Nobember 22, 2006 Edition

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Deborah Caspall (center) has been named the Arkansas Elementary School Counselor of the Year. With her is Walnut Ridge School Superindent Terry Belcher and Walnut Ridge Ben R. Bush Elementary Principal Belinda Biggers.
Submitted photos

Caspall named Elementary
School Counselor of the Year

Deborah's husband, Dan Caspall, was among those present when Caspall was honored on Nov. 9.

Deborah Caspall has been named Arkansas Elementary Counselor of the Year. Caspall is counselor at Walnut Ridge's Ben R. Bush Elementary School.

She received the honor at the annual Arkansas Counselor's Conference at the Arlington Hotel Nov. 8-10.

Caspall has been in education for over 33 years. She began teaching reading and language arts but moved to school counseling, where she believed she could help many more students and make an impact on the students in her community.

Joyce Rose, Walnut Ridge High School counselor, nominated Caspall for the award. In her nomination, Rose stated, "It is difficult to put into words the contributions that Deborah Caspall has made both to our school district and to our regional and state counselor organizations.

"At the local level, she is always involved with the children -~ combing for head lice, finding clothing, making sure students have Christmas, making home visits, arranging special programming for problematic children, conducting the C.A.T.S. (character education) program, meeting with parents and conducting pre-kindergarten orientation sessions to name a few."

"At regional and state levels she has served as an officer and is always willing to help out in the hospitality room or to present. We have many dedicated counselors in our region, but Deborah ranks at the top," Rose stated.

Caspall has worked with many programs including: CHAMPS (Champs Have And Model Positive Peer Skills), High on Life (which evolved into the 7-Up conference, a region-wide effort), McGruff, Brick by Brick, True Colors, Archer-House Gun Safety-Violence Prevention Program and The Power of One.

Governor Mike Huckabee named Caspall to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinating Council, a post she will hold until July 2007.

Caspall wrote, "One of my favorite experiences was with my Breakfast Club (where she met with six to eight pre-adolescent girls who were experiencing growing pains). I took them to a high level ROPES course to instill confidence and self awareness." To get them through it, Caspall, secured with a bungee chord, was the first to bale off the telephone pole.

"The counseling I enjoy most is my nurturing of the k-4 children and guiding and supporting the young parents. I do a lot of rocking, hugging, combing hair, changing clothes, bringing kids to school, taking (kids) home, bibliotherapy and puppetry counseling.

"I enjoy working with the young parents, encouraging them to do the best job parenting they can. I try to be a valuable resource to them

"I feel quite proud when I hear a principal, teacher or parent say, 'I don't know what to do ~ let's go see Mrs. Caspall.'"

According to one parent, "Mrs. Caspall adores every little child she deals with at the school. She is a wonderful asset to Walnut Ridge. I only wish there were more people like her. She is a true blessing and certainly an angel."

Caspall and her husband, Dan, who reside in Lynn, have been married for 44 years. They have two sons and two daughters-in-law and two grandsons: Job Caspall and his wife, Dr. Vickie Brewer of Collierville, Tenn., and their son, Zachary, and Jayme and Lisa Caspall of Stone Mountain, Ga., and their son, August.

Walnut Ridge School counselors Joyce Rose and Teresa Forehand attended the conference where Caspall was honored. Walnut Ridge School Superintendent Terry Belcher, Elementary Principal Belinda Biggers and Dan Caspall were also there for the presentation.

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