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Members of the El Dorado High School Student Council are collecting food items to be sent home with students in need of food during the Christmas/New Year’s holiday break, Riley McAdams, EHS Student Council secretary, told members of the El Dorado School Board Monday night. El Dorado schools will dismiss students for the holidays after school Dec. 19 and classes will resume Jan. 3.

They are also collecting quilts to be presented to seniors. Local residents wishing to donate for either or both causes, should contact El Dorado High School.

McAdams told board members that semester exams started Wednesday and she said the advanced placement courses she is taking while in high school are preparing her for college.

Also during Monday night’s meeting Annalee Ibert was honored as Student of the Month. She is the daughter of Kimberley and Jeremy Ibert and is in Casey Orr’s first grade class at Yocum Primary. Her teacher said she always has a smile on her face, is “extremely mannerly and kind-hearted. She is always offering to help out students and teachers.” Yocum’s principal, Michelle Henry, said, “Our teachers find her a joy to teach each and everyday. Annalee’s personality lights up our building. It is a pleasure to have Annalee Ibert as a Yocum student.”

Judd Qualls was also honored as Student of the Month. He is the son of Hal and Cindy Qualls and in the fourth grade in Glenda Moore’s classroom at Yocum Elementary. His teacher said he is the “epitome of the perfect student. He is an awesome young man, has great manners and is very respectful. He comes to class everyday ready to learn and faces every challenge with persistence. He helps other students with difficult tasks.” Henry said, “Our teachers love teaching Judd each day. It is a pleasure to have Judd as a Yocum student.”

Brandy Purifoy was honored as Classified Employee of the Month. She began working as secretary for the district’s gifted and talented department in August 2014. Her supervisor, Beth Sullivan, said, “In teaching we use glue, Elmer’s glue, glue sticks and even glue dots. Glue has a valuable purpose – it holds things together. Glue is what I think of when I think of Brandy Purifoy.” Purifoy does day-to-day tasks like time sheets, requisitions, letters incoming and outgoing, “but she is much more valuable than that. She makes sure we have everything we need.”

Jennifer Duncan was named as Teacher of the Month from Yocum Elementary. She has a bachelor’s of science degree in education from Arkansas State University, has 20 years of teaching experience and teaches third grade and literacy. She has been married to Blake Duncan for 27 years and is the mother of Lindsey, who lives and works in Little Rock and Tyler, a sophomore at Ouachita Baptist University. Staff nominating Duncan said she is a wonderful teacher and co-worker and “goes above and beyond to make learning engaging for her students.” She spends hours preparing lessons, has a positive attitude, eagerness to improve and compassion for her students.”

Following an executive session of the board Monday night, board members approved the resignation of Natalie Collins, Northwest Elementary, effective Dec. 1. They authorized the employment of Bethany Engel, El Dorado High School, to begin Jan. 2; Madelyn Schardein, Washington Middle School, to begin Jan. 2 and Maria Olmos Trejo, Northwest, who began Nov. 6.

Janice McIntyre can be reached at 870-862-6611 or at

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