August 2022 ALT Magazine

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From the Publisher.. Back to school means different things to each of us. For some, it is full of excitement and fun. For others, it is full of dread. And that may change from year to year as we grow up.

As a young child, I was always excited to go to school. As a very social young girl, I wanted interaction with others. I learned easily and excelled at whatever subject was being taught. Well, maybe not history, but most everything else. I grew up knowing my parents knew I was supposed to make good grades, and I tried to live up to their expectations—most of the time, I did. As I grew older, my love of learning never ended. Going back to school meant new clothes, shoes, subjects, and friends. In the small town in Alabama where we lived during middle and high school, few people moved to town. I had friends in the classes both below and above me. There were times when things were less than perfect, especially in high school, but I think high school is tough on almost everyone. And I will admit high school was challenging at times. With technology today, I can’t imagine being in high school and dealing with online warriors. Our teenage years are difficult enough without adding more. As parents, it is hard to watch our children being hurt by others who don’t seem to care what they say or whom they say it around. Whether online or in person, words are hurtful and cannot be taken back once they are out. Teach your children to be kind. Of course, the one thing I really loved about back to school was football! As a majorette, with a football player as my boyfriend, I had so much fun every Friday night at the games. It was the highlight of our small southern town to enjoy the football game. All the cheers, all the people, being on the field at halftime, and hopefully celebrating the win with the team was amazing! Of course, high school eventually ends, and our adulting begins. I am so glad that I moved here, married my fabulous husband, raised my two children to be amazing adults, and now have a great life. I may not have small children anymore to worry about preparing for back to school, but my friends have them. I love seeing them all get so excited about school. It reminds me of a time that I loved. Enjoy this month. Help your kids excel at school by encouraging them to love learning. One day you will see what that encouragement brings -successful children who love life.

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Even though I have only been in the district for one year, I see evidence of monumental progress instructionally and academically. It is rewarding to be a part of that.

Carla Dupree grew up in Atlanta, Texas, and attended Atlanta Independent School District from Kindergarten to 12th grade, and in these years, Carla prided herself on being a risk-taker, a hard worker, and a kind person. “All of those traits play a large part in my career path,” Carla says. “These traits are still a very large part of who I am, and they play a part in all decisions I make.” In high school, Carla’s main activity and passion was the Lincoln Douglas Debate, and she learned many important life lessons from her debate coach, Mrs. Sue Tomberlain. “The skills I learned from that class have served me well in my career and personal life. I learned how to listen and try to see issues from different perspectives. I learned how to listen not with the goal of arguing against but with the goal to understand,” Carla says. “I also learned how to read an audience and how to keep my composure in difficult situations and to strive to be the best in the state.” After high school, Carla Dupree decided to go into education because she recognized how much teachers had influenced her life. “I wanted to have that same opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others,” Carla says. Carla began her career in education as a high school teacher from 1995-2000 in Queen City. Then, she went to J.K. Hileman Elementary in Queen City ISD in 2000 and served as assistant principal and then principal. In 2014, she went to Queen City High School as principal, and in 2017, she moved to Texas High School in Texarkana


ISD as Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction. In 2018, Carla became the principal of Texas High School and served in that capacity for three years and in 2021, she joined Pleasant Grove ISD as assistant superintendent and has been in Hawk Nation for one year. “In my role as assistant superintendent, I believe that the most important part of my job is to do my part to ensure high levels of learning for all students,” Carla says. “I do this daily by communicating with administrators, supporting the faculty and staff of Pleasant Grove ISD in growth, and showing my appreciation for them as often as I can. Our educators sure deserve it!” Carla says that the most rewarding part of her job is being a part of a team united with one mission: ensuring high levels of learning for all students. A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 2

“It is exciting to see such unity in mission and purpose. That mission drives all of the decisions that are made for the students of Pleasant Grove ISD,” Carla says. “Even though I have only been in the district for one year, I see evidence of monumental progress instructionally and academically. It is rewarding to be a part of that.” Carla is proud to say that she is a part of carrying on the mission of PGISD by taking part in the growth of all district educators. “I attend the workshops, I am involved in discussion regularly with our administrative team, and I do whatever I can to encourage and assist our administrators, teachers, and the rest of the faculty and staff of Pleasant Grove ISD,” Carla says. In her experience, the most challenging part of education is the learning curve that many educators experience as they change subjects, roles, schools, and districts. “Though this first year in a new position has been challenging, I have a large toolbox of experiences that helped guide me in my job after twenty-one years in campus administration. Even though the schools and some of the experiences were different, the basics were the same,” Carla says. “Serving in a district level role for the first time has opened my eyes to new angles and new experiences. A large part of the credit for me overcoming these challenges has been to have a great mentor and team. Mr. Pirtle, our superintendent, and the rest of the Central Services and District Administrative team have been such a blessing in this new journey. I celebrate each and every one of them for helping me grow in my role.”

