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story.lead_photo.caption Barney Hayes (from left), Denny Higgins and Tom Woodruff are 2019 Rogers Wall of Distinction honorees.

The Rogers Public Education Foundation selected four honorees to be added to its Wall of Distinction in the spring.

Barney Hayes, Denny Higgins, Faye Jeffery and Tom Woodruff will be honored during an April 25 banquet. The foundation uses proceeds from the banquet to provide grants to teachers for materials or special classroom needs.

Wall of Distinction

The 8th annual Wall of Distinction awards banquet is 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25 in the Pinnacle Ballroom at Embassy Suites in Rogers.

Tickets go on sale March 1 and are $100 for the general public and $75 for employees and retirees of Rogers Public Schools. Proceeds benefit the Rogers Public Education Foundation.

Tickets will be available at Arvest Bank locations in downtown Rogers, Village of the Creeks, Lowell and Pleasant Grove and online at

Source: Staff report

"This past year we were able to give back more than $220,000 to the Rogers School System," Gaven Smith, foundation president, said in a press release. "All donations go back into our schools to serve our students and passionate teachers. The funds raised purchase items such as new technology, musical instruments, outdoor equipment and innovative programs."


Retired coach and administrator; city official

Hayes played multiple sports as a student in the Rogers School District, including football, basketball and track. Hayes was co-captain on the 1969 conference champion Mountaineer football team and was named All-State and All-Conference as a defensive end.

After graduating from Rogers High School in 1970, Hayes attended the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville where he obtained his Bachelor's of Science in education.

Hayes began his 36-year career in the Rogers School District as a coach at Oakdale Jr. High in 1974. He was promoted to the Rogers High School staff in 1978, serving as head track coach and assistant football coach until 1992.

Hayes was inducted into the Rogers High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

In 1992, Hayes started his 18-year stint as the district's director of buildings and transportation where he monitored construction of seven elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools and two athletic stadiums.

For five years, starting in 2010, he was the city's parks director, supervising design and construction of the Regional Sports Park, the Rogers Aquatics Center, the Rail Yard Bike Park, a portion of Lake Atalanta and 30 miles of additional paved trails in Rogers.

Hayes served on the Rogers City Council from 1998 to 2010, and again from 2017 to present. He is a former member of the Rogers Planning Commission and the Benton County Quorum Court.

Hayes and his wife Lisa have four adult children, and are members of First United Methodist Church in Rogers.


Retired educator and administrator

Higgins earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Marquette University in 1963. She married her college sweetheart, Mike Allard, a Navy pilot who died in Vietnam. She returned to her hometown of Oklahoma City with her three sons and earned a Masters in Education from University of Central Oklahoma. She taught in Oklahoma Public Schools for five years and later earned her Masters in Educational Administration from the University of Arkansas.

She moved to Rogers in 1979 and taught in Bentonville one year before beginning her 23-year career in the Rogers School District. She taught at Lowell, Southside and Eastside elementary schools and spent one year as a mentor to new elementary teachers. Higgins was principal of Northside Elementary for seven years starting in 1989, before becoming Lingle Middle School principal when it opened in 1996. She retired in 2003.

Higgins received several awards including PTO Lifetime Award and the Rogers Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year. Higgins and her son, Paul, served as members of the Rogers Public Education Foundation, and she was a member of Altrusa and the United Way Board. Higgins volunteers with the St. Stephen Benevolent Conference, which serves the poor and needy in our community. She also belonged to Alpha Delta Kappa, a sorority that provides scholarships to future educators.

Higgins is a member of St. Stephen Catholic Church in Bentonville.

Five of her sons and daughters-in-law graduated from Rogers High School: Mark and Tracy Allard, Paul and Debbie Allard and Bart and Missy Allard. She has eight grandchildren.


Retired educator and teacher advocate

Jeffery earned her bachelor's degree in education from the University of Arkansas in 1957 and Master's of Education in 1958. She would continue her education during summers at the University of Houston, University of Virginia and Martha's Vineyard.

Her teaching career started in Memphis, where she taught three years. The majority of her career started in 1961 after moving to Rogers to teach fifth grade at Southside Elementary. Her 28-year career at Rogers including time teaching U.S. history, world affairs and sociology at Rogers High School. She was one of the two teachers that helped start Crossroads Learning Center.

Jeffery served on various boards and committees, including the Rogers School Board for 10 years, the National Education Association and the Arkansas Education Association. She also worked for several political campaigns.

She attended many Arkansas Education Association conventions and three National Education Association conventions. She worked on the state committee for teacher's health insurance, the state Fair Dismissal Act, and the local organization that formed the teacher pay scale that is still in use today. Jeffery also helped lead the fight against teacher testing.

Jeffery spent one summer in China as an exchange teacher with the American Field Service. She also sponsored the exchange students at Rogers High School for years, and supported the families in times of need.

Jeffery resides in Rogers. She has four children, all graduates of Rogers High School. David lives in Rogers and Cindy is in Memphis. Her other two children, Sam and Neasie, are deceased. She has three grandchildren, two of whom graduated from Rogers High School.


Educator and retired baseball coach

Woodruff has been a business and marketing teacher at Rogers High School for more than 40 years. He graduated from Rogers High School in 1972, and attended the University of Arkansas where he earned bachelor's degrees in business administration, 1975, and education, 1976. He also earned a Master's of Education in 1992, educational specialist degree in 1994, and Doctorate of Education in 1995.

He began teaching at Rogers High School in 1977 and serves as the DECA adviser, an organization of students interested in marketing and business. The club raises funds to grant a wish each year to a local youth through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Woodruff was RHS baseball coach from 1991 to 2008. He was inducted into the Rogers High School Mountaineer Hall of Fame in 2014.

He won many awards, including several teacher of the year honors. He was also a National Finalist for the NASDAQ National Economic Teaching Awards Program and is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Woodruff is a past president of the Rogers Chamber of Commerce, the Rogers Noon Rotary Club, and board member of the Rogers-Lowell United Way. For several years he coached in the Rogers Little League Baseball program and was inducted into the Regional Babe Ruth Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.

He is a member of the National Education Association, National Business Education Association, Association for Career and Technical Education, Economics Arkansas, Arkansas Association of Marketing Education Teachers, Arkansas Business Education Association, Arkansas Education Association, and the Education Association of Rogers.

NW News on 09/21/2018

Print Headline: Foundation selects 2019 Wall of Distinction honorees

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