Dickinson named to board seat
Dickinson named to board seat
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – Kathryn Dickinson, a long-time Hope Public Schools educator and principal, was named by the Hope Public School District Board here Oct. 16 to represent HPS Zone 6 on the board.

Dickinson succeeds her late husband, Denver L. “Denny” Dickinson, who succumbed in August. Mr. Dickinson had served as a director of the HPS for 15 years since September, 2002.

Mrs. Dickinson, of Guernsey, was selected to complete the unexpired term of her husband, which will conclude in May. She will be eligible to seek re-election should she desire to serve further.

Mrs. Dickinson served the HPS for 37 years, beginning as a school secretary at the former Brookwood Elementary School prior to obtaining her teaching degree and licensure. She taught first grade at the former Edith Brown Elementary School and Clinton Primary School for 20 years before becoming assistant principal at CPS for 13 years.

Mrs. Dickinson retired from the HPS in 2008.

“We are excited to have Mrs. Dickinson join our board,” HPS Superintendent Bobby Hart said. “She brings a great deal of passion and concern for HPS. The board was fortunate to have four quality individuals to choose from, and I and the board want to thank them for their willingness to serve.”

Four candidates submitted letters of interest to the board concerning the post, including Dickinson, John Trauger, Sylvia Brown, and Ira Love.

“To those who applied, I’d like to say, thank you,” Board President Willie Buck said.

Dickinson will be seated at the November board meeting.

The board also reorganized after conducting its September elections, with Buck named as board president, Jesus Coronado as vice president, Linda Haynes as secretary and Viney Johnson as financial designee.

Also Monday, the board received a snapshot of the academic culture and climate on the five campuses of the HPSD from Hope High School Principal Bill Hoglund, Beryl Henry Elementary School Principal Dr. Roy Turner, Yerger Middle School Principal Josclyn Wiley, Hope Academy of Public Service Principal Dr. Carol Ann Duke and Clinton Primary School Principal Ashlea Stewart.

Hoglund said HHS administration and faculty have been working to build data trends concerning student behavior, improve campus security, expand parental involvement, and develop stronger faculty relationships.

Progress has been achieved through the use of the “Kickboard” student behavior application which is a points toward rewards based model, Hoglund said. New security at HHS has also reduced tardiness to class, and standardized routines to begin each class has produced consistency in getting into daily lessons, he said.

Dr. Turner told the board that BHE was a nomination finalist in the national Blue Ribbon Schools program, and missed winning the award by 1.9 points. He attributed much of the progress to the use of Kickboard, improved campus security and a higher parent participation in education driven by student involvement in parent night activities.

“We want to make sure that we aim high,” Turner said.

On the Yerger campus, Wiley said the Noble Impact program has begun to show results in student leadership that has also affected student behavior and academic focus. Some of that success was the result of professional development among teachers during the summer, she said.

“We spent a lot of time talking about the ‘why’ we do what we do,” Wiley said.

Duke said the public service program at HAPS is part of the student culture on the campus after one year of operation. She said a second graduate student team from the William Jefferson Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock has begun its year-long program to implement the public service curriculum for HAPS written by last year’s team.

HAPS students have participated in public service projects at the Hempstead County Health Expo, in conjunction with the Hempstead County Farm Bureau, and have led the student organization of the Bobcats Helping Bobcats donation drive for Hurricane Harvey victims in Refugio, Texas.

Stewart said the CPS campus culture has benefitted from a re-established parental involvement center and a growing Parent-Teacher Organization.

All of that progress reflects a more general progress across the district academically, HPS School Improvement Specialist Carla Narlesky told the board.

“The focus has shifted,” Narlesky said concerning the Arkansas Department of Education oversight of academics at HHS and BHE.

“We’re very excited about the progress we’re making,” she said.

Narlesky said the use of data driven approaches on both campuses has impressed the ADE.

“I’ve been very proud of the them in the work they’ve done,” she said.

The board also agreed Monday night to issue a “request for proposals” to contract for custodial maintenance services.

Superintendent Bobby Hart told the board that the district spent about $843,000 last year for custodial services, some $620,000 of which was for personnel. Hart said the RFP is written to protect custodial maintenance employees by requiring any contractor to hire from the HPS staff first at their current pay rates.

“If we’re not satisfied with the bids, we don’t have to take them,” Hart said.

In other actions Monday, the board:

--Learned that enrollment for the fall semester is at 2,380 students, up from 2,288.

--Accepted the bid of Progressive Technologies of Memphis, Tenn., for the installation of security entry at YMS, HAPS, and the HPSD administrative offices at a total cost of $90,760.

--Accepted the bid of Cummins Sales and Service of Texarkana for replacement of a bus engine at a cost of $19,553.

--Endorsed the job description for a “dean of students” at YMS.

--Endorsed the district’s equity compliance report.

--Endorsed the application of Act 1120 concerning annual reporting of salary impacts.

--Adopted a governance policy for board elections into the district policy manual.

--Endorsed the mission and vision statement for the proposed Hope Collegiate and Professions Academy at the University of Arkansas-Hope.

--Appointed Buck as district Arkansas School Boards Association delegate.

--Set the November board meeting for Nov. 14 at 5:30 p.m.