In an effort to serve the Texarkana community, Carla serves on the General Board of United Way of Greater Texarkana and the Community Impact Committee. Carla also attends church at Union Chapel United Methodist Church, and she is a part of a book club with friends that caters to two things that Carla enjoys: reading and growing personally and professionally. When she has time off, Carla enjoys exercising, fishing, spending time with family and friends, and going to concerts with her husband, Scott. “My family is my world. My husband, son, mom, and dad are my biggest supporters. I have been inspired by each of them in different ways, and I value all of them more than they know,” Carla says. “I think with work, as much as people are valued, every position is fillable. With family, especially one like mine, no positions are fillable. No one and no thing can replace my family. I love them more than they will ever know, and I am so very thankful for their support.”

On those really tough days in education, Carla knows she can utilize the wisdom she has gleaned from her years in education. “During the trying times, I think about something that came to me on my first day as principal at another district. At the time, I wondered if I had messed up by taking a step and making a change, and then it hit me: This too shall pass. Whether it is good or bad, this too shall pass,” Carla says. “So if it is good, be present in and savor every moment because this too shall pass. If it is tough, just hold on, fight the good fight, put in the work, and be tougher than the situation because this too shall pass.” A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 2


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These moments stand out because it shows educators what a difference we can make in students’ lives when we are sold out to what we are doing by truly teaching– not because it is a job, but because it is a passion.

Kevin Jones is starting his thirtieth year in education. He chose this career path after spending time with young people as a youth worker and minister during his college years. Kevin attended high school at Maud ISD and was raised in the church. He says that when the doors were open, his family was there. After graduation from high school, Kevin went to college at East Texas Baptist College (now East Texas Baptist University), and he worked in different ministries geared toward youth. “I worked in the Clown Ministry (yep, I wore a big Red Nose), a drama group called Image, and I served as Home Missionary for the Southern Baptist Convention in Wyoming, where I later would serve as a youth minister,” Kevin says. “Even today, my family is involved in the church. I am active with my Sunday School class at First Baptist Church Moores Lane and teach on a rotation basis.” In 1984, Kevin graduated from college and joined the US Army. He spent eight years in the Army working in the Unit Ministry Team, ministering to soldiers and their families. “Then, I developed arthritis, and I knew it would result in complications, so I left the Army in 1992 with the desire to re-enter college and pursue a degree in education,” Kevin says. “With my military experience, I wanted to make a difference in how students viewed the government and what our wonderful nation does for its citizens.” Through his years in education, Kevin says that the greatest rewards come from seeing a 018

student succeed, which motivates Kevin on the most challenging days. Kevin is also motivated daily by his coworkers. “All my career, I have been surrounded by amazing professionals, fellow teachers, paraprofessionals, principals, superintendents, and students that have taught me and are still teaching me every day,” Kevin says. “I am so very grateful to my principal Ms. Cody. She is ALWAYS available, and she is positive, supportive, and encouraging in the toughest of situations. She is never demanding but is always willing to patiently listen and offer suggestions and recommendations that might work. Then she empowers me to act on those thoughts while giving me the ability to work knowing she’s ‘got my back.’” A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 2

Kevin says that many of the challenges in education stem from standardized practices which try to support students with a “cookie cutter” philosophy. “There are so many guidelines from the state about students that are identified as at risk or in need of special assistance. The students are all given the same help and same interventions, when in reality, each student is different and should be treated as individuals so we can meet their needs and help them achieve success,” Kevin says. “We, as teachers, get to know our students’ strengths and weaknesses and find a way to meet their needs instead of checking the boxes on a sheet saying that we have done all that is required.”

at a local restaurant when I accidentally bump into a student’s parents, and often, the parents say, ‘Every day, my child comes home from school, and he tells us what happened in your class, every detail. Then, he repeats it at dinner, and he’s even watching the History Channel on his own. What are you doing to make him love your class?’ Inwardly I smile. I know what is happening,” Kevin says. “Any teacher who has a true passion for what they teach will pass it on to their students. These moments stand out because it shows educators what a difference we can make in students’ lives when we are sold out to what we are doing by truly teaching–not because it is a job, but because it is a passion.”

Kevin also says that recent pandemic challenges have taught educators the importance of adapting to new challenges. “Our world is changing, and COVID is a vivid example of how exterior issues can become major obstacles in public school. We must be flexible and willing to adapt to this everchanging world so we can adjust to help students become successful,” Kevin says. “ I once heard a wise man say, ‘Blessed are the flexible; they will not be bent out of shape!’”

