Board names new principal
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – The Hope Public Schools Board concluded its search for a new campus leader at Yerger Middle School here Monday night.

Josclyn Jones Wiley, of Texarkana, was unanimously named by the board to succeed retiring Yerger Principal Vanessa McCraw.

Wiley is currently the assistant principal for special populations at Texas High School in the Texarkana Public Schools. She holds a master’s degree in education from Texas A&M University-Texarkana in 2001, and she received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway in 1997.

Wiley holds Texas principal certification and elementary self-contained and elementary social studies certification; and, she has been an administrator in the Texarkana district since 2001, previously teaching there from 1998-2001, after beginning her career in the Pulaski County Special School District in Little Rock in 1998.

She has worked extensively in the area of special education and compliance, developing monitoring procedures for those programs, while overseeing professional development for teachers including a poverty training module for new teachers in Texarkana. Wiley has extensive experience in Therapeutic Intervention Learning Center services and the management of inclusion program implementation.

She is a member of the UCA Foundation Board; graduate of Leadership Texarkana 2008; serves on the Texarkana, Arkansas, Civil Service Commission, and is a member of the Texarkana Resources Board. Active in civic life, Wiley is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and active in Bowie and Cass counties schools with Special Olympics, as well as serving as a Deaconess, Christian education co-chair and vacation Bible school teacher at Lonoke Baptist Church.

“We are excited to have Ms. Wiley join our campus leadership at Yerger Middle School,” Superintendent Bobby Hart said.

The board also acted on a number of other personnel matters Monday night, adopting teacher re-hire lists for all five campuses. Certified resignations and retirements were accepted from Margaret Moss, Mindy Brinkman, Mikki Curtis, Nora Marquez, Shirley Watson, Sally Short, Julie Lively, Mallory Mhoon, and Jennifer Robinson.

The board also adopted a job description for a district school improvement specialist who will work with individual campuses to foster continuing school improvement under a districtwide plan, and work with the Arkansas Department of Education to resolve state-required improvements on any given campus.

Also Monday, the board heard a presentation from Gregory Smith concerning the Let’s Go To Work Foundation, which helps high school students make informed decisions about college selection.

Smith, a graduate of Hope High School, said he and five other individuals established the foundation to help high school students learn and avoid the pitfalls involved in selecting a college and applying for admission.

“Everybody is a Hope graduate and everybody graduated from college,” he said of the group of mentors.

Organized in 2010 after he graduated from college, LGTWF provides a forum for high school students to meet each fourth Saturday of the month in the HHS choir room to discuss concerns and learn how to answer their questions about college, Smith said.

“It gives them the opportunity to ask the questions that I didn’t ask,” he said.

Hart said the district currently provides a bus and and a driver for college visitation trips to area and state colleges in Arkansas. Smith said the group’s most recent visit was a two-day tour of the Arkansas State University campus in Jonesboro.

“Just going through that experience, they might sit down and look seriously at one or two campuses,” he said. “A lot of students don’t think they can go to college, but we help them see that they can.”

Also Monday, the board heard a report from Hope Police Detective Lieutenant Jimmy Courtney regarding the Junior Police Academy program, which returns July 11-29.

“We appreciate your support on that; and, we’re trying to get bigger and better,” Courtney said.

He said 11 students participated in the inaugural program last summer, learning about police procedure at a mock crime scene and the judicial process in a mock trial, as well as visiting during a session of circuit court.

Courtney said he is working on a partnership with Clinton Primary School to foster a school-based program that will promote positive citizenship and student discipline habits.

The board also recognized the Hope FFA Chapter officers and members for another successful FFA Rodeo, the chapter’s 57th year organizing and performing the rodeo. Chapter officers recognized included President Bobby Johnson, a senior; Vice President Chase Jones, senior; Secretary Summer King, junior; Treasurer Ebony Morrow, junior; Reporter Melodie Maurer, junior; Sentinel Laith Zimmer, junior; and Junior Advisor Ashley Rodden, senior. Christina Smith is FFA advisor at Hope High School.

The HHS Bobcat basketball team under Coach Sam Bradford was also recognized including, junior Clyde Ricks, sophomore Keith Brown, junior Ja Bre Martin, senior Jacobie Brown, senior Brandon Cole, junior Markel Haynes, senior Fred Sharp, senior Xavier McDonald, senior Cameron Mitchell, junior Marcus Blakely, junior Nick Thomas, senior Erin Johnson, sophomore Quontravious Caldwell, and junior Desmond McDonald.

And, Summer Pauley, HHS junior, was also recognized as the new Division 19 lieutenant governor of the Key Club, the junior component of Kiwanis International. Pauley was not able to attend due to illness.

In other matters Monday, the board:

--Approved the bid of Memphis, Tenn., based Progressive Technologies for surveillance cameras to be installed in the new wing of HHS at a cost of $61,008.65 for 32 units.

--Approved the facilities use request of Kim and Marcus Moore, of Texarkana, for a May 21 event in the Yerger gymnasium.

--Tabled consideration of adoption of policy updates.