The academic year 2012-2013 marks Ms. Highfill's 11th year at Woodland. During her tenure, her students have consistently scored above the school's and district's averages on the state-administered ACTAAP exams, with 77% of her students scoring Advanced in 2011 - 1012.
In 2011, Ms. Highfill was selected as Arkansas' Outstanding Middle Level English/Language Arts Teacher by the Arkansas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts.
In June 2012, she was published in The Death and Resurrection of a Coherent Literature Curriculum: What Secondary English Teachers Can Do by Sandra Stotsky, and has published several "Quickwrite" writing lessons in the 2nd edition of the teacher publication Spark the Brain, Ignite the Pen, as well as several short stories in the cookbook The Flavor of Our Words.
Ms. Highfill is a Teacher Consultant with the Northwest Arkansas Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project,, and has served as Co-Director of the Northwest Arkansas Writing Project's four-week Invitational Summer Institute at the University of Arkansas since 2004.
She has completed the Arkansas Department of Education's Smart Step Literacy Lab Classroom Project at Harding University, Advanced Placement (AP) training with the Universities of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and at Little Rock, and the Teacher Institute with the Arkansas Leadership Academy. Ms. Highfill has also served on the Fayetteville School District's Textbook Adoption and English Vertical Team committees.
Ms. Highfill worked for several years as CEO of the Project for Victims of Family Violence, Inc. (now Peace at Home Family shelter) in Fayetteville. During her tenure and under her leadership, that agency was named "the model program for the State of Arkansas" by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
She studied abroad at a European branch of the University of Maryland during her freshman year, and completed Bachelor's Degrees in English and in Secondary Education at the University of Arkansas.
Ms. Highfill is an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the Gulf War of 1991, earning a Navy Commendation medal, Navy Achievement Medal, National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and three Battle Efficiency "E" ribbons. While serving in the military, Ms. Highfill qualified as the first female Dockmaster in the United States Navy (NEC 9523), and published a training manual for use in the training of Dockmasters by the U.S. Navy. She was the Honor Recruit for her boot camp graduating class, and in 1993, she was chosen as Sailor of the Year for her command duty station, ARCO ARDM-5, in San Diego, California.
Ms. Highfill graduated Valedictorian of her class at Sigonella American High School, a Department of Defense Dependents School, outside Catania, in Sicily (Italy).
Ms. Highfill has had extensive training and experience in personnel management and leadership. She is widely-travelled and speaks fluent Italian.