HOPE – Portia Jones, currently the curriculum coordinator for the Hope Public Schools, was named assistant superintendent for federal programs and equity by the HPS Board here Thursday.
Meeting in a called session to name the successor to Ira Love in the assistant superintendent’s post, the board voted unanimously to promote Jones.
Superintendent Bobby Hart recommended Jones for the position.
She makes the transition after serving as district curriculum coordinator since June, 2015, when she came to the HPS after four years as schools and academic improvement supervisor for the Prescott School District.
A graduate of Emerson High School, Jones took both Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Science in Education degrees from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. She has also completed post-master’s study in Elementary Education and Teaching, Reading Specialist, and Curriculum/Instruction at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
Love, who will retire from the district at the end of the month, is a native of Hope and an alumni of Yerger High School and graduate of Hope High School. He holds baccalaureate and master’s degrees from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, and has been employed by the district for 37 years.
Love taught social studies at Hope High School prior to becoming assistant principal at HHS. He has been assistant superintendent for federal programs and equity for 20 years.
The board also named Rose Adetunji as teacher of the Save the Children program at Clinton Primary School.
In other actions Thursday, the board accepted bids for the remodeling of lunchrooms on the Yerger Middle School and Hope Academy of Public Service campuses.
Plans call for the conversion of both lunchrooms to a “bistro” format with a less institutional look through the use of restaurant-style furnishings such as booths and free-standing tables. The concept was used two years ago to remodel the Hope High School cafeteria and implement a new lunch format with more options for students.
District Nutrition Director Deanna Gilbert said the conversions will require six weeks to complete based upon furniture deliveries. Painting both lunchrooms will begin immediately.
Hart said funding for the two projects will come from the district’s child nutrition budget.
Krebs Brothers Restaurant Supplies, of North Little Rock, was the low bidder for the YMS conversion at a total cost of $96,925.20. The YMS project is the larger of the two, and is intended to update the campus cafeteria, according to Gilbert.
Fort Smith Restaurant Supplies was the low bidder for the HAPS project at a cost of $80,288.42. The HAPS remodel is intended to modify the current facility to accommodate an older student body, where it was originally used for a pre-school age program.
Campus appropriate signage and wall decoration will also be included in each project, according to the bid packages.