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Some Time With Mrs. Westfall

Mrs. Belinda Westfall is a new edition to Heavener High’s counseling staff. Mrs. Westfall previously taught Freshman, Junior, and Senior English at Heavener from 1995 to 1998. “It’s home to me. It just feels natural and not like work. I love where I am now!” she reflects when speaking about the reason she came back to Heavener. Mrs. Westfall has taught for twenty-seven years. For fifteen years at Carl Albert, she taught Photoshop, Computer Applications, Business Communications, and English Composition I and II. During her first five years at Carl Albert, Mrs. Westfall did tech support, Which consisted of supervising online courses, controlling the web page, and managing ITV and multimedia labs. Heavener High School was actually the first school in the county to have internet and she then began to teach other teachers in Oklahoma how to make web pages, an interesting fact in which landed Mrs. Westfall her initial job at Carl Albert.

After much observation of kids throughout her career, Mrs. Westfall noticed that quite a few young people seem to be a little lost and do not have enough support systems. “The guidance and prevention side of counseling appealed to me because, most times, you can help students before problems grow to the level that requires professional counseling.”

Mrs. Westfall admitted that her one of her main focuses to help students is to promote positive behavior. “I think that if we focus more on encouraging positive behavior, that is a better approach for teenagers. And for people in general!” she reflects. “I feel that if we focus more on the negative, such as bully prevention, it just puts negative thoughts into someone’s mind. We need to think more positively.”

Mrs. Westfall is a very helpful and friendly person to talk to when one is in need of any help. You can find Mrs. Westfall in her office at the high school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

A New Face in the English Department

Mrs. Carrie Alexander was a former fourth-grade elementary teacher. She graduated from Waldron High School. She attended several community colleges to get her degree while she was in high school and after she graduated. Her degree is actually through Arkansas Tech. A “Gifted and Talented” teacher that Mrs. Alexander had throughout elementary and middle school was the person to inspire her to become a teacher. She loved teaching and always challenged Mrs. Alexander to be creative and pushed her to go above and beyond. Mrs. Alexander knew from early on that she wanted to help inspire students in the same way.

Mrs. Alexander taught elementary for twenty years. This is her first year to teach high school. When asked how she felt about moving across the street from the elementary to the high school, she said, “I felt nervous but also very excited when I walked across the street to the high school. I love and miss my students and co-workers at the elementary school, but I needed a change of pace and this has so far been a very good change.” Her students have warmly welcomed her. 

--Gracie Summers