Spring Hill Middle School opened its doors in 1995 with Ardis Ann Larson-Cole and Wayne Zumwalt as the founding principal and assistant principal. The school was named after the flourishing spring at the bottom of the hill feeding numerous apple and peach orchards.
Ardis Ann retired in 2006. In 2007, she was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrigs Disease. On May 30, 2008, she lost her battle with this disease but her legacy was firmly cemented within Bentonville Schools. Some three years later, the Bentonville Board of Education approved renaming Spring Hill Middle School to Ardis Ann Middle School to honor her 18 years of service.
Ardis had high expectations for both teachers and students. She was loyal and caring as she created a family atmosphere for all. She wanted a bright and hope-filled future for the students who attended her school. To further celebrate that vision, it was decided that “Blazers” was the appropriate mascot. A Blazer is defined as a person who leads the way as a trendsetter and an influential leader.
After retirement, Ardis continued her influence on the future of our students by presenting “The Bump in the Road” award. She realized, through her own personal journey, there would always be trials and troubles as we go through life but the most important thing was to persevere; to carry on and make the best of the situation. The tradition of recognizing a 6th grader with “The Bump in the Road” award continues today. The names of honorees are displayed on an engraved plaque for all to see, reminding us everyone can be a Blazer.