HOPE – The five inaugural honorees to be inducted into the Hope Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame here Friday night represent educational service spanning more than a century, and providing diverse educational opportunities which have been a hallmark of the Hope Public Schools.
Troy W. Buck, Earl Downs, Will V. Rutherford, Mary Nell Turner and Henry Clay Yerger gave some 150 years of combined service to the history of public education in Hope and Hempstead County.
Buck guided the vocational-agriculture program at Hope High School for some 21 years, while Downs, also significantly influential in the vocational-agriculture program, established the counseling office at HHS during 32 years of service.
Rutherford guided important transitions of the original Shover Street School established by Yerger and brought the school into the Hope Public Schools from its days as Yerger High School in a career that spanned 20 years as principal of the school.
Mrs. Turner established an award-winning journalism program at HHS and mentored countless HHS students during her 28 years in the classroom.
And, Yerger pioneered Black education in Arkansas with the establishment of the Shover Street School in 1886, serving it and educational progress in Hope for 50 years.
The five educators will be honored, first, with a public reception Friday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at Hempstead Hall on the University of Arkansas-Hope campus. The public is encouraged to attend.
Induction ceremonies for the five honorees will be held at 7:10 p.m. on the 50-yard line at Hammons Stadium on the HHS campus prior to the Hope-Nashville football game.
The events Friday mark part of the Hope Public Schools’ participation in the Hempstead County Bicentennial year, which concludes in December.