Secchi Day at Beaver Lake & 2017 Rural Teachers of the year


Be a citizen water science volunteer at Secchi Day on Beaver Lake 

For the 12th year, the Beaver Water District is hosting Secchi Day, a free water appreciation science festival for all ages, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 19. Activities will take place at the Prairie Creek Recreation Area, 9300 N. Park Road, a few miles east of Rogers off of Arkansas 12. Look for signs that will help direct you to the event.

Once there, you can visit the mobile aquarium, test drive a stand-up paddle-board or kayak, participate in the scavenger hunt and win door prizes, make your own water-testing device to take home, make it rain on the watershed, and see how water flows impact water quality in the lake. A new addition this year is the emphasis on engaging the entire community. All ages enjoy this event, which is ideal for scout troops, families, budding scientists, K-12 up to college students, retirees, residents of the lake and individuals from all over the area. About 550 people attend each year.

“We’ll also have mini-concerts and CD giveaways featuring “Water Fun Facts with Papa Rap” (visit to listen to songs). Children will be making their own handmade shakers (percussion instruments) from plastic water bottles and singing along in English and Spanish to original water songs based on the companion coloring book. Each family will receive a free CD, coloring books and other items,” said Amy Wilson, director of public affairs for Beaver Water District (served by Carroll Electric Cooperative). She added that members of the Marshallese community will demonstrate traditional dance, as well as display some of their native culture and crafts. Northwest Arkansas has the largest population (12,000) living outside of the Marshall Islands.

A volunteer lowers a Secchi disk to test water clarity at Beaver Lake.

Secchi Day on Beaver Lake is named for the Secchi disk, a device that measures water clarity. In the early morning, citizen science volunteers, using their own boats, collect water samples and take Secchi disk readings. Beaver Water District’s core partners who make Secchi Day a success include science experts, and volunteers associated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Beaver Lake, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Northwest Arkansas Stormwater Education, Hobbs State Park, Arkansas Master Naturalists, Beaver Watershed Alliance, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Ozarks Water Watch, One Community, the North American Lake Management Society, and Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas. Dan Skoff, chief meteorologist for KNWA, will serve as celebrity emcee. For more information, review the flyer posted at



Star City, Yellville-Summit educators named 2017 Arkansas Rural Teachers of the Year

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and the Arkansas Rural Education Association recently named Leonda Holthoff of the Star City School District and Marilyn Pangle of the Yellville-Summit School District as the 2017 Arkansas Rural Teachers of the Year.

Leonda Holthoff

Holthoff is an upper-level science teacher at the Star City School District. She has also taught at Watson Chapel, Dumas and Monticello, where she instructed students in various subjects ranging from English, math, science and technology. Holthoff, who teaches Sunday School and works for the Women’s League, said she believes in participating in the community. She has assisted her students in developing their educational independence while realizing that educators must model flexibility in meeting the needs of their students.



Marilyn Pangle

Pangle is a third-grade teacher at Yellville-Summit, where she has taught since 1999. In addition, she is the Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Planning chair and is also assistant federal program coordinator. She has chaired AdvancEd processes, supervised student interns, served as a mentor teacher and presented staff development programs. She said her greatest contributions come from her students. She added that it is important for the home, the school and the community to work together to ensure students’ academic and social success.

The Rural Teacher of the Year Award winner is selected based on the following categories: professional biography, educational history, professional development, community involvement, teaching philosophy, education issues and the teaching profession.