Striving to succeed at PCSSD

By Jessica Duff

The Pulaski County Special School District boasts many dedicated educators and administrators from 26 schools across Central Arkansas, which includes the DRIVEN Virtual Academy now starting its third year with the district. PCSSD also has hard-working students who strive to succeed on and off the field.

“In my opinion, success can come to any student athlete who wants it.” said Maumelle Athletic Director Kirk Horton. “Success may look different from one athlete to another. 

Some athletes may have the physical gifts to go pro and must work on that path. Other athletes may find success in a sport by building relationships with teammates and coaches. The greatest thing about sports is that there is a fit for everyone.”

Maumelle High senior and football and basketball player Elijah Newell said he grew up playing sports and has learned to balance his academics with his athletics.

“I grew up playing basketball and football since I was 2 years old. Through the years, I’ve learned that you have to work hard and put in the work both in class and on the field. So during the day, I focus on my schoolwork to make sure everything is completed before practice or games.”

Elijah Newell, Maumelle High School

Maumelle High senior volleyball player Blakely Rochelle said playing high school athletics has made a big impact on her life.

“To balance school and athletics, I have to make sure I am organized and I have to plan ahead. I have had to say no to other things because school and practice come first. I would tell younger students the hard work is worth it; just make sure you can balance it all. It’s not always easy. Athletics is important to me because not only do I love the sport, but it has taught me a lot and I have made great friends.”

The Pulaski County Special School District Athletic Department provides student-athletes the opportunity for involvement on a variety of athletic teams. While striving for excellence, the athletic programs serve as an extension of the school district’s academic goals, supporting success in the classroom as well as on the field. The Pulaski County Special School District Athletic programs aim to instill loyalty, teamwork and leadership while maintaining honesty and integrity in every student-athlete.