Staff Directory and Bios
At Clear Spring, we have the privilege of working with an amazing team of educators. Our team is really a family, working together to surround the children with a sense of community and an integrated learning environment. Read more about our staff below.
Find out more about each teacher's classroom under ACADEMICS
Rigdon Irvin - Lower Elementary (Grades 1 and 2)
Mr. Rigdon has a bachelor's degree in fine arts, a master's degree in education, and 24 years of teaching experience. Throughout his time as an educator, he has received many awards for his work including Teacher of The Year for the Bentonville, AR public school district for the 2005/06 school year and The Walton Art Center Outstanding Educator Award. He also has participated in extensive extended education; including Skill Path Leadership Training, Love and Logic Training, and Great Expectation of Arkansas Institute.
"I love working for Clear Springs because I am given the freedom to allow my students to learn through discovery and hands on learning. It is truly a student centered curriculum"
Ginny Ogle - Lower Elementary (Grades 3-4)
Ms. Ginny has a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing and a master's degree in French. She has been a youth mentor and tutor for over 10 years. She has spent time teaching English in France and also teaching French to students in Arkansas.
"Kindness begets kindness, respect begets respect; learning is infectious when you make it fun! I appreciate the freedom teachers and students at Clear Spring have to explore concepts in multiple ways, to pursue their true interests and learn self-reliance at a young age."
Upper Elementary Grades 5-6
Middle School Grades 7-8
High School Grades 10-12
Charla Destry - Pre-Primary and Kindergarten
Mrs. Charla has been a member of our school community since 1984. As a parent and then as a teacher, she has seen Clear Spring develop and is a vital part of our family.
Mrs. Charla specializing in early childhood education, has extensive Montessori training, is a member of the Junior Master Gardeners Program, and has studied Neurological brain development of children as well as their Social-Emotional growth.
"We do not teach children to learn through harshness but by paying attention to what amuses them."
David Bailey - Pre-Primary and Kindergarten
David Bailey has been teaching at Clear Spring School for well over a decade. He is loved and adored by all of the students (especially the little one's). If you are into ghost tours you may see David leading one in town!
Find out more about each teacher's classroom under ACADEMICS
Doug Stowe - Director, Wisdom of the Hands Program
Doug has been a professional woodworker for 40+ years and is the author of 13 woodworking books and over 90 articles in woodworking magazines and educational journals. He carries a BA in political science, and has been with Clear Spring School since 2001.
Doug was named an Arkansas Living Treasure by the Arkansas Arts Council and Department of Heritage in 2009.
"I believe that children and adults learn best (most thoroughly, most efficiently and to greatest lasting effect) when their hands are engaged and they are doing real things in service tot their interests and those of their families and community."
Carmen Rose- Spanish Education and Cultural Studies
Mrs. Carmen has been with Clear Spring since 2016. She has worked as an Education and Activities Director and Events Coordinator, and now joins us as our Spanish Teacher!
"Communication is very basic way for humanity to evolve. I believe humanity depends especially now on the continuation of our ways and languages. Every Language is a valuable tool for us to become successful and as free as we want to be. I want to teach my students to open their minds to travel, to connect with people and traditions, to be able to empathize with those in different situations. I love being a part of the Clear Spring Community. I get to teach my culture and traditions to my children and their classmates. We get to share a wonderful learning experience within our families and community."
Clear Spring School Administration
Jessica FitzPatrick, Head of School
Jessica will be Head of School at Clear Spring this year. This is a return to her educational home. She began teaching at the Pre School with Charla in 1999 and worked her way through the grades at Clear Spring until 2010 when she left to explore education from a global perspective. She taught in South Korea, Uganda and studied in New Zealand and has now returned to Eureka and Clear Spring School. She has a Masters in Progressive Education from Goddard College in Vermont and is currently in the process of completing her PhD on teacher professional development and the assessment of 21st century skills through the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
Zach Trent, Director of the Phyllis Poe Hands on Learning Center
Zach has been teaching for over 10 years. He has his teaching license in Special Education, a Masters degree in Conflict Transformation, and a Bachelors degree in Political Science. Zach worked internationally in the Middle East before taking his place at Clear Spring School. His passions included martial arts and the banjo. He works at Clear Spring School because of their mission to let each child learn and grow according to their passion and their purpose.
Anna C. Smedley, Ph.D. aka “Noel’s Mom” - Director of Community Engagement, Research, and Assessment
Anna has just returned home to Eureka Springs after living in Las Vegas, Nevada for 13 years. She previously served as the Director of Student and Community Engagement for the College of Liberal Arts in the Office of the Dean at UNLV. She is a community based participatory researcher and a service-learning practitioner whose interests lie in increasing access to higher education, student success through High Impact Practices (HIPs), and promoting inclusivity in research practices through a community engaged lens.
She is also a proud four-time alumni of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with an interdisciplinary background in Social Work, Women’s Studies, and a Ph.D. in Sociology. She has held several other professional positions with UNLV including a programming position in inaugural office of the Vice-President for Diversity and Inclusion, and an Assistant Professor in Residence for the Department of Sociology.
Board of Directors
Phyllis Poe - President
Steven Beacham -Vice President