February 27, 2013

Tina Veal-Gooch
Director of Public Relations
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

Kathy Owen Bell, Former TISD Teacher, Counselor, Principal, to be Inducted into TISD Hall of Fame

Texarkana, TX – Texarkana Independent School District will honor former Teacher, Counselor and Principal, Kathy Owen Bell, as their 2013 inductee to the TISD Hall of Fame during their annual Texas Public Schools Week Community Breakfast.

The event will be held on Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 a.m. in the Dan Haskins Student Center at Texas High School, 2112 Kennedy Lane.

“There are very few as special as Kathy Owen Bell, shared Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools. “Our Hall of Fame award is given to a retired TISD employee who has made a significant impact on the TISD and Texarkana community. The award preserves the history of so many of our great educators who have made TISD what it is today and ensures that their names and contributions are here for others to see not only now but in many years to come.”

“For thirty-four years, Kathy Owen Bell fostered the love of education in the lives of students and staff at Texarkana Independent School District,” commented Wanda Boyette, President of the TISD Board of Trustees. “Her passion for learning and her ability to guide students to see further beyond the classroom setting, inspired many to follow in her footsteps and to become teachers and administrators. She will be remembered for her spirited demeanor, warm embrace, true love of kids and the extraordinary gift that teachers give to us all.”

Bell earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education & Kindergarten from Southern State College, now Southern Arkansas University. She went on to Texas Tech University where she earned her Master of Education in Early Childhood & Special Education. Additionally, Bell holds a Counseling Certificate from East Texas State University – Texarkana (now Texas A&M University – Texarkana) and a Mid-Management Certification from ETSU-Commerce.

She began her career in education in 1971 as a Kindergarten Teacher with Texarkana Arkansas School District. From 1974 – 1976, Bell taught Kindergarten at Anton Elementary in Anton, Texas. In 1976, she joined the TISD Tiger Family and for the next sixteen years served as a Kindergarten Teacher at Beverly Elementary and Spring Lake Park Elementary, earning campus Teacher of the Year on four separate occasions.

Bell was a Counselor from 1992 – 1998 at Westlawn Junior High School where she developed the Westlawn Peer Mediation Program and HOSTS (Helping One Student to Succeed) Student Mentor Program.

She moved into the role of Principal at Highland Park Elementary in 1998 and in 2005 was named Principal of Dunbar Intermediate School. Bell retired in 2010 but returned the following year to serve as a New Teacher Mentor. She currently serves as an Adjunct Faculty member for Texas A&M University – Texarkana College of Education working with future teachers.

“People always ask why I chose teaching as a profession,” remarked Bell. I can’t say that I had one of those ‘aha’ moments but I did walk up to the education table during college registration, not sure why, and thought this is what I will do. Looking back on it, I now know that God led me to that table. He knew what would be my life’s passion and bring me joy far more than I did at that time in my life.”

“We’ve heard the advice that if you do what you love, then you will love what you do. It was definitely true for me. I loved teaching. The days went by so fast and you never once stopped to look at the clock and wish it was time to go home. Time just flew”, she continued. “I loved being at work every day, the interaction with the students and knowing that I was making a difference in their lives. I believe the best feeling for any teacher is when you see students really working on something and finally figuring it out. It is then that you know they understand and that possibly what you taught will help them be successful later in life.”

Bell has been active in the Texarkana community as a member of the Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, Bancorp South Community Advisory Council and Southern Arkansas University Alumni Board of Directors. She has served as an American Red Cross Summer Swim volunteer, Girl Scouts of America Troop Leader and a Vacation Bible School Director and Sunday School Teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

She currently serves on the Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure Grant Committee, is a member of Heritage Church, volunteers for the Food Pantry at Williams Memorial United Methodist Church and is a Lifetime Blood Donor.

Professionally, Bell was named Region VIII Principal of the Year in 2003, TEPSA National Distinguished Principal Nominee, TISD’s Partners In Education Principal of the Year and is a Life Member of the Parent Teacher Association.

Bell was a member of Texas Classroom Teachers Association, Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association, Texas Education Agency Textbook Advisory Committee, TEA Master Teacher Scorer, Tarleton State University Professional Development Peer Review Team and TAMU-T External Review Project Team.

She is married to John Bell and has two daughters, Lacey McCulloch and Jordan Miller, along with seven grandchildren.

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