When he’s not at work, Kevin loves to spend time with his family. “I am blessed to be married to the most wonderful wife and mother that God could have ever created. My wife, Kim, is from Redwater and works for Texarkana College as their CFO,” Kevin says. “She is supportive of all I do with my students and is the most positive voice I can hear. She is the calm in the storm who brings reason to any hurdles I face. She is with me through thick and thin. I would not be where I am today without her beside me.”

When building solid relationships with students and parents, Kevin relies on what he learned when he served as the assistant principal at the high school for five years. During that time, Kevin learned that almost all issues boiled down to one word: communication. “Most of the time, the issues specifically stem from a lack of communication, so when I moved back to the classroom to teach, I focused on communication,” Kevin says. “My answer, which has been facilitated by today’s technology, is to email EVERY parent, EVERY night about what was done in class and what is due the next day. It works! The best part of my day is sending out a general email to every parent every day. I get communication back from parents continuously about how they like knowing what is going on!”

Kevin and Kim have two children. They have a 25-year-old daughter named Kailee, who is a nurse. She is working on her Bachelor of Science in nursing and works for a local hospice. “Kailee is a beautiful mirror image of her beautiful mom,” Kevin says. “We also have an 18-year-old son, Kadin, who graduated from Redwater last year and is planning on attending Texas A&M Texarkana this coming fall. He is referred, by family, as ‘Buddy Junior,’ since he is the spitting image of his grandfather, Tommy Kruse. Family is everything, and I am blessed with a gift from God for having each in my life.”

When Kevin thinks back on his decades in education, he says that his favorite stories about students occur when he hears about how his students develop a passion for what they are learning. “I could be in Walmart or eating out A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 2



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The most rewarding aspect of my profession is seeing the ‘ah-ha’ moments in our students and nurses. These moments make all the hard work and late nights worth it.

Director of Nursing and Associate Professor Dr. Heather McKnight has been at Texas A&M University - Texarkana for six years. In her position, she is focused on student success and meeting the needs of a rapidly changing healthcare landscape. She chose to enter the field of nursing education because of her deep passion for mentoring and teaching. “As a nurse educator, I am able to make an impact on nurses from the early stages of their educational journeys, and I continue to mentor them as their careers evolve over the years,” Dr. McKnight says. “The most rewarding aspect of my profession is seeing the ‘ah-ha’ moments in our students and nurses. These moments make all the hard work and late nights worth it.” For Dr. McKnight, the most challenging part of being an educator is learning not to take all the work—including the mental and spiritual aspects—home with her. “I work every day to practice self-care and allow myself to unplug for nursing,” Dr. McKnight says. “On the tough days, I take time to reflect on why I am a nurse educator, which usually gives me the motivation I need. When reflection isn’t enough, I reach out to my mentors to get a little pep talk.” As the pandemic has shown the world, educators need to be able to pivot their teaching methods quickly. Dr. McKnight sees this continuing at a smaller scale, so she advocates for continued professional development. “If we are constantly seeking to learn more, we are better able to 022

meet the needs of the changing education landscape,” Dr. McKnight says. “I am honored to be a change agent at TAMUT. I serve on a variety of committees that are focused on curricular updates, and I am involved in numerous new program idea proposals to expand the offerings at TAMUT to meet the needs of our East Texas community.” Dr. McKnight’s proudest accomplishment to date is earning tenure at TAMUT. “For me, tenure was a major career milestone that I was able to earn while launching new nursing programs, mentoring faculty and staff, and still maintaining a life at home,” Dr. McKnight says. Outside of work, Dr. McKnight enjoys many eclectic hobbies, from reading to fishing, but A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 2

she predominantly spends her time with family and friends. Her family attends Beech Street First Baptist Church, and Dr. McKnight can also be found cheering on Arkansas High, her alma mater, throughout the year. “Throughout my time at TASD, I was involved in as much as possible, including NIKE, National Honor Society, band, honors courses, Miss Arkansas High, and many other leadership opportunities,” Dr. McKnight says. “The extensive opportunities I had throughout my K-12 education allowed me to learn to speak, network, and set the foundation for who I am today.” After high school, Dr. McKnight attended Southern Arkansas University for her undergraduate degrees in psychology and nursing. She was also actively involved in leadership and honor organizations and was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha. “I was focused, competitive, and driven as a teenager, and I still carry those characteristics today,” Dr. McKnight says. “I learned at an early age that in order to grow, you had to put in the work, so I have never let go of that mantra.”

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Today, Dr. McKnight is married to her high school sweetheart, Tony McKnight. In October, the couple will celebrate their 23rd anniversary. The couple also has two daughters: Berkley and Laiken. Berkley is a 2019 graduate of Arkansas High and currently attends TAMUT. Laiken is an Arkansas High senior and still deciding on her college path. “Each of our girls brings a different personality and dynamic to our family. Berkley is outgoing and social which brings so many young people into our home. I deeply love meeting all her old and new friends, seeing how she grows with each relationship, and am beyond blessed to call her my daughter,” Dr. McKnight says. “Laiken is quiet and extremely observant. She teaches us to slow down and enjoy each moment. I am also beyond blessed to call her my daughter as well. While Tony and I do our best to nurture and teach them, Berkley and Laiken teach us so much in return.”



