BY MICHAEL REISIG –
Sean Couch is the principal of Acorn High School, but it’s been a long road to that position, and along the way Couch has learned much. Now he tries to pass on some of those lessons to his students, not just regarding learning, but life.
Couch was born in Nashville, Ark. His father was a Baptist preacher and the family moved around as Dad spread the word. Later they settled in McGehee, Ark., where Couch did his high school years, graduating in 1987. From there, he went to Central Baptist College, graduating with an associates degree in 1990. It was during that time that he met his wife, Valerie, and they were married. From there he transferred to Arkansas Tech (and she to The University of Central Arkansas).
“I commuted back and forth to see Valerie during those times and I was really glad when that part of our life was over and I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1993,” Couch said with a wry smile. “I went to work for Mississippi State University as a research technician with a degree in Wildlife Biology. I was there for about five months when the university wanted to send me several hundred miles away from my wife, who was teaching in Mena, so that ended our relationship – with the university, not my wife.
“Eventually, I took a position with the Perry Tasa School System in Central Arkansas and taught there until a position at Oden Schools became available,” he continued. “My wife got a job there as well, and I taught at Oden for 17 years, until taking my present position of high school principal at Acorn. During that time my wife and I raised a son, Parker.”
But life hasn’t been all work and no play. Couch is an avid fisherman and hunter, with modern weapons and particularly with a bow. Archery is a passion of his and he has brought it to his school as well. At Oden he helped bring trap competition to the school, serving as assistant coach, and he was a major part of the archery program as well. Couch has become the trap coach and archery coach at Acorn.
“The archery program has really taken off here in Acorn,” he explained. “In the last year we took second in the regional archery tournament, and fourth in State. We went to the national tournament and finished 56th, which made us eligible to compete in the world tourney. There we placed 19th in the world. Not bad for a first year archery team.
“I’ve seen this build confidence and self esteem in our kids,” he continued. “It’s a sport that you don’t have to be able to run fast or jump high to compete in. You win here with nothing more than hard work and determination.”
Couch said they are still working on honing their trap competition team, and they hope to improve it as they move along.
“Most importantly, I have a great bunch of kids in both endeavors,” he added.
Couch and his wife have attended Grace Baptist Church in Mena for over a half-decade, and they both stress the value of faith.
“Faith is an important part of our lives – it helps keep our marriage together, strengthens our work ethics and assists us in the challenges of life,” he said. “After 23 years of marriage, we’re still a very happy couple. We love this area and I love the school I work for. I feel very blessed in my life, and at this point I have no regrets. I look forward to continuing to work for Acorn Schools, cherishing every moment I get with my family, and I’m looking forward to hunting season with my son.