Back-to-Back State Tennis Champions!

Hall High School Tennis Players Ashley Gray, senior, and Caroline Gibbens,  sophomore, were selected as Student Athletes of the Month for November after winning the 6A State Championship Doubles match. This is a back-to-back championship win for Ashley Gray, who also won last year's top spot with Jasmine Brown (class of 2015) as her partner. Their performance in the tournament also secured the 6A Runner Up slot for the team.

LRCH Debaters Make Arkansas Debate History

Little Rock Central High Seniors DJ Williams and Payton Woods made Arkansas Debate history this weekend when they became the first team in the nation to fully bid to the National Tournament of Champions (TOC) in Lexington, Kentucky by finishing as Semifinalists in the prestigious Grapevine Classic TOC Qualifying Tournament. The National TOC uses a bid system, much like those used in sports tournaments, in which placing high enough in select, national or regional tournaments earns debaters a bid, with at least 2 bids needed to compete.

Williams and Woods advanced to elimination rounds with a perfect 5-0 record and as the top seed against some of the best teams from across the nation.  Woods was awarded Top Speaker in the tournament, with Williams just behind him as Second Speaker. They have also been invited to compete at the University of Michigan Round Robin in October— only eight teams in the nation are extended this invitation.

LRCH Debaters DJ Williams & Payton Woods Secure Bid to Tournament of Champions!

LRCH Debate had a very BIG weekend at the Wake Forest National Early Bird Debate Tournament in Winston Salem, NC.
DJ Williams and Payton Woods advanced with a 4-2 win-loss record to Double-Octofinals (top 32 teams out of 112 in attendance), defeating Niles West (Chicago, IL), and moving on to Octofinals (top 16), defeating nationally-ranked Leucadia (California) and securing a bid to the National Tournament of Champions!  DJ and Payton went on to face Iowa City in Quarterfinals, defeating them on an impressive 3-0 ballot decision. They finished their tournament run as Semifinalists, losing to nationally-ranked Westminster in a hard fought debate on a 2-1 split decision.

Parkview Drama Teacher Selected as AR Teacher of the Year Regional Finalist

Spencer Sutterfield, Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School, is one of the 15 exceptional teachers selected as 2016 Arkansas Teacher of the Year Regional Finalists. Sutterfield teaches Drama and Theater Arts to 11th and 12th grade students.

“To be selected as a regional finalist is an honor,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key said. “These outstanding teachers have set the standard of excellence for their schools, districts and the state. I commend them for their dedication, commitment and hard work.”

Two LRSD Teachers Named Presidential Award State Finalists

Two of the eight Arkansas teachers recently selected as state finalists for the 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, are from the Little Rock School District. Congratulations to Central Science Teacher Mary Parson and Parkview Math Teacher Dennis Show.

Top LRSD Teachers from Six LRSD Schools Attend Prestigious Teachers Academy

Teachers from Baseline Academy, Forest Heights STEM Academy (FHSA), Forest Park, Fulbright, Otter Creek and Rockefeller elementary schools recently attended the 2015 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in Pittsburg, PA for a rigorous week of professional learning in science and mathematics. These teachers were among 140 teachers selected nationwide to attend one of three summer academies. Significantly, LRSD's own Gene Williams, FHSA, is considered an expert in the field and served as an instructor during one week of the academy. Participating in this academy is an honor and it enhances our teachers STEM knowledge to bring back to their buildings and classrooms. Teachers also received memberships to the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) Learning Center as well as a membership to NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics).

Plus, Otter Creek Principal Donna Hall won a scholarship for an additional 20 memberships to the NSTA Learning Center for her staff at Otter Creek.

The following teachers and administrator attended the 2015 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy:

Jazz Combo Jiving into the Community

The McClellan High School jazz band is back in full swing, performing at venues throughout the city, thanks to the efforts of a new director of bands, Jose Holloway. Holloway has put the Jazz Combo into drive with about ten members who, through hard work and practice, have become quite the polished ensemble. Earlier this month, the combo performed for over fifty residents and the staff members of Sandalwood Health Care.

“This community service event was a great experience for the students,” said Holloway. “It allowed them to share their talents with the community.”

A resident approached Holloway during the performance and mentioned that she had previously seen McClellan’s jazz band on THV-11. She said she “prayed for an opportunity to hear the jazz band,” and fighting back tears, thanked the director and ensemble for what she referred to as a gratifying experience.

