Torix is a former Mena Bearcat himself, graduating in 1991, and has already been serving as the assistant principal at MHS since 2003. To say that he is proud to have this opportunity at his former alma mater is an understatement, “I feel so honored and blessed to be able to have this job. I appreciate the confidence they have placed in me.”
After graduating in 1991, Torix went to Carl Albert on a baseball scholarship for one year but then transferred to Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) in Arkadelphia where he graduated with his undergraduate degree in physical education and social studies. His first professional job was at the Dewitt School District where he coached and taught civics and government for eight years.
Torix said from the moment he graduated, he knew he always wanted to return to the Mena District. He said his former coach Ken Marshall always encouraged him to work for a while at another district to gain experience before he attempted to return to his hometown. While in Dewitt, Torix began working on his master’s degree from Harding and graduated in 2003, the same year he had the opportunity to return to Mena as the assistant principal. Torix said he always kept a close relationship with Marshall, throughout college and while at Dewitt, “I could always call him and ask for advice. He’s been a great influence in my career.”
Now, after being an educator for 18 years, Torix said the kids are, by far, his favorite part of the job. “I love the different variety and different backgrounds that these kids come from…and all they want is for someone to give them their time and listen and I try to do that each and every day.”
Marshall appreciates Torix’s positive attitude and energy that he brings with him in his new role. “”Shane comes from a fine family who taught him right from wrong and instilled a strong work ethic. We as a school district and a community are fortunate that he chooses to make Mena his home as he works with our students at MHS to teach those same values as they pursue their education.”
Torix said the biggest challenge kids face now is not much different than previous generations. It’s peer pressure. “It’s just a lot easier access,” he said. “That along with social media…where kids can get on there and say things they’d never say face to face. It’s a huge challenge.”
His top goal? “I want everyone to feel a part of this team for the success of our students. And I do mean everyone…the custodians, the teachers, the cafeteria workers. I want us all on the same page with the same goal…and that’s for the kids.”
Torix said he is grateful for a lot of influential people that have been in his life to help him obtain his dream job but said the greatest influence was that of his parents. “They always told us growing up, ‘I don’t care what you do, I want you to have fun getting up and going to work everyday.’ And that’s what I do. I love this job. I’ve just been blessed to come back to my high school alma mater and be in this role…it’s very, very humbling for me.”
Torix and his wife, Teresa, have two children, Daryan, who is a sophmore at MHS, and Kaitlyn, who is a junior at the University of Arkansas.
“I’m very honored and blessed and I know God has a plan for me and I want to do His will here in this job. I’m very excited and I can’t wait for school start.”