Piggott Educators Attend ALE Conference

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Educators from the Piggott School District attending the Arkansas Alternative Association of Educators Conference included, from left: Leean Mann, Jon Wellman, Karen Coomer and Debbie Dunlap.(courtesy photo)

Several educators from Piggott Schools attended the annual conference of the Arkansas Alternative Association of Educators, held July 13 and 14. This year the program will have a stronger presence in the local district, as it will also be offered at PES in addition to the very successful offering at Piggott High School.

"Piggott Elementary will have a third through sixth grade ALE program starting this fall," noted principal Leann Mann. "The teacher will be Debbie Dunlap and I will serve as the director."

The two elementary educators accompanied Jon Wellman and Karen Coomer of Piggott High School to the conference, which was held in Ft. Smith. Wellman is the ALE director at PHS while Coomer works with the ALE students on their projects in her math Topics class. The program at PHS utilizes the APEX program and the Arkansas Virtual High School.

Currently, Wellman serves on the executive board as the AAAE reporter, and is in his fourth two year term since first being elected to the position by his peers. During the most recent conference, Coomer ran for a board position and won and will now serve as Teacher at Large.

Keynote speaker for this year's conference was Matt Knight, of Midsouth Health System, along with Manny Scott. "Both were excellent speakers," Wellman said of the presentations.

During the conference the local educators took part in a variety of workshops on topics relating to alternative education.

"The final keynote speaker this year was Arkansas State Education Commissioner Johnny Key," Wellman noted. "This is the first time in the history of the AAAE that the education commissioner has spoken at our conference and the teachers were really inspired by this."

Those wanting additional information on the ALE program at Piggott Schools may call the high school at 598-3815 or the elementary school at 598-2546. Those wanting more information on the AAAE may visit their website at www.arkaltedu.org

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