Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Washington University of St. Louis and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville Among Top College Choices for LRSD Graduates at 2014 Academic Signing Day     

Ninety-five students from the Little Rock School District's Class of 2014 were honored at the tenth annual Academic Signing Day on Monday, May 19


Abhilasha Gokulan

Dartmouth College

Abrar Matin

University of Southern California

Akiko Kyong-McClain

Temple University

Alden Walters


Alena Higgins

University of California Santa Barbara

Alexander "Alex" Shannon

Centenary College of Louisana

Alexander Parr


Alexander Zhang


Alexandra Honeycutt


Allison Light


Ankita Das


Anne Schexnayder


Ashley Finney


Astha Mittal


Attrice Meeks


Audrey Bauman


Avinash Arulmurugu

Boston University

Ayesha Patel


Briana Jones


Callah Mitchell


Chloe' Robinson

University of Memphis

Christian Coletti

Oklahoma State University

Christyal Holloway

Arkansas State University


Rice University

Claudia Vargas

Pulaski Tech College

Darielle Brown


Darius Ford

Washington University of St. Louis

Darryonna Armstrong


Deborah Rookey

Washington University of St. Louis

Destinee Boddie

Rhodes College

Elizabeth Palmer

University of Washington at Seattle

Emily Claire Mackey

Wake Forest University

Emma Gaither


Eric Gasby


Errick Jackson

Harvey Mudd College

Esther Park

University of Penn

Evan Yi

Davidson College

Evan Young


Farhan Kawsar

Rice University

Gabrielle Miller


Garrett Bethel


Georgia Gazette


Hannah Bullard

Barnard College

Hannah Tackett


Irish Pelayo

Pulaski Tech College

Jackson Weaver


Jacob Oldham


James Joseph Abraham


James Burrow


James Hill

Rice University

Joseph Hwang

Georgetown University

Jourdan Lee

Tulane University

Justin Guyton

Washington University of St. Louis

Kaitlyn Perreault

Boston University

Katherine Knight

Texas Christian University

Kennedy Green


Kiran Chakka

New York University

Kristen Eldridge


Leila Kerr

Baylor University

Lela-Tamara Fluker

Lyon College


Pulaski Tech College

Lindsey Graefen

Anderson University

Mackenzie Bodie


Manuel Alvarez Romero


Melinda Lue

Pomona College

Nasasha Worthy

Arkansas Tech

Natalie Doris


Natasha Thompson

University of Southern California

Nathan Harkey

Harding University

Nathanael Ji


Rachel Haislip

UCA Honors College

Rong Ding

St. Lous College of Pharmacy

Ross Regan

University of South Carolina

Ryan Wass

U of A at Fayetteville

Sarah Alexander

University of Georgia

Sarah Dodd

Harding University

Sarah Greenbaum

Rhodes College

Sarah Halford


Siddharth Jambhekar

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sonya Mehta

Case Western Reserve University

Stephanie Menhart

University of California San Diego

Sydney Alman

Northwestern University

Taurean Brown

Pomona College

Tiraneka Broadway


Tylon Jackson


Victoria Linn Spradley


Walter Bass

University of Virginia at Charlottesville

Will Richardson


William Mitchell

Rhodes College

William Nicholson

Columbia College in Chicago

Wyatt Williams


Xavier Wills


Yulia Batalina


Yuxiu (Katherine) Wang

Hendrix College


Sophomore from Central Chosen as Finalist in GENIUS Olympidad

Anirudh Pidugu, a sophomore at Little Rock Central, qualified as a finalist of the GENIUS Olympiad from Arkansas. GENIUS Olympiad is an international high school project competition about environmental issues. It is founded and organized by the Terra Science and Education and hosted by the State University of New York at Oswego. Anirudh submitted his project under the title of “NON PRECIOUS METAL CATALYSTS AS FUEL CATHODES IN OXYGEN REDUCTION REACTIONS.” He received various awards such as first place Energy and Transportation at the Central Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair; fifth place overall at the regional competition and honorable mention at the Arkansas Science Fair. His paper was selected by the Arkansas Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) as one of the top 12 papers in the state. On top of all of this, Anirudh was a speaker at the Arkansas JSHS event. Anirudh has the opportunity of a lifetime to join 328 other students from around the world at the 2014 Genius Olympiad. 

Don Roberts Elementary Teacher 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.  Don Roberts Elementary School Teacher Steven Helmick was named Little Rock School District Teacher of the Year for 2014, earning the coveted Marian G. Lacey Educator Award, the district's highest recognition.  Helmick was also awarded a $1,000 cash prize, a Dell Latitude 3340 laptop and gift bag from Knowledge Tree.


