Carly Owens

Mrs. Carly Owens has been named Cross County School District’s Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Carly is the counselor at Cross County Elementary. She graduated from Norman North High School, received her bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, and her master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She and her husband, Kirk, who serves as a pastor at the Bridge Church in Wynne, have two children, Anabelle and Jachin, who attend Cross County Elementary.

Mrs. Carly had no plans to become an elementary counselor. As a small child, she wanted to own a flower shop and then wanted to move overseas. While that didn’t come to fruition, she believes she is right where she is supposed to be. 

“I love children so it wasn’t a stretch to want to work with them,” she said. 

Before coming to Cross County, Mrs. Carly was a stay-at-home mom homeschooling and raising her children. She came to Cross County as a paraprofessional teaching pre-k, worked her way into becoming a kindergarten teacher, and now works as the counselor. 

“My husband was convinced that this is what the Lord had for me and I can definitely trust his leading,” said Mrs. Carly. “I’ve always loved being able to be involved and walking alongside people and so the fact that He has now just let this all unfold as the school counselor is very humbling and a blessing.”

Mrs. Carly is motivated by Jesus, her co-workers, and her students. She loves to watch the students learn and grow in their personalities and every aspect of life. She is very humbled by her job and the impact it has on the school as a whole. 

Mrs. Carly has been leading the Character Education Program at Cross County Elementary. As part of that, she teaches the students core values and lessons to live by.  In this program, every month there is a new “creature of character”. These creatures are meant to motivate the students and teach them important traits and values. Every lesson revolves around a new value and a new fun activity to help the kids learn and understand the true meaning. Not only does Mrs. Carly teach character education lessons, but she also provides counseling for the students. 

“One day never looks like the next, It’s always different,” said Mrs. Carly.

The work that Mrs. Carly has done with character education has led to the Creatures of Character program being named a Promising Practice by It is the only elementary school in Arkansas that has received that designation and one of 177 around the globe. 

"The passion that Mrs. Carly brings to her position as the Elementary School counselor is inspiring,” said Cross County School District Superintendent Dr. Nathan Morris. “She has genuine care for our students through a servant's heart. She has been a tremendous leader in our Character Education efforts that we know will have generational effects for our students' futures.”

Mrs. Carly’s future goals include seeing the character education program unfold and watching it grow into a significant part of our culture here in Cross County. 

“I want it to be something that becomes a part of the kids because I believe it's powerful to change where they are to where they want to be,” she said.  

Mrs. Carly will be recognized at tonight's Cross County Chamber of Commerce banquet.