short- and long-term financial goals. Rank the top three financial priorities and have a weekly or monthly meeting to track your progress.
No one enters a marriage thinking it’s going to end, but some do. Finances can be what turns an amicable divorce into a hostile one. If you’re separated, consider this:
Heed the advice of professionals. When it comes to love and money, opinions get heated. Your financial advisor can guide you through some of the practical aspects of this emotional time and be an unbiased resource you can trust.
Open separate accounts. It’s best to close joint accounts and open new separate accounts rather than adding or removing names; it’ll give you a sense of security that you’re the only one with access. Change your direct deposit to go into the new account and start budgeting for yourself immediately.
A healthy relationship with finances and the ability to be honest about them will contribute to a healthy relationship with your spouse and can help set your marriage up for success.
Regardless of your marital status, remember these money tips:
• Be honest with yourself and your significant other about your financial situation
• Check in regularly to be sure you’re on budget and adjust if necessary
• Ask for help from professionals when it comes to finances, short and long term
The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department is proud to partner with Texarkana Emergency Center in an effort to remove unused and out of date prescription medicines from your homes.
•It is important to know that law enforcement is only interested in the removal of unused and/or outdated medications from the homes of our citizens.
•It matters not whose name is on the prescription, by whom it was prescribed, where it was prescribed, or where you reside.
•We stress that it makes no difference if you live in Texas or Arkansas.
•We take back all medications, no questions asked. You can remove the label if you desire but it’s not necessary.
•We ask that you do not deposit needles (sharps), inhalers, medication from businesses or clinics, ointments, lotions, liquids, aerosol cans, hydrogen peroxide, or thermometers.
One box has been placed behind the Bi State Justice Building at 100 N. State Line Ave., Texarkana, Arkansas and another outside the Texarkana Emergency Center, 4646 Cowhorn Creek Rd., Texarkana, Texas. These boxes are regularly checked and the contents are immediately packaged for destruction. If you would like to personally drop your medications off to law enforcement, you can at the Miller County Sheriff’s Office on East Street and Bi State Justice Building in Texarkana.
National Take Back Day
APRIL 22, 2023
8am - 12pm at Texarkana Emergency Center & Hospital
You can learn more about this program by visiting www.artakeback.org or on Facebook by searching Arkansas Take Back or Arkansas Drug take Back.
4646 Cowhorn Creek | Texarkana, TX 75503 | 903.838.8000
No one likes difficulties. We all would prefer a realm of Eutopia, but we live in a fallen world, and life happens!
We have all asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Many books have been written on the subject, but no definitive answer is ever given. Yes, they say things like, “It’s an opportunity to test or teach, or we grow in adversity,” but it’s still difficult to grasp when you live in a moment of controversy.
I can confidently say that after living for 80 years, my faith in God has brought me through many bad times. Did I question Him? Yes, absolutely. During one conflict in my life, I said, “God, this is not what I wanted. Do I need to come up there and tell you how to do this because you are not getting it right!”
Aren’t you glad God loves us and has a sense of humor? All the time, He had a plan in place that was better than the one I had conjured up in my brain!
Those times of controversy have built my faith, and I’ve learned to say, “God, I don’t understand, but I’m going to trust you.” I’m sure glad I have good friends who love and encourage me and don’t judge me like Job’s friends did in the Old Testament!
In the New Testament, I’m sure the disciples wondered about God’s plan after Jesus died on the cross. What looked like an utter defeat was the plan needed to save the world.
This Easter season, let’s remember that we all have times of struggle. Many people walk around and look normal while performing their daily activities, behave normally, and say normal things, but their heart is breaking inside. Your smile or kind word may be the glue that keeps them from breaking apart!
Don’t judge others! People need encouragement, not discouragement. Spread cheer daily, not doom, gloom, and despair!
Enjoy this time of celebrating the season of resurrection because we are blessed with eternal hope. Happy Easter.
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Last month I was with the group that goes to Missouri every February for trout fishing. The creek we fish is mainly rocks -- gravel up to reasonably large stones, which are easy to walk on since they aren’t covered in moss or scum. But, there is the chance you hit the spot where there is mud, and that’s what I walked into.
