North Arkansas College’s Adult Education Center in Huntsville has a new instructor for its General Education Diploma classes.
Hindsville native Courtney Spurlock began last week as the new GED instructor. The center is located at 124 Lee St., next to O’Reilly Auto Parts.
The center moved into its current location in September 2018.
Spurlock previously worked for 16 years as media specialist with the Huntsville Intermediate School. She resigned from the district this past November.
Her background as an adult educator goes back to the late 1990s, when she taught in Panama City, Panama. She worked for Central Texas College, teaching English to military personnel, their spouses and Department of Defense individuals.
Spurlock said she always wanted to return to adult education.
“Yes, very much. That time I spent in Panama with CTC was the highlight of my career. I absolutely loved the adult education,” she said.
Julie C. Garrett, assistant director of the adult education program, said she is excited about the new year.
“With the holidays behind us and a new year just begun, it’s a great time to remind the community of resources which are available,” Garrett said.
A new sign for the education center has been placed next to Lee Street.
“New sign, new teacher, new year,” she said.
Spurlock and her husband, Darby, have two sons. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English education at Arkansas Tech in Russellville and a master’s degree in library science at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.
“I am the very proud daughter of X and Fern Dotson and the even prouder twin sister of Mayor Stephanie Casey in Hindsville,” she said.
Garrett said that if enough interest is generated in Huntsville, the center could expand to offer night classes in GED prep or English as a Second Language, which it used to offer.
The main function of the center is to prepare students to take their GED test, though other services are available. All services are free of charge.
“Everything is free of charge,” she said. “All of the ready tests, the pre-tests, all of that is free of charge and then the actual GED test, so that they can get their diploma, I think has a cost on it.”
Not all students who want to earn their GED will go at the same pace.
“It varies per student, depending on how many days out of the week they can come and how many hours they can spend,” Spurlock said. “Right now we have Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. classes available.”
Spurlock said her experience in Panama was special.
“It was an incredible experience because they really want to be there,” she said. Those who study for the GED are much the same.
“They have a true vision of where they want to go and I want to help them get there. I want to help them be prepared for a trade school or some kind of college,” she said.
New students will take placement tests, which “give an idea of areas they need to focus on” at the Huntsville center.
“What I do is I develop instruction for them, really as an individual and make sure that they are getting the information and the resources that they need in that particular area that they need more help with,” she said.
Individual and group instruction both are used at the center.
Spurlock can be reached from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday-Thursday, at 738-1133.