Sonora Middle School faculty and support staff work diligently to create an atmosphere that meets the needs of the student population. Administrators, teachers, and students attending SMS have received various awards and grants as a school or individually. Academics and extracurriculars are of great importance at SMS as shown in the various awards such as the SMS EAST team won the National Founder’s Award in 2018, the EAST Logo Design Competition for the 2018 National Conference, various Quiz Bowl championships, multiple First Lego League Awards, and a Volleyball Championship. SMS received its School of Innovation charter in 2015, named the 2017 Shannon Wright recipient by AAMLE and honored with the distinction of being named a Arkansas Diamond School to Watch in 2018.
SMS teachers strive to be the best they can be and aspire to set examples for SMS students. Over 10% of SMS teachers were recognized with honors of distinction in their disciplines. This is evidenced through Rachel Sabatini being named Mentor Teacher of the Year (2017), Jessica Olson being named the 2017 Intern of the Year (and then becoming a teacher at SMS), and Jodi Morrison recognized as the Middle Level Art Educator of the Year (2013-2014).
SMS teachers work for the school to diligently provide for students by utilizing every resource or opportunity available. They do this by seeking and receiving many grants for the school. The school and/or the teachers received the following grants: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant for (2014-2018), $100,000 Carol M. White Physical Education Program Grant (2014-2017), $650,000 21st Century CCLC Grant (2018-2023) , Joint Use Grant (outdoor play area partnership with the city, county and Sonora Elementary School), $10,000 After School East, $1,000 Blue and You mini grant from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield (2017), $10,000 Bike Grant from the Walton Foundation, P.E. Good Sports Grant from (2017-2019), $9960 Beyond the Bell Grant from Arkansas Department of Education and EAST Initiative, $1,000 E-Z Mart Education Grant, $5,000 Community Garden grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish commission, Economics Arkansas grant (2 years), multiple Springdale Public School (SPS) Education Foundation grants, and multiple Donors Choose Grants. The newest endeavor for SMS is the addition to the Innovation Academy. The innovation academy is a school within a school model for a personalized learning approach. In the innovation academy students are encouraged to learn about personal interests that impact the world around them.