Teachers representing every campus in the district were recognized during the gala.  Level winners were also named and included Bernestine Rhodes, Hall - High School Teacher of the Year; Sharon Dallimore, Pulaski Heights  - Middle School Teacher of the Year; and Vanessa Hendrix, King - Elementary School Teacher of the Year.  Level winners took home $500 each in cash prizes, Dell tablets and gift bags from Knowledge Tree. 


The task of providing a strong foundation upon which all other learning first falls on the shoulders of an elementary teacher.  From greeting frightened kindergartners on the first day of school to sending confident 5th graders on to middle school, the building blocks of learning are formed in these teachers' classrooms.  Middle school and high school teachers continue to impact students' lives helping to get them ready to successfully navigate college and/or career, ultimately preparing them to be productive, engaged citizens.


LRSD proudly salutes all of its teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. 

McClellan Student Wins Prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship

McClellan Senior Darryonna Armstrong was recently named one of 1,000 national winners of the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship. Armstrong was chosen because of her strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and overall academic achievement.

The Gates Millennium Scholarship is awarded each year to 1,000 high school seniors who successfully complete the rigorous application process, which includes a series of essays and certain economic stipulations. This year over 52,000 students from across the nation applied for the Gates Millennium Scholarship.

As a Gates Millennium Scholar, Armstrong is able to attend any accredited college or university in the United States. The scholarship is renewable each year based on the stringent Gates Millennium Scholarship program guidelines. Armstrong plans to attend the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in the fall.

For the Second Time This School Year— Another LRSD Student Makes Perfect ACT Score

Chandler Smith, son of Horace and Jennifer Smith, a junior at Little Rock Central High School, earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test. Nationally, while the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, on average, less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT earns the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2013, only 1,162 of 1.8 million students earned a composite score of 36.


“It is no surprise to us that Chandler Smith made a 36 on the ACT; we know him to be a very driven student. What his perfect score doesn’t reflect is his amiable personality. His teachers describe him as a wonderful person and a joy to have in class,” said Little Rock Central High Principal Nancy Rousseau.


Smith began attending LRSD at age 3 as a student in the Rockefeller Early Childhood Education Program. He then attended Dunbar Middle School, where he was captain of the Quiz Bowl Team. When he was a sophomore he scored a 35 on the ACT. He is currently on the Quiz Bowl at Central High.


You may recall Parkview's Debra Rookey also scored a 36 on the ACT in the fall semester. 


The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student's composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take ACT's optional Writing Test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.


In a letter recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT CEO Jon Whitmore said, "While test scores are just one of the many criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals."


All major U.S. colleges accept ACT test scores, and exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.



Top LRSD Science Teacher Among Four Honored With DuPont Scholarship

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and DuPont Public Affairs Manager,  Mary Kate Campbell, recognized  Parkview Science Department Chairman Mr. Leslie Williams and three (3)  other Little Rock Science Educators as DuPont Office of Education Scholarship Recipients.  Scholarship recipients received trips to the National Science Teachers Conference in Boston, Massachusetts in April, 2014.


Williams is Chairman of the Science Department and a highly regarded science educator from Little Rock Parkview High School.  Williams attended the National Science Teachers Conference in Boston, MA, April 3-6 as an NSTA DuPont Office of Education Sponsorship recipient.


Henderson EAST Students Win in Hot Springs


Henderson Middle School represented the Little Rock School District at the annual EAST Conference at the Hot Springs Convention Center.  Henderson EAST students won the following competitions:


1st place - VersaCAD - Mapping Project of Rock Creek, Kealan Washington

1st place - ArchiCAD - Health Care Center, Kameron May

3rd place - Students for Healthy Communities - Come Dine With Us, Amya Hutchinson, Wesley Suen, Michael Dunn, Kheli Jones

Honorable Mention - Storytelling with Maps - Premature Births, Jung Kim, Amya Hutchinson, Nadia Hernandez

Congratulations LRSD National History Day Winners!

The District 7 National History Day Competition was held at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Saturday, March 8, 2014.  LRSD students competed at the elementary, middle and high school levels. High school and middle school winners progress to the state completion on April 19, 2014. Join us in congratulating the following:

LRSD Destination Imagination Students Take Top Honors

Four teams from Dunbar Magnet Middle School (DMMS) placed first in their respective challenges at the Arkansas Destination Imagination (DI) Northern Regional Tournament in Greenbrier on Saturday, March 1. Students from Horace Mann Magnet Middle School participated on two of the Dunbar teams.