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School was a refuge for me. I knew the influence of a great teacher and wanted to be that for my students.

When Holly Mooneyham graduated from Arkansas High School in 2006, she knew what she wanted to do with her life: she wanted to be a teacher. “My mom jokes about how I would play school when I was little, but high school is what really solidified my career choice. After watching my three older siblings drop out of high school, I knew I wanted to help students. Out of 10 siblings, only three of us graduated high school, and I’d like to think I was instrumental in my two younger siblings graduating,” Holly says. “School was a refuge for me. I knew the influence of a great teacher and wanted to be that for my students.” While getting her degree, Holly worked at Pinson Park Preschool with the Pre-K4 students, and while she thought her little students were “adorable,” she knew she wanted intellectual conversations with older students. Holly was hired directly out of college by Texas High School in Texarkana Independent School District and has been there ever since. “They took a chance on a new teacher, and I hope they haven’t regretted it,” Holly says. “I’ve taught every grade level between 9-12th, and I’ve taught different levels including Pre-AP, remedial, on-level, and dual credit. I am also going into my 5th year as an adjunct professor at Texarkana College, where I teach online dual credit courses to area schools.” Holly has had a few big accomplishments in the last 12 years as a teacher. One of those 026

accomplishments occurred in her sixth year of teaching when she won Region 8 Teacher of the Year. “More recently, I became the Texas High School English Department Chair, which has allowed me to work closer with my teachers in my department and be an advocate for them in any way they need me,” Holly says. For Holly, the most rewarding part of teaching is the relationships she builds with her students. Some of them become lifelong friends, while others she gets to observe through social media. Holly usually teaches students in 9th grade, but then she may teach them again in her 12th-grade dual credit classes. “It’s so fun to see their growth in those few years,” Holly says.

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In Holly’s opinion, the most challenging part of education is the politics and constant educational changes. “These changes are a constant demand on our time and are usually time consuming and ineffective. It takes away from the actual teaching aspect of the classroom,” Holly says. “But, we adapt. That is the thing about teachers—we are amazing at adapting to change. We figure out the important things we need to do for the success of our students, and we make that happen. As long as we are constantly asking ourselves what is best for our students, then we can overcome any challenge thrown at us.” In order to create better relationships with parents and students, Holly consistently communicates with them. She sends out constant emails to parents to let them know what is going on in the classroom, and parents are asked to join her Google Classroom, and her Remind 101. “I send emails of celebration as well as those of the struggling kind. I also attend extracurricular activities of my students to make sure they know they are being seen outside of the classroom because they are more than just their academics,” Holly says. “In the end, my parents and students know that I care about them as a person.” When Holly is not at work, she spends time with her husband of almost 17 years, Junior Mooneyham, and their 4-year-old daughter, Macie Mooneyham. The couple finalized Macie’s adoption this year. “We were blessed with Macie through my little sister’s death, so biologically she’s my niece. However, we’ve had her since she was eight-months-old, and she is just as much our daughter as if we birthed her,” Holly says. “My husband has been supportive since day one of my educational career through crazy long nights of studying, the tears, the overwhelming work hours, and sometimes the drama. He has no idea how education works, but he listens, and that’s all I can ask for.” When Holly thinks back on her last twelve years at Texas High School, she says that she will never forget the “success stories” of students who have grown in her class or accomplished their goals. “I have taught remedial classes where A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 2

we focused on closing gaps and trying to pass the state tests. The students in the class are those who have struggled their whole life passing tests, so any time I had a student get a passing score, it was such a celebration for both of us,” Holly says. “Then, in the last several years as a senior English teacher, I celebrated with students on their choice of what to do with their life after graduation whether that is a college acceptance, signing with a military, a career field, trade school, etc.” Though there are plenty of tough days as a high school educator, those days can easily be turned around with a kind word from a student. “A simple note that says, ‘I love you’ left on my podium or laptop, a hug from a previous student walking down the hall, a student who says ‘You are my favorite teacher,’ a lesson that engaged the students, the light bulb moments, and the ‘Thank you for teaching it so I understand it’ comments are all my motivations on the hardest days,” Holly says. “It’s truly those connections that make it worth it in the end. The students are truly the reason any teacher teaches.”

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School was a refuge for me. I knew the influence of a great teacher and wanted to be that for my students.