Holloway says the young musicians plan to perform more for the community and at local jazz restaurants while raising funds for McClellan High’s band program.

Frau Case Wins Prestigious German Teaching Award


Gibbs Magnet School German foreign language teacher Sara Case has been named the 2015 winner of the prestigious Duden Award for Arkansas for her excellence in teaching German.  The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) gives the Duden Award annually to a teacher in each state K-16! The Duden Award recognizes excellence in teaching and outstanding contributions to the German teaching profession. The announcement of Frau Case’s selection came at the spring meeting of the AATG, Friedrich Gerstäcker Chapter, in Fayetteville last weekend. Frau Case has taught German at Gibbs since August 2001. Teaching German to young children is her “dream” job.

Founded in 1926, the AATG is the only national organization representing German teachers at all levels of instruction. The AATG is dedicated to the advancement and improvement of the teaching of language, literature and culture of the German-speaking countries.  The Duden Publishing Company is the largest German language publisher of dictionaries and other instructional materials.

Photo: Frau Case, center, with 5th Grade German Class

Parkview Drama Teacher Spencer Sutterfield Honored as LRSD’s Top Educator

The Little Rock School District honored its best and brightest teachers with the annual Crystal Awards Gala Monday night at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School Teacher Spencer Sutterfield was named Little Rock School District Teacher of the Year for 2015, earning the coveted Marian G. Lacey Educator Award, the district’s highest recognition. Sutterfield was also awarded a $1000 cash prize, a gift bag from Knowledge tree that included a $100 gift certificate and will receive a Dell Venue Pro that can be used as a tablet or a laptop.

Teachers representing every campus in the district were recognized during the gala. Level winners were also named and included High School Teacher of the Year Summer Vaught, Central High School, Middle School Teacher of the Year, Michelle Vire, Pulaski Heights Middle School, and Elementary School Teacher of the Year, Nathalie Massenelli. Level winners took home $500 each in cash prizes, Dell Chromebooks and gift bags from Knowledge Tree including $50 gift certificates.

Dunbar Spanish Students Bring Home 16 Medals!

Congratulations are in order for Dunbar Magnet Middle School world language students who attained national recognition for their excellent performance on the 2015 National Spanish Examinations.

Students from Dunbar Magnet Middle School earned a 11 gold, four silver and one bronze medals. “Attaining a medal for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious,” said Kevin Cessna-Buscemi, National Director of the Exams, “because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States with over 157,000 students participating in 2015.”

Students from Dunbar Magnet Middle School have a long history of high achievement on these exams and were taught by Spanish teacher Robin Kratzke.

PHMS 6th Graders Heading to History Day Nationals

On Saturday, April 18, 2015 Pulaski Heights Middle School 6th graders Ainsley Anderson, Samuel Lu, and Aaron Tran earned the honor of representing the Little Rock School District and the state of Arkansas at the National History Day competition to be held June 13-18 at the University of Maryland.   They placed second in the junior group website division at Saturday's state competition.  They worked tirelessly throughout the 1st semester with their GT Seminar teacher, Ms. Lisa Lewis, on researching their topic for the theme “Leadership and Legacy in History”. Their selected topic was “First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt: U.N. Delegate, Leader for Human Rights, and Leaving a Legacy for Future Women to Follow.” Way to go, Panthers!

Rockefeller Students Shine at 2015 AAIM Festival

Rockefeller students represented LRSD well at the 2015 Arkansas Association of Instructional Media Student Media Festival on Saturday, April 25, 2015. AAIM is dedicated to the improvement of education through the use of technology and media. The student media festival recognizes original works by students across the state.

Instructional Technology Specialist Shantail Miller and Library Media Specialist Neitasha Tims teamed up to facilitate learning that lead to numerous award winning multimedia projects; reinforcing learning throughout all subject areas. Rockefeller students won 12 awards ranging from 1st to 3rd place.

