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TODAY A READER, TOMORROW A LEADER Each semester the students of SkillsUSA are challenged to come up with a project that benefits their community. Previous community service projects have led students to collecting canned food for local food banks, sponsoring children from the Angel Tree during Christmas, and donating items to support the Fort Smith Boys and Girls shelters. This semester students wanted to place an emphasis on the benefits of reading and encourage younger students to develop a love for reading. SkillsUSA members organized a book drive for first grade students attending Waldron Elementary, titling their project “Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader.� Their goal was to collect a minimum of 150 first grade level books so each student attending Waldron Elementary would have one book to take home. On April 28, SkillsUSA members reached their goal and delivered the books to the students at Waldron Elementary. Members spent time with the first grade classes reading to them, talking about what it means to be a SkillsUSA member, and stressing the importance of getting good grades and pursuing a higher education. SkillsUSA is a student organization that aims to improve the quality of America’s skilled workforce through a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, and technical and professional skills training. SkillsUSA enhances the lives and careers of students, instructors, and industry representatives as they strive to be champions at work. The organization has 13,000 school chapters in 54 state and territorial associations.

DIRECTOR’S CORNER Wow! Another year completed. I am very proud of our UAFS/WATC students. Our students are what make WATC great! I was thrilled with the number of Director’s Honor Roll recipients we had this year. Eightynine students had a 3.80 or higher GPA this year, and 75 of them had a GPA of 4.0. That is 84 percent of the honor roll recipients, which shows how focused our students are and their passion for learning. I am also proud of all the other students who received awards at the WATC Awards Ceremony. A large number of students received awards, certificates, and scholarships to continue their education right here at UAFS. I am proud of each student who was nominated by their instructors for these awards, including the students from our satellite campus at Waldron High School. Waldron plays an important part in our mission to provide the best concurrent credit classes available to our students. The Health Sciences program of study at the Waldron campus assists us in doing just that. In addition, Waldron students took home several medals from the state SkillsUSA competition in Hot Springs in April. I must also thank the staff of the WATC office for the fantastic work they do behind the scenes. From our participation in Partners in Education with the Fort Smith junior high schools, integrated instruction and advising to Next Step visits, parent preview nights, high school visits, and SkillsUSA, our WATC staff is the best! Each person who visited the office this year had the pleasure of interacting with a staff that I believe is great! Each staff member - Mrs. Robison, Mrs. Green, Mrs. Cheek, and Mrs. Scott - are always there to help students and keep them focused. I attended the SkillsUSA competition in Hot Springs again this year as I always do in April. We are so proud of the competitive spirit in each of our contest participants. Each of the students was nominated by a faculty member in their program area. I am proud of their work and the 11 medals won in Hot Springs. The Next Step visits were a great part of the spring semester as we brought tenth grade students from most all of the high schools WATC serves to the UAFS campus in order for them to see first-hand the UAFS/WATC experience. We have received a great number of new applications for admission into WATC for 2017/2018, and these visits surely helped generate interest in the program area wide. We are expecting another great fall semester. As the page turns toward next year, I see a great continued future for WATC and the students that attend classes here on the UAFS campus. What a wonderful opportunity the students have to receive college credit for work completed during their junior and senior years of high school. We are confident in the area students remaining interested in the WATC program for years to come. It is my sincere hope to be a part of that future for many years. See you in August! D. Chris Rink, Ed.D. Director

WATC STAFF D. Chris Rink Director 788-7701

Savanna Robison Assistant Director 788-7713


Sarah Green Program Coordinator 788-7726

Please contact our WATC staff with questions about the WATC program in general or for more information on a specific career training path.

Donna Scott Integrated Specialist 788-7336

Kimi Hayden Administrative Specialist II 788-7700

Rebecca Cheek Academic Adviser 788-7122


Outstanding WATC Students For each WATC program, an outstanding student is recognized for demonstrating honesty, integrity, and a strong work ethic above and beyond the instructor’s expectations. Outstanding WATC students receive a $500 scholarship to continue their education at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. To be nominated for the scholarship, a student must be a high school senior who has a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at UAFS, has completed one semester in the WATC program for which he or she is nominated, is enrolled in the program currently, and is in good standing with the program.

Joseph Harwood Van Buren High School, Automotive Technology

July Parish Mansfield High School, Computer Graphic Technology

Kyle Self Southside High School, Computer Engineering

Ryan Waldrop Alma High School, Criminal Justice

Kaitlyn Finch Van Buren High School, Early Childhood Education

Haley Gilstrap Alma High School, Electronics Techonology

Peyton Parker Van Buren High School, Graphic Design

Shayla Smithson Lavaca High School, Health Sciences

Ruthie Reyman Waldron High School, Health Sciences Waldron Campus

Andrew Rogers Van Buren High School, Welding Technology

SkillsUSA Students Win 18 State Medals WATC students won a total of 18 medals – including two gold – in the 2017 Arkansas SkillsUSA Championships. Awards were given in the secondary and post-secondary division, and included gold, silver, and bronze medals for first, second, and third places. WATC award winners include: Alma: Raven Bynum, Van Buren High School, silver in Promotional Bulletin Board Fort Smith: Alesha Thach, Southside High School, silver in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of four) Greenwood: Madison Oelke, Greenwood High School, gold in Preschool Teaching Assistant Mulberry: Nicholas Marrone, Van Buren High School, bronze in Pipe Welding Van Buren: Brandon Cross, silver in Promotional Bulletin Board; Joseph Harwood, bronze in Automotive Service Technology; Brayden Moor, silver in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of four); Terri Morse, silver in Preschool Teaching Assistant; Kai Mortensen, silver in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of four); and Peyton Weege, silver in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of four) all of Van Buren High School. Waldron: Yasmin Cruz, bronze in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of four); Hannah Hale, bronze in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of four); Danielle Randolph, bronze in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of four); Ruthie Reyman, bronze in Health Knowledge Bowl (team of four); and Elizabeth Soisouvanh, bronze in Prepared Speech, all of Waldron High School. UAFS students who won awards are: Fort Smith: Elizabeth Chrisman, gold in First Aid/CPR, and Debbie Robertson, silver in Medical Terminology. In addition to the medals, WATC gold medal winners received a four-year $1,000 scholarship to UAFS.

