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Press Release – NATIONAL PARK COLLEGE (Jeff Weaver, Melanie Ritter)
NPC Mourns Loss Of Beloved Instructor
Hot Springs, Arkansas – Our campus community is deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved instructor, Relda Steelman.
Steelman graduated from Harmony Grove High School, and later attended Red River Vocational Technical School and Southern Arkansas University (SAU) – Tech. She spent 22 years in the nursing field specializing in geriatrics and hospice before earning her teaching license in 2003. She taught at the Southern Arkansas University (SAU) – Technical Career Academy for seven years and joined the NPC team as an instructor in our High School Health Science Technology program in August 2011.
She was passionate about teaching and her students loved her. Former student, Alyssa Carpenter is a nursing student at the University of Central Arkansas. She shared memories of her teacher and how she was the kind of teacher that supported her outside of the classroom as well, often attending football games and school events. Carpenter said, “Ms. Steelman was always there to push me to be the best person I could be. She instilled honesty, kindness, and how to be an overall good person in me every single day. She’s the one who made me realize I was truly meant to be a nurse. She is everything in this world that I want to be. Words cannot explain how great of a woman the world has lost. Though my heart aches so much, I know have a reason more than ever to continue to push through nursing school. I know she’ll be behind me every step of this journey, and more than anything, I want to graduate in remembrance of her.”
Steelman was a vibrant personality, with a spirit of adventure. She loved to travel and lived life to the fullest. She dedicated her life to serving others and was a loyal volunteer for the Civitan Club, the Harmony Grove School Board, Special Olympics, SkillsUSA, Camden Christian Health Center, and many others. Dean of Business, Technical and Early College Programs, David Hughes said, “Relda lived out loud. Her larger than life personality touched so many lives, including my family. She mentored my daughter and has been a dear friend to my wife and I. I can’t imagine how to fill a void like this.”
Relda Steelman lived a life dedicated to her faith and her community. Her influence is apparent in the outpouring of love and support from her students, colleagues and friends. She will be greatly missed and our NPC family will never forget her. NPC is planning a memorial service for students, faculty and staff in her honor. More details will be announced as plans are finalized.