Education is a second career for Shannan Whitt, who received a degree in sociology before becoming certified as a teacher. “I feel that my sociology background provided me with an understanding of human interaction and social behaviors, and I find myself accessing this information quite often as I assess students and their circumstances,” Shannan says. “Now, I am starting my 15th year in education. I currently teach first grade at Red Lick Elementary School, and I have been there for eight years. I previously taught at Liberty-Eylau ISD and Morriss Elementary.” Shannan chose education as a way to positively impact the lives of many children, but she says that she’s the one who has been blessed by the opportunity to get to know so many amazing kids. “They have taught me so much about perspective and the world around me,” Shannan says. “I carry them in my heart, and they have forever changed my teaching methods and philosophy.” The most rewarding part of the job for Shannan is the growth she sees throughout the school year, both educationally and socially. On the other hand, the challenge can be finding ways to reach certain learners. “All students should be met where they are. Students are created as individuals; therefore, they should be led to understanding in unique and novel ways while considering circumstances and environments,” Shannan says. 030

Though she believes Texarkana is blessed with an amazing selection of school districts, Shannan hopes to see more collaboration in the future to encourage, support, and motivate ALL students through shared opportunities and programs. “There is no doubt that the world around us is changing, and the students are dealing with new challenges or uncertainties, but as an educator, I hope to provide stability,” Shannan says. “As society shifts in expectations, I remain steadfast in my belief that a structured and safe classroom/ home with high expectations should never be compromised. Love, compassion, and grace are represented in my classroom daily.” When she is not teaching at school, Shannan also volunteers her time as a Sunday School A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 2

teacher, and she enjoys giving to missions, serving on various committees, decorating for and planning community outreach events, and offering assistance, when needed, to her husband, Billy, with his ministry as Youth Director at Hardy Memorial United Methodist Church. “My husband and I also enjoy fishing, traveling, and just spending precious quality time with our children, Anna Blair (20) and Miller (13),” Shannan says. “Cooking and baking are two of my favorite things to do, and I aspire to show love through the offering of food and fellowship. When time allows, some of my hobbies include sewing, decorating, crafting, and reading.” Shannan stays motivated in the classroom through her faith in God and desire to help others. As a Christian, Shannan feels led to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and this calling gives her direction and determination, even during challenging times. “I’m motivated by my students, and I’m also motivated by my amazing

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colleagues. The support, love, and exemplary examples provided by those around me keep me focused,” Shannan says. “Finally, my amazing family provides me with unconditional love and support, even when I second guess myself.” One of the ways that Shannan seeks to build strong relationships with her parents and students is to keep an open line of communication between them. “I try to make positive contacts with parents as a way to highlight a student’s strengths early on and lay the foundation for future discussions or concerns. I also encourage parents to contact me with questions or concerns, and I greet each situation with honesty and compassion,” Shannan says. “Ultimately, I am blessed with the opportunity to show love through the ministry of education, and as I continue to navigate an everchanging profession, I pray to never lose sight of the true purpose: loving kids.”






Gym, Dance & Cheer

Ballet Tap Jazz Lyrical Musical Theatre Clogging Hip Hop Contemporary Competitive Dance Teams

500 Industrial Blvd. Nash, TX 75569

2022-2023 Gymnastics, All-Stars Prep Cheer, and Dance! We offer a wide range of classes for every age from toddler to teens. Gymnastics Boy Gymnastics All-Stars Prep Cheer Power Tumbling


5 - 7PM

Gymnastics, Dance And Cheer Classes For All Ages!



Love God. Serve Others. Teach Truth. CHRISTIAN WARRIORS CHURCH Sunday Services, 10 am | PASTOR MICAH HARP 2101 E 50th St, Texarkana, AR 71854 032

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(903) 796-5438 | 108 N Loop 59 | Atlanta, TX 75551 (870) 772-4328 | 2229 Trinity Blvd. | Texarkana, AR 71854 (870) 898-5700 | 1420 Constitution Ave. | Ashdown, AR 71822 (903) 832-5438 | 600 North Kings Hwy | Wake Village, TX 75501 (903) 628-0035 | 980 James Bowie Drive | New Boston, TX 75570

online baby boutique | organic options available modern | neutral | minimal | christian based @covahco


Love God. Serve Others. Teach Truth. CHRISTIAN WARRIORS CHURCH Sunday Services, 10 am | PASTOR MICAH HARP 2101 E 50th St, Texarkana, AR 71854 A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 2



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NOMINATIONS BEGIN NOW! Administrative / Regulatory Law Appellate Practice


Ever been in need of a lawyer and not sure where to start looking? We want to help! Texarkana’s 2022 Top Lawyers will be nominated by you, our readers! Prior to voting, we will confirm that each lawyer is in good standing with the local bar association. The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of outstanding lawyers that can be used as a resource for those searching for legal counsel. Now is your chance to tell us who you think should be Texarkana’s Top Lawyer by category, Top Young Lawyer, and Top Lawyer overall!

