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Retiring curriculum coordinator Treece reflects on her time with Alma Schools 4/29/22

Retiring curriculum coordinator Treece reflects on her time with Alma Schools

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools

 

Pamm Treece has this vivid memory of what Alma Schools might have looked like before actually planting roots in Crawford County. Her former classmates from Ole Main (North Little Rock) did as well. 

 

“I graduated with 425 people, so when I moved here my friends were like, ‘Are you sure about that?’ It was really small,” remembers Treece. 

 

“I went to a football game with (husband Scott Treece) before I got married,” Pamm Treece continued. “There were wooden bleachers and the football players would walk down from the north end zone. Two things I remember about that stadium. They had to stop the game because seven dogs were running around in the north end zone because there wasn’t a fence. I thought that was so funny. 

 

“The other thing were the wooden bleachers - you would get splinters in your legs, and it would hurt. You were very careful about how you sat there.”

 

Nearly five decades later, Treece is set to call it a career with Alma Schools - one that included everything from filling in as a substitute teacher to serving as the first Alma Middle School counselor. 

 

But it almost didn’t happen. 

 

“When I moved here, teaching was not on my mind. It was on my resume, but it was not on my mind,” Treece said. “I didn’t have a good experience when I was an intern (practice teaching). I moved to Alma to marry Scott (longtime Alma High School librarian). He had a family farm, and my thought was, well, I’ve gotta have a job. I had a sales job and I thought, I’ll substitute, and the very first day I subbed I had a student who stood out and how respectful she was. From that point on, I was like, ‘This isn’t so bad.’

 

“It literally changed my direction in which way I was going.”

 

The Treeces married in March of ‘82, and former Alma Middle School principal Wayne Thompson called Treece about a long-term subbing position. 

 

“Russell Scoggins was born on Sept. 28, 1982, and I took over his mom’s (Donna Scoggins) fifth-grade classroom,” Treece said. “I subbed that whole semester.”

 

In January of ‘83, Treece took over Ted Burkhart’s eighth-grade science class after the latter took a position teaching TCE.

 

In the spring of ‘83, a year after marrying Scott, Treece took a job to teach health and PE (physical education) for four years at Mountainburg. “I loved the kids and loved the community,” she said.

 

Four years later, David Woolly reached out to Treece about a middle school counseling position. 

 

“I was the first middle school counselor,” Treece said. “Before that time, there were no counselors from kindergarten through the eighth grade. Alma hired Malinda McSpadden to be the first intermediate counselor, and Jan Bowlin to be the first primary school counselor - we all came on board at the same time.”

 

Treece remained with AMS as the school counselor for the next 17 years. 

 

“I absolutely loved middle school,” she said. “I didn’t know that I would, because I was really geared more toward high school, or so I thought. (But) we just had such a great time.”

 

Back in 1987, Ronnie Newton had returned to Alma schools following a tenure with Newark schools. He would later become one of the district’s assistant superintendents of Alma Schools from 2001 to 2015. 

 

“Ronnie had been the principal at the intermediate school when I was subbing,” Treece said. “Mr. (Wayne) Thompson hired me, but Ronnie placed him when (Thompson) was on his way out. Mr. Newton and I were together when he moved over here in ‘96. He and Dr. (Mike) McSpadden became Elementary Curriculum Coordinator, which is now the position, which is now this position, and Dr. McSpadden was Secondary Curriculum Coordinator, which is now this position.”

 

In 2004, the late Charles B. Dyer appointed Treece to become one of longtime Principal Jerry Valentine’s assistant principals, joining a staff that included then assistant principal Gregg Grant. 

 

“Prior to that, it was just Jerry and Gregg,” Treece said. “We had a great time, too. It was a good learning experience. Scott worked around the corner (librarian).”

 

Treece left AHS in 2012 to become director of student services. “When Mr. Newton retired, Mr. Woolly asked me if I would take his place,” Treece said. “It adds up to 40 years.”