My Reach Journey: Full circle in her home community
Like so many of us, Arlie Price, a library media specialist, brings the formative moments of her childhood to her professional journey. As the oldest of three children, her imaginative, energetic and talkative nature didn’t always fit in a structured school environment, but serves her as both a leader and future educator in the Russellville School District.
Born and raised in Russellville, she holds her experiences in choir and fifth grade as instrumental moments in her education. Specifically, her fifth-grade teacher welcomed and taught “the total me,” says Price. “I can still remember the fifth-grade lessons because she was able to unlock things in my brain that other teachers did not.”
When Price signed up for Reach University’s job-embedded program, she had to describe what inspired her. She had so much to say about those two teachers that she simply ran out of space. Today, in her job at the school she once attended, it’s come full circle. She works with her former fifth grade teacher; the choir teacher is now the vice principal.
Price graduated in 2001 with ambitions to teach, but marriage and four kids came first. “It’s been a twisty road, but I’ve made it back after twenty years,” says Price. She starts every day at 7:30 a.m., greeting each child who comes to school, and she sees 400 students come through her classroom every week. With two children in college and two younger sons who both play football, Price is busy. “My house is covered in laundry, but it will be worth it.”
Once she finishes her degree, Price plans on teaching for at least three years, and then getting her master’s degree, either to teach or be the school guidance counselor. Price is also the first student ambassador for Reach. She helps motivate fellow students just as she cheers on her boys with her cowbell at the football games.
“I want to be able to reach all students, even the ones who talk too much or can’t sit still. So many kids feel like they aren’t smart and aren’t loved. I have such a heart for kids. I want to teach for that one kid who needs a little help.”
Price with the Russellville Librarian, Mrs. Honghiran, an invaluable mentor to Arlie.