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Springdale teacher recognized at Disney's Imagination Campus Celebration

Jamie Stallings, a computer science teacher at Lakeside Junior High, was one of 50 teachers chosen for this honor across the U.S. More than 5,800 educators applied.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — The Happiest Place on Earth recently honored 50 teachers from all over the United States, including one from Northwest Arkansas. 

Jamie Stallings teaches computer science at Lakeside Junior High School in Springdale.

“It was an amazing experience professionally, but also personally," Stallings said.

Disney chose teachers from 32 different states to fly out there over Memorial Day Weekend and Stallings was the only guest of honor from Arkansas. More than 5,800 teachers applied.

"I applied for it on whim," Stallings explained. "But I shared the work my kids have done and kind of my passion for what I do."

Stallings encourages his students to utilize their imaginations and creativity with technology.

"[We use] cameras," he said. "We do live streaming, photos, video editing, 3D printing. We have a laser. So just about anything that we can do, we'll have kids try to do it."

Part of the curriculum allows his 8th and 9th graders to work on a documentary.

"Right now, I've got a group of kids that are working on telling the story of the Marshallese bombings," Stallings said.

During a time when teachers are feeling more burnout than ever.
the event at Disney was a way to recognize America's education heroes.
It was all in conjunction with Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in Florida.

"We were grandmasters in a parade, which was amazing," he said. "[We went] through the Magic Kingdom. We got to hear from some Disney execs, some Imagineers, we got to ride the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride."

Stallings is getting ready for the new school year, feeling refreshed and inspired.

"It's always great when teachers get together," Stallings said. "We’re able to network and talk and share ideas, and we’re also getting some of the ideas from Disney and the way they're implementing creativity and imagination into the classroom.

Some of Stallings' students have gone on to pursue careers in fields like cyber security and videography.

School starts back up in Springdale on August 15. 

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