Library Media Specialist
Witts Springs School, May 1970, Salutatorian
Arkansas Tech University, BS, May 1990, Summa Cum Laude
University of Central Arkansas, MS, May 1992
Bachelor of Arts in Business Education, ATU, May 1990
Master of Science in Library Science, UCA, May 1992
National Board Certification in Career and Technical Education, 2007
Microsoft Office Specialist, Office XP, 2003, 2007, and 2010
Witts Springs Teacher of the Year, 2002
Arkansas Teacher of the Year Finalist, 2002
Professional development is a major part of an educator's life. I usually attend in-service related to technology and library media. I have attended ISTE for 4-5 years. ISTE is an international conference for technology and is held in various places throughout the US. I have attended conferences in Philladelphia, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, and San Diego. In years when I do not attend ISTE, I attend a statewide conference at Hot Springs called HSTI. Both of these conferences offer an opportunity to network with other teachers, learn about changes in technology--what is popular now, what is coming in the near future, etc. I have also attend Schools Without Walls conferences. SWOW conferences are smaller, with more intense learning situations.
Library Media Specialist K-12
ALE Business classes
I have been at SCSD for 13 years.
I have held several positions while at Searcy County School District. I was originally hired as Business teacher, teaching all 7th and 8th grade classes as well as Multimedia and Desktop Publishing. After 3 years, I was moved to ALE to teach Business courses and one English course. The next year, I started teaching 8-12 grade English and Business classes for 7th - 12th grades.
In 2011, I was moved to the Elementary Library position for grades K-6. The following year, I was moved back to Leslie to the Intermediate School to teach keyboarding to 6th grade and be Library Media Specialist.
Prior to coming to Searcy County School District, I was Technology Coordinator and Business teacher at Witts Springs School for 11 years. I was Library Media Specialist at Witts Springs for the first 4 years I taught.
While in college, I worked 20 hours a week in the university library as an aide. I drove to Russellville and back every day from August to May for 4 years while I earned my Bachelor's degree. When I was hired at Witts Springs as Library Media Specialist, I drove to Conway to UCA for 2 years while working at Witts Springs and earned my Master's degree in Library Science.
I was born in Las Crucas, New Mexico, and moved to Arkansas when I married Verlan Casto in 1970. We have been married for 44 years on December 31, 2014. We have 3 children: Jarrett Casto, Marissa Knowles, and Bethany Malabanan.
Verlan was born in Clinton, AR and is a truck driver for Ozark Timber. He has done this for 20 years, and he is looking forward to retirement in a few years. He raises cattle and goats. Our farm is located in Chimes, AR. When the drought was so bad a few years ago, Verlan decided to sell all his cattle and reseed his pastures. When the pastures improved, he bought back some cattle. He has been interested in sheep and goats and set out to make his fences better to hold either species. When he got a small pasture fence securely fixed, he decided to go with goats and bought 12 goats to start. Currently he has close to 20 adult goats and 8 young kids.
Jarrett is our oldest child and is married to Lisa Kottler Casto. They have 2 children: Manual, age 11 1/2 and Maggie, age 9. They live in Greenbrier, AR. Jarrett works for Union Environmental as supervisor, and Lisa works at a Cath Lab nurse at Conway Regional Hospital. She is also a registered Respiratory Therapist. Maggie is in 4th grade at Eastside School and Manual is in 6th at Greenbrier Middle School in the fall.
Marissa is our middle child, and she is married to Brian Knowles. They have 2 children: Devon Knowles and Walker Hunt. Devon lives with Marissa and Brian in Benton, AR. Walker lives with his father, William Hunt, in Clinton, AR. Marissa works for Counseling Associates in Benton as a Program Director. Her husband, Brian, works for a software company that makes electronic components for devices such as parking meters. His previous job was as software engineer for Falcon Jets. Walker is a senior at Clinton High School, and Devon is a senior at Benton High School.
Bethany is our youngest child. She is married to Todd Malabanan, and they live in Choctaw with their daughter, Avery, who is 21/2. Bethany works as an Accountant at Superior Forestry in Tilley, AR. Todd is the manager of Baker Medical in Clinton. Bethany graduated Valedictorian from Witts Springs in 2003. She went to ATU and graduated summa cum laude in 2008. After working for a while in Little Rock as an auditor, she took a job with Superior Forestry and has worked there for 8 years.
We have 2 small dogs that are rowdy and run all the time. We also have two Great Pyranese that watch the goats. One is less than a year old, and the other is considerably older. She helps the young one stay on task and teaches him what his job is regarding the goats. Together, they are very protective.
I have always loved to read. As a child and teenager, I devoured every book I could get my hands on. Books gave me a way to "travel" to far away places, and they taught me a lot of things like cultures, values, geography, languages, etc. I have always liked a mixture of genres. When I was young, I read mystery novels, fairy tales, The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew. As I got older, I read romances and other books of that type. As I settle into my older years, I like books that have mystery or drama to them. I also like learning about real events such as the explosion that destroyed Halifax several years before the Atom Bomb was invented, or the Great Depression/Dust Bowl era.
I like to watch programs on TV that are related to history or science. I really like programs about WWII or Vietnam or other time periods because I want to understand the actions that conspired to create the event and how or why they are important.
I love working in the library because I get to interact with students. They teach me every day about good books and introduce me to new authors. When a student is interested in a book, it sparks my interest as well. I have read some great new books this year that I learned about from students. I hope I am also sparking their interest in authors and reading by my enthusiasm for it. Reading has always been my get away from the world in general.