Banking and Finance Law Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) Commercial Litigation Corporate Law Criminal Defense: Non White-Collar Criminal Defense: White-Collar DUI/DWI Defense Employment Law Family Law Health Care Law Insurance Law Labor Law Mediation Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs


August 1-31, 2022 If you are a lawyer, we kindly ask that you do not nominate yourself.


October 1-31, 2022 Celebrate!

December 1, 2022

Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation – Defendants Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs Real Estate Law Trusts and Estates Workers’ Compensation Law – Claimants Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers Texarkana’s Top Distinguished Lawyer (Lawyers that have been practicing for atleast 40 years)

Texarkana’s Top Lawyer Texarkana’s Top Young Lawyers (Must be under 40 years of age for Top Young Lawyer) A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 2


financial focus



An empty nest could mean a fuller wallet FAMILY AND LIFESTYLE

When children leave home, you may have extra resources to invest in yourself.

“Pomp and Circumstance” plays. You beam with pride as your child moves the tassel from one side of the mortarboard to the other. Congratulations. Your kiddo just graduated college. With any luck, they’ve already secured a job in their chosen field and are ready to start paying their own bills. Your financial obligations have suddenly diminished.

Now what? Well, you just got a raise, so to speak. The money once reserved for your child’s needs and wants is once again available to fulfill your own. While you may be tempted to splurge on a pricey vacation, consider these other uses first.

Be realistic

You’ll never stop caring for your kids, both emotionally and financially. Many parents want to continue offering their children extra support, whether it’s a down payment on a house or college funds for future grandchildren. If you’d still like to help out financially, talk with your financial advisor about the most efficient way to accomplish this without losing track of your own financial goals.

Protect your legacy

This is a good time to update your will. The previous iteration likely named guardians for your minor children, which may not be necessary now that they’re young adults. If you’re inclined to charitable giving, the extra money that once went to tuition could be reallocated to a cause that’s near and dear to your heart. You may also want to make one of your children the executor of your estate. And if you haven’t already, you should consider designating your spouse or one of your grown children to have powers of attorney for your healthcare and finances in case of incapacitation. Of course, whenever there’s a change in circumstances, you should review the beneficiaries on your retirement, savings and brokerage accounts, as well as your insurance policies.

Think about insurance

Speaking of insurance, you may be overcovered as an empty nester. Take the time to review your policies now that your children are no longer financially dependent on you. If you’re overpaying for life insurance premiums, you may want to cut back on coverage and pocket the savings. You’ll need some professional guidance here to make sure you maintain adequate coverage going forward. Your child can stay on your healthcare policy until the age of 26. But if your child is eligible A LT M a g a z i n e | A u g u s t 2 0 2 2

for his or her own employer-sponsored coverage and leaves your plan as a result, you could save money. The same holds true for auto insurance. Removing your child from your policy could lower the cost as much as 50%, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Remember: Medical providers may be prohibited from sharing information with you about your now-adult child’s health. Talk with your kid about whether they’d like to authorize you to have access in an emergency situation. This is also a good time to think about long-term care insurance. Studies show that long-term care, which generally is not covered by Medicare, could deplete your retirement savings. Buying a policy when you’re younger and in good health will be easier than trying to purchase one as you get older.

Treat yourself

Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research found that spending on nondurable goods, the fun things, jumped more than 50% per person for empty nesters. That’s understandable after years of paying for dance lessons and soccer dues. So if your budget allows, make plans to travel, return to school, start a business or do whatever you’ve dreamed of. Ask your advisor to help you set aside a certain percentage for the fun stuff.

Move on

Consider where you’d like to live. Are you perfectly happy in your current home? Would you prefer a smaller house or a beachfront condo? Do you want something less expensive so you can invest the difference? If downsizing frees up some equity in your home, you could reallocate that money to other goals like starting a new career or funding retirement.

Next steps

Consider making a catch-up contribution to your retirement savings Update your will and other beneficiary accounts Review your insurance policies Discuss long-term care coverage Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Long-term care insurance or asset-based, long-term care insurance products may not be suitable for all investors. Surrender charges may apply for early withdrawals and, if made prior to age 59 ½, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to any gains being taxed as ordinary income. Please consult with a licensed financial professional when considering your insurance options. © 2022 Raymond James Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.

Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange / SIPC, and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA / SIPC, are subsidiaries of Raymond James Financial, Inc. Raymond James® and Raymond James Financial® are registered trademarks of Raymond James Financial, Inc.

