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Q&A with New Board Member Dr. Ashley Mounts

We would like to extend our deepest thanks to Philip Sherrill, who served on the CAC Board of Directors for 10 years. “As an alumnus, advocate and parent, Philip’s deep love and unwavering commitment to CAC was on full display during his 10-year term on the Board,” said Wesley Walls, chairman of the Board of Directors “He was and is passionate about our school’s Christian heritage and our commitment to a faith-based, God-centered approach to education. We’re grateful for the time, energy and impact Philip and his whole family have made — over decades — for CAC.”

Thank you for your service, Philip!

Dr. Ashley Mounts, one of the newest members of CAC’s Board of Directors, is a veterinarian at North Hills Animal Hospital, the mother of two CAC students and one future Mustang, and the wife of Dr. Jason Mounts. After graduating from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a doctorate in veterinary medicine, she returned to Arkansas to serve the Sherwood and North Little Rock areas. Her experience as a medical professional and a CAC parent give her a unique set of skills and perspectives to bring to the Board. 

Read more about Dr. Mounts, her family, and what she’s is looking forward to as she takes on this new role with the Board of Directors:

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and what brought you to central Arkansas.
I’ve been married for 23 years to my high school sweetheart, Jason. We grew up in southwest Arkansas and both attended public school there. We went off to Florida for several years to pursue our degrees and, when we were finished, moved back home to Arkansas. The Sherwood area was a good place for us to settle with a lot of opportunities. 

We’ve attended Sylvan Hills Church of Christ for 14 years, and that’s how we first heard about CAC. So many people there have such strong connections with CAC, and we thought we’d give it a try. We’ve been here ever since — that was eight years ago. 

We have three children — a sixth grader, a third grader and a two year old who all love CAC. The baby can’t wait to go to school with her brother and her sister. She talks about it every time we drop them off! She’s ready to go.

And we’re ready to have her on campus! You mentioned that your family first became interested in CAC via personal connections with people in your community. What did you notice about the school eight years ago that encouraged you to stay and invest?
My husband and I both grew up in a small town and graduated with 25 people in our class, so we really like the idea of a small town atmosphere. The Christian atmosphere was a certainty for our kids. The North Little Rock location was a really nice draw for us because it meant we could have the children close to where we were living and working. 

It was really comforting that a lot of the teachers and administrators had connections to people we knew and loved. Knowing who the teachers were, and knowing their hearts, was a big deal for me as I dropped off my first born. I felt comfortable he would get the nurturing we wanted him to have. That nurturing is what drew us here in the first place, and it has proven to be a really special place with both a small town feel and really big opportunities in education, service and spiritual growth. It’s everything we wanted in one place. 

Now that you’ve been here for eight years, what is something you’ve found that you appreciate about CAC?
As the year goes on, I love the way the teachers and the administrators learn who the students are and take notice of their specific strengths. They learn their names and speak directly to them and praise them in intentional ways. These teachers are amazing. They are like superheroes — they can teach, but then they can also coach and encourage and be cheerleaders. I love the way they build the students up with life-giving words. That makes a mom’s heart really full.

Speaking of motherhood, we know that you and your family have a heart for serving the Lord and the community through fostering and adoption. Would you tell us about that journey and how it has impacted you, your faith and your family? 
Absolutely. God started working on our hearts four or five years ago to open our home to fostering and providing a safe place for children to go. One at a time God started working — first on me, then on Jason, and then even on our children. It all just kind of came together, and it has certainly been a big blessing for us. We’ve had several children in our home over the years, and you never know when they’re going to come or go. This last one, though, she came and never left. God has grown our family in ways that I could’ve never dreamed or made happen on my own. Every day the blessings of that are evident in everything that we do. 

That’s so wonderful. Thank you for sharing! Let’s transition a little bit and talk about this new position you’ve so graciously decided to take on. Welcome — we are so excited to have you on the Board! What are you most looking forward to as you enter this role?
I’m excited about just getting to sit with this amazing group of leaders. In school, in church and in the community, I admire each of them greatly. It’s an honor to be able to learn from them and to listen to them. I’m really looking forward to watching CAC get better and better!

I’m honored to be asked, and I’m here to serve alongside those who have been serving for years. I hope that I can bring something different and useful to the group with my perspective from a medical background. By trade, as a veterinarian, I am equal parts nurturer/caregiver and creative problem solver, so I’m hopeful I can add something different and helpful to the group.

We are excited to see how you will contribute to the Board and to our school! As you know, the pandemic has complicated the way every organization, and especially schools, are operating. Leadership groups are simultaneously having to think outside the box and go back to the basics to offer the best for families and communities. We wanted to give you a space to talk about what it might be like to enter this leadership position at a time when that is on everyone’s heart and minds.
That’s a great question, and honestly, it’s probably part of the draw for me to want to be included in this group and on the Board. I have watched the Board and the administration over the past year really shine in a really difficult time and lead and set examples in policy. They walked through it and it’s been super impressive. Our school seems to have figured out how to do  school in the middle of a pandemic. I look around and it makes me really proud to be at CAC and impressed to see what our people are made of in this time of crisis. Who knew CAC was so amazing? 

From the administrators to the teachers and even the students…they are resilient, ready to go and up for the challenge. They do what they’ve got to do with a happy heart, and isn’t that how God shines? You show up and you make the best of it — that’s what I see the school doing, which I think is special and unique. As a bit of an outsider, I’ve been able to sit back and watch it all happen, and it makes me excited to be a part of it. The Board is already in a really good place doing amazing things and that has shown in the midst of this pandemic. Again, I’m honored to be part of it. 

We’re proud of the way our faculty, staff, students and families have worked together with grace and mercy! Thanks so much for chatting with us. We have one last question, and it’s a fun one. When you aren’t mothering or being a veterinarian, what are things you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies or passions that bring you joy?
You can find me in my free time by a creek or chasing waterfalls… anywhere there are animals involved, really. I am most in my element outside in nature and by the water and with animals. I love to travel, and a lot of those trips have involved viewing animals in their natural settings, which has been really cool. And, of course, I enjoy whatever my kids are into, whether it be sports, piano or outdoor adventures. They love it as much as we do, and we just go as a family.