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West Memphis, Fort Smith, Russellville welcome leaders

Principals discuss their educational philosophy, experience and hobbies

Published: August 20, 2019   
Courtesy Catholic Schools Office
New principals stand together during a break from the annual Catholic school’s principals’ retreat at Subiaco Abbey. They are Myndi Keyton (left) of Christ the King School in Fort Smith, Laura Long of St. Michael School in West Memphis and Vivian Fox of St. John School in Russellville.

Three new principals have joined Arkansas’ Catholic schools this fall.


Christ the King, Fort Smith

Myndi Keyton

• Hometown: Fort Smith

• Education: bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Arkansas Tech

• Educational experience: elementary teacher, Christ the King School, Fort Smith, 19 years

• Educational philosophy: I believe a school should be a safe, nurturing community where high expectations are set for students and staff

• What are the benefits of Catholic education? A faith-filled foundation gives students a strong start toward success.

• Favorite saint: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

• Hobbies: reading, traveling going to the lake with my husband and four sons


St. John, Russellville

Vivian Fox

• Hometown: Russellville

• Education: bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in educational leadership, Arkansas Tech

• Educational experience: teacher and principal, St. Joseph School, Paris, 10 years; elementary teacher, Scranton, 10 years

• Educational philosophy: I believe it is important to teach the whole child: intellectually, physically and spiritually. All children have the right to learn in a safe, loving, caring environment that is Christ-centered.

• What are the benefits of Catholic education? High academic standards, family involvement and spiritual development of children

• Favorite Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.”

• Hobbies: sewing, quilting, cross stitch, woodcrafts, riding four-wheelers


St. Michael, West Memphis

Laura Long

• Hometown: Marion

• Education: bachelor’s degree in social science education, Arkansas State; master’s degree in school counseling, University of West Alabama

• Educational experience: teacher, West Junior High and West Memphis High School, West Memphis, 16 years; teacher and counselor, Avondale Elementary School, Marion, one year

• Educational philosophy: All children are unique and must have a stimulating educational environment where they can grow physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. I will create this type of atmosphere where students can meet their full potential and provide an environment where students are invited to share their ideas and take risks.

• What are the benefits of Catholic education? One key benefit of Catholic education is that God is always part of the school. Catholic education gives students the opportunity to grow spiritually and academically.

• Favorite saint: St. Lucy

• Hobbies: reading

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