MOUNTAIN PINE, Ark.- As we approach International Women’s Month in March, FOX16 is recognizing local women, nominated by our viewers, who inspire us daily.
Leslie Faulkner is a finalist in our Remarkable Women contest.
There is just as much learning as there is love inside a Mountain Pine classroom.
Leslie Faulkner fills up her students with confidence.
“Learning the life skills that they need as they grow up and become adults,” Faulkner says.
Her passion for special education is personal.
“In the beginning, she had such a hard time,” Faulkner recalls. “She had feeding issues. She had open-heart surgery at just 3 months old. Ever since then, I wanted to enrich her life and do fun things.”
Advocating for her daughter, Skyler, changed her perspective and career.
“I started going places with Skyler,” Faulkner explains. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this group of kids. I want to be with this group of kids.”
“Oh please!” Skyler Faulkner laughs.
That’s when Leslie decided to make the move from kindergarten to high school.
“She’s everywhere I am if it has to do with school,” says Gigi Gonyer, a student at Lakeside High School.
Leslie Faulkner created a community-based instruction program at Lakeside High School. It was so successful, Leslie then started a CBI program in Mountain Pine.
“That’s what’s huge, being in the community,” Leslie Faulkner says.
Leslie gives her students every opportunity she can outside the classroom.
“Any event you can think of, she does it,” Gonyer says. “I Can Dance, the Polar Plunge, Project Prom.”
Her energy is contagious.
“She inspires me because I want to be a special ed teacher,” Gonyer says. “I want to be Leslie Faulkner. She is an amazing person.”
A Remarkable Woman, putting others’ success before her own.
“It’s just been a blessing,” says Leslie Faulkner. “I have been blessed.”
The winner of Nexstar’s Woman of the Year award will also win a trip to the Mel Robbins Show in New York City.
For more on our Remarkable Women series, click here.