I was catching a nice trout when I realized I was slowly sinking into the mud, and nothing about that is good when you are wearing waders. After releasing the trout, I started trying to get my feet out of the mud, which I had sunk in over my boots and about a fourth up my calf. After working my feet around for about five minutes with no success, I debated yelling for help or spending the day standing there. If I had yelled for help, I would have been required to listen to all the jokes that would be told. If I stood there all day, someone would fish down to me sooner or later, and the outcome would have been the same as calling for help.
I worked hard to release my right foot and turn around, and when I did, it just sunk back down into the mud and became stuck again. I was about two steps away from solid ground, but getting there was easier said than done.
After about 15 minutes of working to free myself, one part of the group came by and fished just below me. So for about 20 minutes, I stood there in a funky, contorted position and went back to fishing until they got around the bend. After about 30 minutes, I finally got out, and no one was the wiser. I was not going to be harassed for getting stuck. I don’t mind being laughed at for falling and getting my waders full, but not for getting stuck.
Make sure you keep room on your calendar for the annual “Breakfast With The Easter Bunny” at the Texarkana Arkansas Recreation Center. This year you can hop on down to the Recreation Center on Saturday, April 1st, (this is not an April Fool’s joke) for breakfast, games, crafts, gift “bags” and a chance to have your picture made with The Bunny! Free to everyone, no reservations needed. Mark your calendars and plan to spend the morning with us at Texarkana Parks and Recreation.
Join us for our largest tasting of the year! If you are planning a wedding, reunion, shower, party or any other event that needs catering or sweets this is the event you don’t want to miss! We will have samples of tons of our sweets and catering selections, with consultants on hand to chat with you about pricing and availability. Lots of door prizes and discounts for those who book on the day of this event. Join us at 11am at Sugar Mill Bakery, 113 N West Street, New Boston, TX.
KIDZ412 presents our annual Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt on April 7, 2023. Located at Northern Hills Baptist Church, 6000 Sammy Lane, Texarkana, AR, we invite our entire Texarkana community to join us for a FREE night of hunting glow in the dark easter eggs for ages 4 years old through 6th grade. Pizza will be served and we have a christian illusionist! Sign up here: https://northernhillsbc.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/1657086
Benefiting CASA for Children and the Texarkana Children’s Advocacy Center and the services they provide to more than 1,300 abused and neglected children each year, the 9th CASA Colorful 5k is a 3.1 mile fitness running/walking event on a cross county trail. The run begins on an open field and winds through a dirt trail system. The route is repeated once. The race begins with each participant releasing a bag of color into the air creating a beautiful burst of color. Stations will also be located throughout the race route where you will be showered with brightly colored powder, turning your white shirt into a color explosion. The color is made from eco-friendly food colored cornstarch. ONSITE REGISTRATION BEGINS at 8:00 am. Registration fee is non-refundable and includes 1 color bag and 1 t-shirt per paid registrant while supplies last.
Dot’s Ace Hardware in Texarkana will host its second SCA-sanctioned steak cookoff in April 2023. We will be awarding over $3,000 in cash prizes to the best steaks and (drumroll) burgers & “Anything with Cheese” for our ancillary categories. If you love BBQ, we want you - anyone with a grill can enter! Entry fee for steaks $160 and ancillary categories TBA. Complete rules and regulations are available on the SCA website, or inquire with Devin in our store with questions. https://steakcookoffs.com/rules
We are beyond excited to announce the 4th Annual Walking for Williams on Sunday, April 30th! This family-focused event will take place outdoors on the church grounds at Williams Memorial, 4000 Moores Lane, Texarkana, Texas. The afternoon will consist of a family warmup and walk for all ages, live music, carnival style games for kids, and refreshments. Contact Williams School office to get your family signed up for this event. 903-838-9517.
What a place to be...waking up in the mornings, overlooking the lake on SW Arkansas best kept secret, Beautiful Lake Erling. Privacy, seclusion, and serenity, all while watching the deer, turkey, and other wildlife in your own back yard. You are steps away from some of the South’s best fishing. These beautiful lots with lake frontage are limited and are beginning to sell quickly. This is a gated subdivision with limited access. Lakefront property is extremely hard to find and availability is very limited on this lake. B.A.S.S. ranked Lake Erling the top 100 lakes in the United States.