K-3 Division
Computer Generated Image
1st Place
Gia Mattox-Bourdeaux, “Sunny Day”

2nd Place
Jamesha Hubbard, “Surprise for Mrs. Miller”

Interactive Multimedia Projects
3rd Place
Jacqueline Broadway and Collin Cunningham, “The Four Seasons”

4th – 5th Grade Division
Black and White Photograph- edited
1st Place
Sharvarri Faulkner, LaNiya Thompson and Treyauna Sanders, “Ms. LaNiya”

2nd Place
Harlem Taylor and Robyn Allison, “Harlem Selfie”

Book Trailer
1st Place
Robyn Allison and Treyauna Sanders, “Liberty Porter”

2nd Place
Treyauna Sanders, “The Birthday Storm”

Live Action Video
1st Place
Harlem Taylor, Kaylin Jeffries, Carson Backus, Jayden Armstrong, Marcus Blue, Jesiyah Handy, Brooklyn Welch, Kishaun Pitts, Lyric Anderson, and Jacovee Brown
“Stand Up to Cyberbullying”

2nd Place
Shavarri Faulkner, Harlem Taylor, Kaylin Jeffries, Kyla Gatlin, and Treyauna Sanders
“Wrangler News”

3rd Place
Jaelon Watson, Lyric Washington, Rakayh Muldrow, Treyauna Sander, Harlem Taylor, Robyn Allison and LaNiyah Thompson

Parkview Blue Team Captures 2015 Arkansas Mock Trial Championships

The Parkview Blue Team, debate students from Parkview Arts/ Science Magnet High School, captured the Arkansas Bar Association’s 2015 Arkansas Mock Trial Championships in Little Rock March 7th,   with preliminary wins over Batesville, eStem Academy, and Springdale High School. They won a rematch with eStem in the semi-finals.  The Parkview Red Team got preliminary wins over Greenwood, Springdale, and Catholic High School for Boys and went on to defeat Springdale Har-Ber High School in the semi-finals.  This set up a championship round between Parkview Blue and Parkview Red.  The Blue Team got a very narrow decision and will represent Arkansas in the 2015 National High School Mock Trial Championships, May 13-17 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The teams are coached by teacher/coach, Pat Treadway assisted by Leslie Greer and Eric Weed. Parkview alumnus, Jeremy Lasiter of the ADE serves as attorney/coach.

7 LRSD Destination Imagination Teams Going Global

Seven LRSD Destination Imagination (DI) teams are headed to the Global Finals, May 20-23, 2015, after strong finishes at regional and state competitions.

Two schools, Carver Magnet Elementary School and Dunbar Magnet Middle School, are sending two teams to the world’s largest celebration of creativity where more than 8,000 of the world’s most innovative minds compete in teams to showcase their talents. Other schools with teams headed to Globals are: Booker Magnet Elementary, Gibbs Magnet Elementary and Pulaski Heights Middle School.

Dunbar Destination Imagination (DI) Teams Dominate!

After several months of hard work and planning, four Dunbar Destination Imagination Teams competed in the North Regional for DI in Greenbrier, Arkansas on Saturday, February 21st.  The four teams competed in four different unique challenges but the result was the same, FOUR FIRST PLACE FINISHES. Now it is on to State competition on March 14th in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and for top finishers, a chance to go to Globals in Knoxville, Tennessee in May.

Get out the big broom because Dunbar has swept up all the gold medals and blue ribbons!  Congratulations to the four teams, their parents, the teacher volunteer coaches, and judges.

“Lose to Win” structure challenge team: Peter Mouw, Devin Musselwhite-Branch, Tyler Buchanan, Saul Conception Jr., and Jason DeBoer. Team Managers: Mrs. Christine Mouw, and Mr. Greg Halford

“Creature Feature” challenge team: John Swaim, Gabe Huggins, Jackson Turner and Andrew Nelms (Mann). Team managers: Mrs. Anna Swaim

“Brand Aid-Community Outreach” challenge team: Diamond Shavers, Ellie Beam, Adam Mann, Jay Henry, Ava Horton (Mann), and Dorothy Johnson (Mann). Team Managers: Mrs. Kristin Mann, Mrs. Henry, and Mr. David Mann

“Soundwaves” challenge team: Aaron Beam, Clara Voth, Morgan Hibbard, Beckett O’brien, Milo Thompson, and Sam Triplett. Team Managers: Mrs. Stacy O’brien, Mrs. Jenifer Triplett


Worthie Springer Named February Athlete of the Month


Worthie Springer, a junior at Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, was named Athlete of the Month for outstanding achievement on the Parkview Magnet High School Swim Team at this month's Citation Program on February 26, 2015. His plans for the future include training  for Paralympic Games as a swimmer.  He is also a member of the Parkview Debate Team and attended the International Empire Mock Trials in San Francisco. This past summer he worked with the Jump Start program and was placed at the Peter Miller Law Firm. He has been admitted to the Harvard Summer School Program this June.

