Central High 9th Grader to Compete at  GENIUS Olympiad 

Pollution. Overcrowding. Global Warming. Environmental deterioration is knocking at the door of millions of people world-wide. While many ignore the knock, Little Rock Central High Ninth Grader Meghana Bollimpalli is among the high school students from around the world answering the call for change at the GENIUS Olympiad. As a result of her work, she has been named a finalist among thousands of applicants and will compete at the GENIUS Olympiad beginning June 13, 2016.
 

LRCH's Williams & Woods Finish Second, Make History

After unprecedented success since September, Little Rock Central senior debaters Darrin Williams and Payton Woods have again made history. Williams and Woods placed second to Highland Park (MN) Bannister and Dill at the 2016 Tournament of Champions (TOC). Payton Woods snagged the coveted Top Speaker award in a field of 160 individual speakers. Williams placed 17th in this highly competitive field.

They are the first African American team to compete in the final round of the TOC in the tournament's 45-year history. Woods is only the third African American to win Top Speaker. They are the first team in Arkansas history to have ever competed in the elimination rounds of the TOC, and only the third Arkansas team to ever compete at the tournament.

Williams and Woods descended on Lexington, KY this weekend with one goal: to make it to the final round. The Tournament of Champions (TOC) has for many decades been the most prestigious national championship in the country for high school debate. Long considered the Kentucky Derby of policy debate, the TOC draws the most elite competition from around the country, where competitors must first survive the rigors of qualifying to the tournament throughout the season. Williams and Woods finished with a 5-2 record in prelims, securing themselves a spot in the Octafinal Round (top 16 teams), defeating Hendrickson WW on a 3-0 decision. Their Quarterfinal matchup was Rowland Hall GL, the second seed in the tournament and a favorite to win the TOC. After a hard-fought debate, Williams and Woods emerged victorious to face Peninsula TW in the Semifinal Round. After an hour of deliberation, Williams and Woods were announced as the team advancing to the Final Round of the TOC.

LRSD Continues to Provide Power Snacks

Supper meals, better known in Little Rock Schools as  “Power Snacks" are still being offered at the school sites listed below immediately after school.  The At Risk After School Meal Program is offered to anyone who is 18 years of age or younger.  This program is sponsored by the USDA, and administered by the Department of Human Service’s At Risk After School Programs.  Each program is open to the public and meal service is offered immediately after school in each cafeteria.  For group participation, please call the LRSD’s Child Nutrition Department at (501) 447-2450.  Participants who are not enrolled in Little Rock School District must enter the facility through the principal’s office.  Menus for the At Risk Program are posted on the Child Nutrition website of LRSD.

Otter Creek Educator Named LRSD Teacher of the Year

          
                                               Emma Mateo, 2016 LRSD Teacher of the Year

Special Education Teacher Emma Mateo, Otter Creek Elementary, was named  2016 Marian G. Lacey Educator of the Year for the Little Rock School District during the annual Crystal Awards Gala Monday night at the Statehouse Convention Center, attended by nearly 700 guests.  Level winners for 2016 include:  April Rike, Williams Magnet Elementary School; Yvonne Bolden, Horace Mann Magnet Middle School; and Wanda Keith, McClellan High School.  These outstanding educators along with another 63 school-level winners were honored Monday night.   

These teachers, deemed the best of the best,  were selected by their peers to represent their schools at the campus level.  Level winners, representing elementary, middle and high school teachers, completed a rigorous application process and were ultimately chosen by a panel of judges.  The overall LRSD Teacher of the Year is named from among this group, earning the prestigious Marian G. Lacey Educator of the Year Award.

(In photos to the left, April Rike, Elementary Teacher of the Year and Wanda Keith, High School Teacher of the Year - above, and Yvonne Bolden, Middle School Teacher of the Year - below)

As the overall LRSD Teacher of the Year, Mateo will now have the opportunity to compete at the state level.  In the past two years, the LRSD Teacher of the Year has been selected as a regional Teacher of the Year finalist.

LRSD Boasts Two of Three 2016 Dell Scholars Named in Arkansas

A proverb says that good luck doesn’t come in pairs, but don't tell that to two lucky LRSD Dell Scholars, named this year. 

Senior Erica Braswell is Hall High AVID’s first Dell Scholarship recipient!  Natalie Amos, McClellan High School, is the district’s second recipient. Amazingly, these young ladies are two of only three 2016 Dell recipients in the entire state.

As Dell Scholars, they will each receive a scholarship of $5,000 per year for four years, a Dell laptop, and a Dell mentor.  Braswell will be attending Baylor University in the fall, while Amos plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas. 

Ladies, your LRSD family is extremely proud of you!

Parkview's Youngest Graduate Tapped as One of Two LRSD Gates Millennium Scholars for 2016

Contributed by Judith Murray, Parkview Arts/Sciences Journalism Instructor

 

Isha Horton, 16, daughter of Isha Jones and Frank Horton, of North Little Rock, found out in April that she hit the scholarship jackpot.

Chosen from a pool of 53,000 applicants, Horton beat the odds and was chosen as a Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient. The scholarship is not a specific amount, instead, it pays tuition, books and living expenses from her bachelor’s degree all the way through doctoral studies. Horton plans to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, then move to another college for her post graduate work.

Horton said she was accepted to Harvard, but her parents want her to stay closer to home so she can “grow more” before she goes out into the world.

Horton is Parkview’s youngest graduate, because she skipped both second and 11th grades in school.

” I was ecstatic when I found out that out of 53,000 applicants, I was chosen as a scholar. This scholarship is a life-changing blessing, because I will never have to worry about funding my education. I believe in lifelong learning, and after I complete my doctorate in Computer Science, I will likely venture into another field. I am truly appreciative of all of the adults that helped me get to this point and I will continue to value education and work to improve my community,” Horton said.

Michael Poore Will Succeed Baker Kurrus as LRSD Superintendent in July

Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key announced today that Michael Poore has been named the Little Rock School District superintendent
effective July 1. 

Poore is currently the superintendent of the Bentonville School District, a position he has held since June 2011.  He will succeed current Superintendent Baker Kurrus, whose contract expires at the end of June.

“A year ago Baker Kurrus was willing to take on an enormous task, and what he has accomplished since taking the reins last May has set a solid foundation for the future,” Key said. “He has restored trust, empowered educators, and improved communication and accountability. Under Baker’s leadership there has been a renewed focus on teaching and learning. He has led the district in preparing for the future in the areas of facilities and finances. He was the right person to lead LRSD during a critical time of uncertainty. Michael Poore is a strong instructional leader who will build on the foundation that Baker has established. As an administrator, Mike has developed initiatives through which educators, administrators and communities have worked collaboratively to impact student achievement. He is the right person to lead LRSD in the next steps toward achieving academic excellence throughout the district.”

LRSD 2016 Sr. High Credit Recovery Opportunities Announced

2016 Senior High Credit Recovery Location (Grades 9-12)

Credit recovery programs for students in grades 9 through 11 will be offered at each high school.
Hamilton high school students will attend at their school of origin.
Students in 12th grade who need one-half to one unit of credit to graduate will attend the ACC program at Metropolitan Career & Technical Center, 7701 Scott Hamilton.

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