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BENTONVILLE -- Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, Rep. Steve Womack told a gathering of sixth-graders Friday at Old High Middle School.

But in answer to one student's question, Womack said he wouldn't put himself in the hero category.

Budget Talk

Steve Womack didn’t discuss the U.S. House Budget Committee chairmanship with Old High Middle School students, but was asked about it by reporters after Friday’s school event. He said he considered receiving the position a great honor, but added it will be a major challenge to bring some balance to the federal budget.

“It’s important because the future of our country rests on our ability to put this country on a sustainable, fiscal glide path, which it is not today,” he said.

The budgeting process is broken and is “not working for the American people,” he said.

Source: Staff Report

"I haven't done anything so remarkable yet that I would consider it to get me hero-type status," he said. "There are some people out there who think getting elected to Congress makes you a hero, but those aren't people reading the polls today.

"I consider myself somebody who wants to set a good example and be a good role model."

Womack, a Republican from Rogers serving his fourth term as the 3rd Congressional District's representative, spent about an hour at the school, where he joined 13 sixth-graders on stage in the auditorium for a discussion. Many more sixth-graders watched from the auditorium's seats.

The visit allowed Womack, recommended this week for chairman of the House Budget Committee, to discuss something other than politics. The students on stage asked him prepared questions, the first of which had to do with heroes.

"My concept of a hero is a person who accomplishes extraordinary things in a selfless sort of way. They put something bigger than themselves ahead of themselves. So heroes can manifest themselves in a lot of different ways," Womack said.

He identified his parents, military members, the people who coached him in sports and those who battle serious medical issues as some of the people he considers heroes.

Womack also was asked to talk about Old High's character theme of the month, goal setting. It's something everyone should spend more time doing, because it not only gives people something to do today, but it provides something to look forward to, he said.

He cautioned against setting goals too high, however. Growing up, he said, he wanted to be a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League.

"I wasn't fast enough. I wasn't big enough. And it took me a while to figure that out, but I finally figured it out and I kind of redirected my goals into something that I knew were within my reach," he said.

Football also entered the conversation when a student asked Womack about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem. Womack said he understood their reasons for doing it, but called the gesture "terribly disrespectful."

The 13 students on stage with Womack volunteered for the opportunity. Womack spent about 15 minutes after the assembly speaking with those students.

"I thought it was really cool to have someone from the big leagues come and talk to our school," said Marlowe Hurst, 12. "He was very personable."

Logan Mullins, 12, said he participated because he wanted to meet someone with political power.

"I thought the talk he gave was pretty good. Most memorable to me was when he was talking about who his heroes were," Logan said.

Julie Turner, a sixth-grade literacy and social studies teacher, arranged an online interview for her students with Womack a few years ago. She said Womack promised at that time to visit the school.

"I just hope if they don't remember anything else about sixth grade that maybe this has planted a seed for their future that will influence them in a positive way," Turner said of Womack's visit.

NW News on 01/13/2018

Print Headline: Womack talks heroes, football and more at Bentonville middle school

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