Q4 inspiration award

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

Ciara Cole, instructional coach at Sylvan Hills High School, received the fourth quarter Inspiration in Education award. The District received a record number of nominations for this quarter’s award with 60 nominations submitted by fellow employees as well as students. 

Cole started working for PCSSD in 2016 as a high school teacher. She taught English for five years and received her National Board Certification in 2019. In August 2021, she took the role of instructional coach at Sylvan Hills High, a position she’s held now for three school years. Though her title is instructional coach, her peers know she does so much more.

ciara cole “[Ciara] is a very talented educator who makes positive contributions to our school daily,” said Tracy Allen, principal at Sylvan Hills High School. “She is a rockstar educator that is so deserving of this award.”

One of the many reasons Cole stood out as the winner of this quarter’s award centered around her focus and dedication to connecting all schools in the Sylvan Hills feeder for an attempt to break a world record. The task? Setting a Guinness World Record for the longest human electrical circuit. According to one colleague, this was not an easy task but Cole took it head on with enthusiasm.

“She has worked tirelessly to involve every school, student, and staff members in all 8 schools in our feeder to pull this together,” said Holly Herron, a colleague of two years. “She also worked to involve the community with volunteers such as firemen and military recruiters. This event will provide a memory that will be long-lasting.”

Several board members also shared positive remarks about the work Cole did on the world record attempt. Two board members, Shelby Thomas and Heather Smith, attended the event and praised Cole’s organization and commitment to make it happen.

award presentationThe 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.