SkillsUSA Gold Star Members SkillsUSA Gold Star Members are students who earned more than 25 participation points throughout the school year. Students collect points by attending SkillsUSA functions and volunteering in the community and earn a $300 book scholarship to UAFS. Recipients include: Brandon Cross of Van Buren, Van Buren High School Laichia Moua of Cecil, County Line High School Jesus Mejia of Waldron, Waldron High School Alesha Thach of Fort Smith, Southside High School Abigail Welborn of Van Buren, Van Buren High School Smart Vang of Paris, County Line High School

Adrianna Mott competes in Technical Drafting

Students Receive Technical Certificates The following WATC students have completed the requirements to qualify for a technical certificate: Alma: Haley Gilstrap, Alma High School, Industrial Electronics and Electrical Maintenance Charleston: Caleb Harris, Charleston High School, Industrial Electronics and Electrical Maintenance Fort Smith: Darius Goh, Southside High School, Industrial Electronics and Electrical Maintenance; Michael Jones, Southside High School, Automotive Technology; Kristian Velasquez, Northside High School, Automotive Technology Greenwood: Aaron Draper, Greenwood High School, Automotive Technology Mansfield: Sean Imgrund, Mansfield High School, Industrial Electronics and Electrical Maintenance Rudy: Scott Workman, Alma High School, Automotive Technology Van Buren: Joseph Harwood, Van Buren High School, Automotive Technology

WATC Starfish Awards WATC Starfish Awards were presented to students who went above and beyond expectations, exuded passion for the WATC program, helped peers succeed, and demonstrated exemplary leadership skills. Two Starfish Awards, along with $500 book scholarships to UAFS, were presented to Rachael Keomany (Fort Smith, Northside High School), and Shariesa Feimster (Huntington, Mansfield High School). Rachael Keomany is in the WATC pharmacy tech program and will sit for the certification exam this summer. She also completed the CNA program and is one of the first students to complete two certification programs in WATC Health Science. Rachael has been an active member of SkillsUSA for the past two years and is always willing to lend a hand, not only for the betterment of the program, but for her community as well. Members of the WATC staff have witnessed Rachael’s outgoing, helpful personality and appreciate her dedication to the program and her peers. Shariesa Feimster is in the WATC Early Childhood Education program. She stood out among her peers as an excellent student and natural leader. Shariesa encourages her peers to be respectful and carries herself with confidence and professionalism. She has been an excellent role model to the children she works with at Sandy’s Daycare in Huntington for her practicum and will no doubt be a successful educator.

Fort Smith Students Tour WATC Throughout the spring 2017 semester, WATC welcomed students from all Fort Smith junior high schools and sixth grade students from Morrison Elementary on campus to explore various program offerings. Along with a campus tour and presentation from the UAFS Admissions Office, students received an in-depth look at the WATC automotive, electronics, and welding programs. Eighth graders from each Fort Smith junior high school witnessed a demonstration by electronics instructor John Martini. With a little help from his robot assistant “Grumpy,� Martini provided instruction to the students about the possibilities of robotic technology. Sixth graders from Morrison Elementary in Fort Smith received a hands-on experience from the welding department. Welding Instructor Michael Dugan helped the students weld a piece of metal they were able to take home with them at the end of the tour.

Early Step Scholars The WATC Early Step Scholarship is an award for selected students to take Composition I or a similar class during the summer. The scholarships are valued at approximately $700 each. Students are selected based on their ACT score, WATC attendance, grade point average, and interest in enrolling for the summer term. Tabitha May of Greenwood, Greenwood High School Vincent Allard of Lavaca, Charleston High School Adrianna Mott of Booneville, Booneville High School Garrison Carter of Fort Smith, Southside High School Micah Murdock of Fort Smith, Southside High School Tyler Coble of Greenwood, Greenwood High School Madison Oelke of Greenwood, Greenwood High School Abigail Crelia of Van Buren, Van Buren High School Tori Taylor of Fort Smith, Southside High School Jacob Evans of Van Buren, Van Buren High School Kyler Tracy of Greenwood, Greenwood High School Zachery Keyes of Fort Smith, Southside High School Haeven Langston of Fort Smith, Greenwood High School

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


Permit No. 479 Fort Smith, Ark.

5210 Grand Avenue P.O.Box 3649 Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649


Important Dates for Fall 2017 Aug 21 – First day of classes Sep 4 – Labor Day (no class) Nov 2 – Chad Cargill ACT Workshop Nov 22 – Fall Break Dec 7 – WATC Preview Night Dec 15 – Last Day of Classes


Profile for University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

WATC Newsletter Spring 2017 update  

WATC Newsletter Spring 2017 update  

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