inspiration in education

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- The Pulaski County Special School District awarded its second quarter Inspiration in Education award for the 2023-2024 school year at the December Board of Education meeting.  

This quarterly Inspiration in Education award was presented to Laura Beth Burrough, secretary at Crystal Hill Elementary. The District received a total of 28 nominations for this quarter and four of those were for Burrough from colleagues at Crystal Hill.

Burrough started working in the District in 2011 as a substitute teacher at Crystal Hill Elementary. For ten years, she held roles as a substitute teacher, substitute paraprofessional, and substitute clerical worker. In August 2021, she was officially hired full time as the general secretary for Crystal Hill.

“She is our ray of sunshine. Students line up every morning when they arrive at school to give her a hug or receive a word of encouragement to start their day,” said Lisa Smith, principal of Crystal Hill Elementary. “Laura Beth has a giving nature and a heart that seems too big and too good to be true.”

In her role as secretary, Burrough communicates with students and parents on a daily basis. Her colleagues attest to how well interacts with everyone who comes through the doors of Crystal Hill. 

“Not only is Mrs. Burrough here everyday with an upbeat attitude, she is extremely inspirational and welcoming to everyone who walks through the doors of Crystal Hill,” Lori Woody, a colleague of 10 years, said. “Our students love her smiles, conversation, and hugs.”

“She is very caring and supportive of all students and their parents,” added Dennis DeWitt, assistant principal at Crystal Hill Elementary. “She is willing to help anyone with anything.

It is without a doubt, Burrough has a positive impact on this school and its community. From administration to longtime coworkers, everyone in the school recognizes her hard work and dedication to the school. 

“Laura Beth loves Crystal Hill and loves our students,”said Laura Pierce, a colleague of 15 years. “She is kind, she works hard to build relationships with all of the students at Crystal Hill, who ALL feel loved by her. She is also always willing to do whatever is asked of her. She never complains and participates in all school activities. She is a joy to have at Crystal Hill Elementary!”

The Board of Education created the Inspiration in Education award to honor certified and support staff members who are inspirational to their students or colleagues in their roles at PCSSD. Additionally, the award recognizes employees who exhibit traits including leadership, mentoring, dedication, excellence and effectiveness in their places of work. 

The Inspiration in Education award is presented to the winner quarterly in October, December, March and May. Anyone may nominate a PCSSD employee for the award. The applications are reviewed by the Superintendent's Cabinet for ranking, and the highest scorer is named the quarterly winner and receives the award from the PCSSD Board of Education.