In the News

Arkansas’ U.S. Sen. John Boozman visited Vilonia School District’s high school and freshman academy on Wednesday, touring its facilities and presenting district leadership and staff with copies of the proclamation he delivered on the floor of the U.S. Senate on April 29 which honored Arkansas teachers as part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

The visit, organized by Superintendent David Stephens and High School Principal Ronnie Simmons, included Boozman visiting multiple classrooms – including a Spanish class, a cyber security lab and an art class, among others. Boozman’s trip culminated in the presentation of his April 29 proclamation to a collection of Vilonia teachers and leadership from each of the district’s six campuses in the high school’s library.

“Figuring out [how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic] has been so hard for you,” Boozman said to Vilonia’s gathered teachers and staff. “You guys have done great and no one has done a better job [than Arkansas teachers]. You can give yourself a pat on the back for figuring it out.”

Boozman also discussed the success the state achieved in keeping its schools open throughout the fall and spring semesters.

“[Arkansas] was blessed to keep its schools open,” Boozman said. “[Teachers] rose to the occasion.”

In his comments on the senate floor on April 29, Boozman further discussed the work teachers put in to make the 2020-21 school year a success.

“For all of us who have learned to use Zoom, it is worth taking a moment to imagine an online classroom with 30 wiggling first graders who want to show you their pets,” Boozman said. “Or that you are teaching calculus to high school students who are preparing for an AP exam while attending class from their car at a Wi-Fi hotspot. Somehow, with great creativity and dedication, teachers embraced this mission and continued to do everything they could to reach each child.”

In a final remark to Vilonia’s staff, Boozman said he looked forward to returning to its campuses mask-less, in the “not too distant future.”

This story was published in the May 7, 2021 edition of the Log Cabin Democrat.