The UA Fort Smith Alumni Association will feature young alumni and what their life after graduation has been like. If you would like to be featured, please e-mail

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kristi Thomas '05

I graduated from UA Fort Smith in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Since I graduated in the fall, I assumed I would have to substitute in schools until the new school year rolled around. Well, one of the school districts I was working in needed a long term substitute to finish out the year. So, I worked as a fourth grade teacher in Mountainburg from January 2005 until May 2005. After my time was finished there, I moved to Tate Elementary in Van Buren where I taught third grade for two years.

In the summer of 2008, I attended ESL (English as a Second Language) Academy through Henderson State University where I obtained my ESL endorsement. That following school year, I moved from teaching third grade to teaching a pre-kindergarten classroom of four year-olds. Talk about a change! I have been in that classroom for two years now and I absolutely love it! Trust me…there is never a dull moment!

Throughout my career I have been asked to go to several workshops all across the United States. Last year I went to Rochester, New York for a pre-kindergarten writing conference. That trip was short, but we had a blast! Also last year, I went to Dallas, Texas for a national conference for pre-kindergarten, which was very educational! The most fun I have had was when a group of us went to Baton Rouge for a math conference. Our conference was five days long, but we had a little free time. While we were there, we went on a swamp tour where we got to hold all kinds of critters!

I'm on the far right
Outside of my career, I enjoy reading and singing. I am also very active in my church. Here recently I became engaged to Michael Bray, who is a current UA Fort Smith student.

The proposal!
Michael and I are the youth leaders at Van Buren Freewill Baptist. We also enjoy singing and worshiping the Lord together.

Michael and I

UA Fort Smith prepared me for all these great opportunities that I’ve had in my life. Starting from when I was a University Ambassador my sophomore year, all the way until my senior year, when I was the Assistant Director of Staff and Training for the first ever Cub Camp. The sense of leadership was instilled within me during my years at the university. That has helped me more than anything I can imagine. If I had not had these opportunities, I might not be where I am today. Thank you to all the professors who have helped me have this great life!

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