Christian Curriculum

TASD Names Teacher of the Year and First Classified Employee of the Year

Jessica Bilbo is a Library Media Specialist at Harmony Leadership Academy in Texarkana, Arkansas. She has 14 years of experience, all with TASD.

Ms. Bilbo holds a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education in Media and Information from Southern Arkansas University. While attending, she was a member of the President’s Ambassadors and Alpha Sigma Alpha.

As the Library Media Specialist at Harmony Leadership Academy, Ms. Bilbo strives to provide an engaging and transformative library. “I believe that all students should have access to books that will create lifelong readers and critical thinkers,” commented Ms. Bilbo. She coordinates with teachers to offer research classes that provide enrichment to the school curriculum. Ms. Bilbo has presented professional development sessions on research and technology at the national and local levels.

Ms. Bilbo is a National Board-certified librarian and helped write the Arkansas Library’s Media Studies curriculum frameworks in 2013. Over the past 14 years, she has successfully written grants totaling over $38,000 for the library. Ms. Bilbo is also the campus webmaster and Facebook manager, as well as a member of the Lighthouse team and the Arkansas Leadership Academy.

Ms. Bilbo is the current president of the Alpha Pi chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and a member of the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media. She is a faithful parishioner of Hardy United Methodist Church, where she directs the HIS Kids Choir. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and daughter, who is a student at Harmony Leadership Academy.

Fina Keys was recently named TASD’s Classified Employee of the Year; this is the first year for this recognition. Classified (non-certified) employees are essential members of staff who play a key role in creating an environment that promotes student success, safety and health. They work hand-in-hand with teachers and administrators to transport our students to and from school, ensure the security and maintenance of our facilities, manage administrative and tax responsibilities, maintain computers and infrastructure, and provide additional support directly to our students.

William Arthur Ward said: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The senior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. Fina Keys rests comfortably on the great ending of this quote. The way she loves her students and champions each of their causes is truly commendable. With over a decade of experience in the field of education, she is a real asset to the profession.

She graduated from Arkansas Senior High School as well as Texarkana College. She currently works in the Texarkana Arkansas School District and was recently named the 2021-2022 Paraprofessional of the Year. She serves faithfully in the self-contained special education classroom on the campus of Harmony Leadership Academy. She loves and responds to the diverse needs of each student as if they were her own children. She is a valiant and serves so faithfully because she remembers the challenges she had to overcome in her youth. Being told she couldn’t earn a living and should be disabled didn’t define or confine her, but it propelled her into her destiny. Over the years, she has defied the odds and overcome the obstacles in front of her. This sheer determination and courage shapes the way she nurtures and cultivates the potential she sees in every child. She does not see their limits, but their limitless potential.

Mrs. Keys is a lifelong learner and is always on a quest to learn how to best serve those she cares for, for she loves purely and powerfully. Her service to others does not stop at meeting the diverse needs of her students, but also extends beyond campus into her home and community. She volunteers at the Randy Sams Homeless Shelter during the holidays serving meals to those in need. Mrs Keys recently became an adoptive mother and has created another safe, loving and nurturing haven for children who might otherwise not have it. She is also a member of the Full Gospel Holy Temple Church, where she happily serves in all necessary functions.