Plus, Worthie is a well known inspirational speaker. He has been delivering inspirational messages since the age of 12. You may have heard one of his one-minute messages on Power 92 or Praise 102. His goal as an  speaker is to inspire others to eliminate the word "can't." 

LRSD Teacher Named 2014-2015 Milken Educator

Carman McBride was in for a major surprise this morning – a surprise worth $25,000 and the honor of being named one of the best teachers in the country.

An Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) facilitator for grades three through five at Don R. Roberts Elementary School in the Little Rock School District, McBride was named a 2014-2015 Milken Educator at a surprise event today. As a Milken Educator, McBride receives a $25,000 check from the Milken Family Foundation.

"The biggest key to a good education is a dedicated teacher," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. "The right teacher makes a difference in a student’s life every day, long after that student has left the classroom. If you’ve been blessed with a great teacher, and I have, you never forget them. I know that our honoree today will be remembered most by the folks who matter most to her — her students."

“Ms. McBride is honored for her dedication and passion for teaching,” said Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Tony Wood. “From high student test scores to community projects, Ms. McBride’s achievements are outstanding. She approaches each day with a commitment to ensuring all of her students receive a quality education and positively impact their school and community.”

Prior to serving as an EAST facilitator, McBride was a fourth-grade teacher at Don Roberts from 2010 to 2013. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, a Pathwise-trained mentor and was named the school’s 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year.

Before joining the staff at Don Roberts, McBride was a fourth-grade teacher at College Hill Elementary School in Texarkana for two years, where she was certified in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.

She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Texas A&M University in Texarkana, Texas, in December 2007 and is currently working on a Master of Education at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.

“We are proud to join the Milken Foundation in honoring the exceptional work of Don Roberts Elementary School Teacher Carman McBride,” said Little Rock School District Interim Superintendent Dr. Dexter Suggs, a 2007 Milken Educator. “Ms. McBride represents the caliber of educator we all want our children to encounter. She works tirelessly to not only challenge her students, but to inspire them to perform at the highest level. We are fortunate to have her as a member of the LRSD family and wish Ms. McBride continued success.”

Congratulations LRCHS Science & Humanities Fair Winners

Nearly 400 science and humanities exhibits were judged on Friday, February 6 by 65 members of the community. Click here to see the full list of winners.

Photo: Rafael Estrella, 9th grade, senior division winner in Mathematical Sciences category.

Exhibits will be open to the public on Saturday, February 7, 2015 from noon - 4 p.m.

The Awards Ceremony will be on Monday, February 9.

LRSD Boasts a Historic Number of Presidential Scholars Program Candidates

The Little Rock School District is proud to announce that 13 of its students have been named candidates for the prestigious 2015 United States Presidential Scholars Program. This is perhaps the largest group of candidates that Little Rock Central High School has ever had and can be confirmed as the largest group within the last 20 years. It is far and above the largest group in the state of Arkansas and may, in fact, be among the largest groups from a single school in the entire recognition program this year. Our search revealed only 11 schools in the U.S. with more candidates. The second largest group of candidates in the state, four, can be found at two Arkansas high schools.

The 13 candidates, selected for their accomplishments in academic success, leadership and involvement in the community, are:

Trisha Bhattacharya
Chen-Bo Fang
Sherry T. Gao
Sarthak Garg
Clark M. Kennedy
Rachana Kombathulsa
Ray Li
Jace J. McPhershon
Matthew Ponder
Shruti M. Shah
Chandler J. Smith
Chuang Z. Tang
Jeong-Min Wui

Ultimately, one male and one female from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will be selected. In 2014, both of Presidential Scholars for the state of Arkansas were Central High students: Abhilasha Gokulan and Alexander Zhang.

Parkview Delivers Alzheimer’s Poetry Project to VA Hospital

Nine members of Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School’s creative writing class made the lives of about 15 elderly veterans just a little easier recently when they visited the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in North Little Rock and brought the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project with them to liven up their day.