Jennifer Akers, beloved teacher and former Forensics Coach, passed away February 17, 2022. She was 52 years old.
A lifelong educator, Jennifer taught in Arkansas Public Education for 29 years, having taught at Camden Public Schools, Russellville Public Schools, and most recently at Cabot Public Schools for the past 15 years.
She was born Jennifer Ann Cathcart to parents Robert and Shelby Cathcart on February 12, 1970 in Waterloo, Iowa. Jennifer graduated from Paris High School in 1988. She graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 1993 with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Speech and English. Jennifer received her National Board Certification in 2004.
Jennifer met Lewis “Bucky” Akers in her Freshman year of college and they were married on April 3, 1993 in New Blaine, Arkansas.
During her teaching career, she taught 9th through 12th grade, spending most of those years as a Forensics Coach and Forensics Director at both Russellville and Cabot. Some of her earliest memories were of playing teacher, both at Shinn’s Daycare in Russellville as well as at home to her stuffed animals placed neatly in her closet classroom. Jennifer’s passion for teaching young people extended far beyond books and frameworks. She strived to enlighten not only knowledge and learning, but character and kindness as well.
Jennifer held a lot of love in her heart. She loved her family, her friends, her students, her jeep, her dogs, George Strait, pasta, chocolate cake, and being near the water. Whether it was through kind words, a spontaneous gift, or a firm embrace, one of Jennifer’s gifts was making everyone feel like a someone. A queen crafter, Jennifer had a talent for making scrapbooks to capture precious moments. Those who knew her knew they could depend on a few things from Jennifer: the truth, a genuine effort to help in any situation, and an entertaining performance of Reba McEntire’s “Fancy” on tap. Although she was a parent to only one child, Jennifer was a mother to countless children.
Approaching life with both hope and honesty, Jennifer’s mantras were “be the change you want to see in the world” and “I hate that for ya.”
Jennifer is survived by her parents Bob and Shelby Cathcart, her husband of 28 years Lewis, her beloved daughter Morgan, her brother Bobby Cathcart, and her two nephews Nathan and Austen Cathcart.
Jennifer would ask not for flowers, but for donations to your local animal shelter to help support homeless pets.