Tasty Donuts Donut • Croissant • Kolache • Fruit Sticks • Burrito Biscuit • Muffin • Coffee

Moving to a smaller home might provide additional resources for your later years, which could make up for a less-than-stellar savings track record. In addition to using that home equity to bolster your retirement savings, you could also benefit from a lower cost of living, maintenance costs, property taxes and insurance premiums.

Focus on you

Now that you have more time and resources, you can prioritize your future. Talk about this life change with your professional advisors and make sure your financial plan reflects your new circumstances. For example, you may want to adjust your asset allocation to reflect your new goals or use the extra money to step up investments in your overall portfolio, potentially increasing your net worth.

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NOW OPEN IN TWO LOCATIONS!! 1443 N. Kings Hwy. 903. 838. 0422

K-Mart Shopping Center 903. 223. 0149

Donuts are ALWAYS the Answer! 037







Saturday, August 13th at 8:00am Saturday, September 10th at 8:00am






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Landscape . Architecture . Commercial . Headshots . Pets / 903.278.4444 / 903.334.9605 / Award Winning Photography 039

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Suzie TK Snippets By: Suzie Tyler

High School Reunions In May, there were several area high school graduations. Just like the Statler Brothers song, Class of 57, the students set their individual goals, and every senior class has a lot of hopes and big dreams. *In fifteen years, each student will have a nostalgic reflection on the years since graduation and find the world outside of high school quite different. Each one thought they would change the world, or the world would change to fit them. Classmates will use that first reunion to impress everyone with their successes and the houses, yachts, and airplanes owned. By the time the 50th reunion rolls around, it’s like, “who cares about all that? We are all old and wrinkled.” I graduated from Arkansas High School in 1960. My classmates have today turned 79 or 80, but I have remained 29. Each month, we meet for lunch and reminisce about old times. We’ve all become rumpled, cranky, and cantankerous through the years, but we still maintain our sense of humor. That has assisted in our making it this far. When we were in high school, there was no internet, WI-FI, or Google. Our black rotary phones hung on a wall or were placed on a mantel or desk. The guys stood out under a streetlight and smoked cigarettes without their parent’s knowledge or permission. They plotted how to steal watermelons from old Mr. Crabtree’s melon patch and keep from getting caught. No one smoked pot or did drugs, but occasionally they would drink a can of beer that someone bought for them unlawfully. Eeek. Did I say that out loud? Sometimes I long for that simplicity of living, but when I remember my cell phone that carries my whole life inside, I say... Not! In August, the cycle will be repeated. Whether you are 6, 18, or 65, a new adventure begins to first grade, graduation, or retirement. Let’s promise to make the world a better place to live for the next generation. Here’s to life! *From AGAINST ALL ODDS, We Found Celestial Love, Part Two Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and my blog, SuzieTK’s Snippets.

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Nicole Lybyer, Jennifer Hawthorne, Nashsa White, Ashlee Morton, Lauren Smith

Janet Mosier, Rhonda May

Cutting the Cake

Mayor Bob Bruggeman, Mary Dwight

Roger Hall, Mayor Bob Bruggeman, Mary Dwight

Rep. Carol Dalby, Dr. Cindy Porter

Dr. Trevor Clayton, Lisa Douglas, Keeley Quarles, Ceaira Downs

Radiology Department at C&C Clinic

Mary Dwight, Dana Morton, Shannon McGough, Kim Schutte

Jennifer Starks, Baylee Glover

Robert Haley, Priscilla Newton, Mary Dwight, Roger Hall, Dr. Bingham, Tom Simmons, Annette McGee

Renia Benton, Sandra Carson

Debbie Barnes, Mayor Bob Bruggeman, Karen Lansdell

Gayle Routt, Teri Osburn

Sen. Bryan Hughes, Cindy Porter



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Drug Take Back Initiative Operation Medicine Cabinet 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 October 29, 2022 8am - 12pm at Texarkana Emergency Center & Hospital

You can learn more about this program by visiting or on Facebook by searching Arkansas Take Back or Arkansas Drug take Back. USFIND ON 4646 Cowhorn Creek | Texarkana, TX 75503 | 903.838.8000 0 4 3

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Fish Tales with Mike Brower Changes Have Come As some of you know, in October 2018, I hurt my right shoulder fishing on the Arkansas River and have not bass fished much since. I have, however, got back into fly fishing for trout and some saltwater fish as a way to stay in the fishing mode. During that time, Debbie and I started to travel, and we went places where I could fish primarily for trout. I have said many times that when I stopped tournament fishing, I would stop bass fishing but would never become a perch jerker. There is nothing wrong with crappie fishing, but it has never been my cup of tea as I like the constant movement of chunk and wind and the fly cast. I can’t chunk and wind all day anymore, but I can fly fish all day using several different casting techniques to keep the pain to a minimum. I do, however, enjoy the solitude of trout fishing as even in “trout country,” you can find a section of creek or river to be alone. And just like bass fishing, the colder the day, the more isolated I can get. Do I miss tournament fishing? YES. Am I happy trout fishing? Again yes. I also enjoy traveling with Debbie; since she never said a word about my traveling to bass fish, it is nice to go places with her. Yes, changes have come, and it’s not all bad. Publisher’s Note: He has an amazing Ranger boat he plans to sell if anyone is interested! That should finance a few more trips for us! ~db


IS THE TIME TO BUY With low interest rates and a variety of loan programs available, now is the time to escape the summer heat and cool off in a new home. If you’re ready to begin the homebuying journey, I’m happy to be your guide!

