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story.lead_photo.caption Sally Carroll/McDonald County Press Wyatt Hester and his wife Karen say they were led to Wyatt's new post as theatre teacher at the McDonald County High School. The two, who live in Neosho, talked, prayed and cried about the new position for Wyatt before making the decision to make the leap. Wyatt taught at Neosho High School for 23 years.

Wyatt Hester felt drawn to continue his theatre teaching career at McDonald County High School, though it was tough to leave his post of 23 years.

The theatre teacher created a solid drama program in neighboring Barry County, where he taught for more than two decades. "I was teaching children of students I had taught," he said, smiling.

He and his wife Karen, however, were interested in moving a little closer to Bella Vista, where they eventually hope to retire. With grown daughters, the two felt they had some flexibility to launch a new venture.

The new post seemed full of challenges, a new start.

The decision, however, was difficult. They talked, prayed and cried about the job change, finally deciding to go where the Lord led them.

"God has always put me where I should be," Wyatt said.

Wyatt and Karen taught at Abilene Christian University for 15 years but moved back to the area several years ago to take care of his parents.

Today, Karen continues to teach kindergarten in Barry County as Wyatt begins a new teaching journey in McDonald County.

It's been a move that the Hesters have embraced.

The Hesters quickly realized that McDonald County neighbors help each other. The amount of support is unparalleled, Wyatt said. "This county pulls together like nothing I've ever seen," he said.

Perhaps one of the biggest caveats is the new performing arts center. "They put their heart and soul into this. They care about the arts," he said.

With that kind of support, Wyatt set to work quickly, getting to know his new students and beginning on productions.

He soon realized he was working with an incredibly talented group of teens.

"These kids are singing like they are on Broadway," he said.

Assistant superintendent of curriculum, Angie Brewer, told those gathered at a recent McDonald County Historical Society meeting that Hester and his students are preparing for an amazing musical production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." She encouraged anyone interested in attending to get tickets early.

A production earlier this fall quickly sold out, she said.

Wyatt loves history and is interested in teaming with the Historical Society to highlight the accomplishments of the county. Historical Society volunteers are preparing for a radio play and holding auditions this Saturday.

Wyatt believes a musical about the history of McDonald County would be great.

Meanwhile, he and his students are preparing to create a magical musical for the holidays. The musical will feature the theatre and music departments, junior high and high school choirs, along with the Anderson Ballet Academy.

Performances are set for Dec. 14 and 15 at the McDonald County Performing Arts Center. For ticket information, email

General News on 12/06/2018

Print Headline: Hester Drawn To New High School Post

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