Instructional Facilitator — Shelley Dirst
Mrs. Shelley Dirst grew up in Harrison and graduated from Harrison High School. After high school, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, and went on to earn an Master of Arts in English from Clemson University in South Carolina, where she taught freshman composition classes as a graduate student.
Mrs. Dirst entered the field of K-12 education as an English and Oral Communications teacher at Harrison High School. She went on to teach high school English in the Omaha School District. Over the years, she served as an adjunct instructor of English Composition at North Arkansas College in Harrison. She also trained as a National Writing Project Fellow with the University of Arkansas and worked as a teacher consultant in writing instruction.
She moved to Little Rock and joined the Arkansas Department of Education as a curriculum and assessment specialist, working with teachers on development of state curriculum frameworks and supervising test item development for the state's Benchmark and End of Course Literacy ACTAAP assessments. At ADE, she later served as the state’s K-12 Literacy Program Manager, coordinating the network of regional literacy specialists and collaborating with math and science specialists across the state.
Prior to joining the staff at Harrison Middle School, Mrs. Dirst served as program director for Arkansas on iTunes U, developing a library of online courses, video collections, and multimedia books for educators and students.