JASON CREE Cell: 903.277.2726 Office: 903.223.5632

Branch Manager | Sr. Loan Officer NMLS #209270 | 3101 Kennedy Lane, Suite 200 Texarkana, TX 75503 © 2021 SWBC. All rights reserved. Loans are subject to credit and property approval. Other restrictions and conditions may apply. Programs and guidelines are subject to change without notice. Rates are subject to change daily. Corporate office located at 9311 San Pedro Avenue, Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78216. SWBC Mortgage Corporation, NMLS #9741 ( 1060-A4314 01/21


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August happenings

4 Join us Thursday, August 4th, at 6pm starting with a delicious dinner prepared by Pops Place, Temple’s drawdown & casino night

beverages, and casino tables! Tickets are $100 (admits 2 people) with a chance to win $5,000. Tickets are limited.

August 13-14, 2022, West End Combatives will be presenting Extreme Close Quarter 13 On Handgun Course featuring Texas police officer and WEC founder Jacob Meadows.Students


will learn the combative shooting position, presentation from concealment in confined spaces, weapon retention, clinch fundamentals, how to control distance, proper movement into space, edged weapon defense, and grounded handgun fundamentals. Live fire hosted by Legendary Firearms. Combative concepts hosted by SMAA Texarkana. The course, on the 13th, is from 8AM- 4PM. The course, on the 14th, is 8AM- noon. To register or for more info visit www. Questions or concerns contact Jacob Meadows at 903-293-7454

join the fun at the 51st Annual Pioneer Days Festival in downtown New Boston, Texas, from 17 Come August 17-20th. Food, arts and craft vendors. Johnson Brothers Carnival Wed- Sat. We are so


excited to be welcoming Jeff & Sheri Easter back to this year’s Gospel Concert to kick off Pioneer Days! This Gospel Concert will be held at First Baptist Church, 506 S McCoy Blvd, New Boston, TX. The concert will be FREE to attend. Check out many other activities at

out and support Harvest Texarkana at a Hot Dog eating contest. Friday, August 26th 26 Come starting at 5:00pm at Hopkins Icehouse, enjoy a Hot Dog Eating Contest. This will be a fun night


of music, food, and of course your chance to be the “Hot Dog Eating” winner. You can participate as a team or individual. We have complete details to follow. $5 door cover $20 for individual entry $50 for a team of 4 Courtnee Jones will be laying down beats, and the first place winner in each category wins a prize.

Brunch crawl Saturdays Yoga Thrive Yoga is incorporating yoga classes in local downtown businesses on Saturdays. There will be in Agusut a brief historical account of the space and it will be open to all levels. Already have booked Verona, The 1894 Gallery, The Ahearn Home, and Zapata’s. One of the Saturdays will be held at the Ace of Clubs on August 20th.

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Local Rescues





Passion For Pooches

Passion For Pooches




Muttley Crew


Muttley Crew

Boxer Rescue of Texarkana



Texarkana Animal League


Texarkana Animal League


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Bill Spradlin Realtor 903-748-3186

Tracy Spradlin Broker 903-748-2477

134 SPRINGHILL NEW BOSTON, TX Jan Williams Realtor 903-277-5771

Pam Hollingsworth Realtor 903-277-1222

John Trubia Realtor 817-701-8402 Now Servicing the Dallas Fort Worth Area!

Ronnie Olson Realtor 903-280-6831

Kasi Copeland Realtor 817-771-3635

Amber McCormack Administrative Assistant 903-223-0710

Exquisite custom built home in New Boston. Features three bedrooms, two full baths, one half bath, bonus room upstairs could be 4th bedroom, office or game room. Tall ceilings throughout, custom cabinets, granite countertops, dining area, breakfast bar. Beautiful primary bedroom suite with walk in closet. Two car garage and two car detached garage with mancave or workout room and full bathroom. Chain link fenced dog run. This home sits on 2.625 acres of land. Don’t miss this one, schedule your appointment today for showing!!

Brenda Elrod Property Manager 903-559-1511

Candace Henry Assistant Property Manager 903-276-0971

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1356 N. Kings Hwy. | Nash, TX 75569 | 903.223.0710 | 0 47


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