BY JACLYN ROSE –
As the daughter of two educators, Mena Middle Principal, Mike Hobson and recently retired Speech Pathologist for Mena Public Schools, Melissa Hobson, Lauren Frost grew up determined that she would not go into education, until she began working with kids and found that they were her calling. “I grew up in the school building, literally every day of my life. The last thing I wanted to do was go into education. Then I married and had a son and learned how conducive it was for raising a family. Once I got into it, I really enjoyed the kids. Especially, junior high kids, I helped with counseling and I really enjoyed helping them learn to navigate through life,” explained Frost.
Frost moved to Mena at age five and spent all of her formidable years in Polk County. A 2000 graduate of Mena High School, she then attended Rich Mountain Community College (RMCC) and obtained her Associate’s Degree. Frost then transferred to Henderson State University to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Science. “I feel like RMCC is a really great way for kids coming from a small town, to get a good foundation in higher education. My time there definitely set me up to go on and receive my Bachelor’s Degree. During my time at RMCC, I wasn’t overwhelmed with all the other things college usually offers,” Frost explained.
After graduating from Henderson, Frost spent a year traveling for the school and working as a recruiter, trying to get kids around the southern part of Arkansas excited about Henderson State. In 2006, she married her high school sweetheart, Shane Frost. “I know it’s a bit clichéd and so many people say it, but it’s true, I really married my best friend. When we were in high school our dates consisted of going coon hunting,” said Frost with a laugh. “We found out years later that we were even on the same T-ball team, but we didn’t meet until high school, when he caught his shirt on fire in shop class because he was staring at me while welding,” Frost added. The couple has one son, Barrett, an active four year old that Frost describes as having a zest for life.
In 2007, Frost began her career with Fayetteville Public Schools, which she continued until the summer of 2015. There she worked as a registrar and with the counseling department for the large school system, while her husband built his career with Farm Bureau Insurance working as an adjuster.
The opportunity became available for them to move back to Mena in the spring of 2015 and the couple embraced it. “I haven’t lived in Mena in a really long time but I am slowly getting reconnected and I’m really enjoying my new job as the 4-H Program Assistant for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension Office. It’s very exciting. I will be working with kids in the community and their club volunteer leaders. 4-H is all about raising young adults and teaching them skills for life and leadership and community involvement and responsibility. My goal is to get into the schools more and get more kids excited. 4-H is an untapped resource for a lot of kids, there are so many benefits and even college scholarships. It is so much more than showing animals. Kids can do projects from fashion to public speaking to community projects. I’m very excited to get my hands in it,” said Frost.
Currently Polk County has ten 4-H clubs spread all over the county with qualified and trained volunteer leaders. Some of them are more focused on one area, while other clubs have a great variety of areas their kids work on. Recently, Frost traveled to State O-Rama with a group of local club members. “4-H’ers, as a whole, are respectful kids to one another, they are intelligent, lifelong learners who are about their communities. They are really great kids, we need more kids like that,” explained Frost.
“We moved back to Mena to be close to our family. We found we were spending most of our weekends in Mena and our work week in Fayetteville. We really enjoy the family aspect of being back home, it makes it all worth it. We are also looking forward to getting back to the way we grew up and to be able to raise our son like we were raised. We love being outdoors and doing everything this beautiful area has to offer: fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping are all important to us and we can’t wait to take Barrett,” said Frost.