The DMMS teams competed in the Technical, Scientific, Structural and Project Outreach challenges. Congratulations to the student teams and their volunteer team managers, who will compete at the state level on April 5 in Little Rock at Forest Heights. Teams placing first at the state tournament qualify for the global finals in May in Knoxville, Tenn.

Parkview Captures Top Spots at the 2014 Arkansas Mock Trial Championships

Parkview Debate and Acting students captured first and second place at the Arkansas Mock Trial Championships sponsored by The Arkansas Bar Association.   The varsity Blue Team racked up nine wins and no losses to earn a spot in the championship round.  The junior varsity Red Team garnered eight wins to only one loss, and defeated the defending state champions to land in the finals.  In a 2-1 ballot decision by a jury of Arkansas Bar Association members, the decision went to the Blue Team.  Those students will represent Arkansas at the National Mock Trial Championships in Madison, WI May 7-11.  

STATE CHAMPS: Front Row: Melissa Vachon (10);  Melody Garrett (11);  Hannah Burdette (11); Arkansas Bar Association President, Jim Simpson;  Claire Frueauff (12); Colin Boyd (12).  Second Row: Deborah Rookey (12), Luke Kim (12), Ramzee Williams (12)

STATE TEAMS: Bottom Row: Jordan Borst (11), Jordan McElroy (11),  Second Row: Andres Rodriquez (10); Leila Kerr (12); Billie Harmon (12); Melody Garrett (11); Hannah Burdette (11); Jim Simpson, Arkansas Bar Association President; Claire Frueauff( 12); Lexi Baltzley( 12); Josie Efird (11) Third Row: Deborah Rookey (12), Melissa Vachon (10), Colin Boyd (12), Sean Anderson (11). Top Row: Luke Kim, Ramzee Williams(12).


Central SECME Students 5X Champs!

For the 5th year in a row LRCH’S SECME students have won the State Championship in the Technology Student Association TEAMS Competition. For the 2nd year in a row the 9th and 10th grade team are the State Champions. The 9-10th grade team emerged as winners after six rounds of overtime! Both teams will be invited to the Best in the Nation Competition to be held in Washington D.C. from June 27-July 1, this summer.

Top Photo: Central TSA11-12 L to R: Kent Moore Sponsor, Ester Wui, Jacob Oldham, Nathaniel Ji, Zen Tang, Avinash Arulmurugu, Dhruba Dasgupta, Sherry Gao, Rysa Wass, Patrick Foley-Sponsor

Bottom Photo: Central TSA9-10 L to R: Kent Moore-Sponsor, Burhan Sarwar, Andrew He, Kwuang Tang, Nivetha Srini, Alex Wang, Angela Wang, Cindy Ye, Evelyn Berleant, Patrick Foley-Sponsor

SECME was established in 1975 as the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering by the Engineering Deans at six Southeastern universities: University of Alabama, University of Florida, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee and Tuskegee Institute now Tuskegee University. In 1997, the name was changed to SECME better represent the territories we serve today, which extend to schools, universities, science- and technology-based business and industry, and public and private agencies in 17 states (from New York to Arizona),the District of Columbia, and Grand Bahama.

SECME Mission: To increase the pool of historically underrepresented and under-served students who will be prepared to enter and complete post-secondary studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); thus creating a diverse and globally competitive workforce.

Central Thespians Receive Superior Ratings

Congratulations to the following members of LRCH Troupe 6418 of the International Thespian Society who received numerous awards at the State Thespian Festival.  The troupe is under the direction of Melinda Beith assisted by Kimberly Dade.

The Laramie Project received all Superior ratings and was one of eight plays selected to showcase at the festival as an outstanding production.

Hall High Students "Act Well Their Parts"

The following students in the Hall High School International Thespian Society Troupe #7862 Drama Honor Society under the direction of Helen L. Strickland received numerous honors and recognition at the Arkansas Thespian Festival at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway, Arkansas on January 23-25, 2014.

Forest Park 5th Grader Needs Your Vote!

The 5th Grade Enhance The Chance (ETC) (Gifted and Talented) students at Forest Park participated in the PBS Design Squad Challenge "Newspaper Power" as  the final portion of a multi-phased engineering and design unit.  The students were challenged to make a structure, object or sculpture out of two materials: newspaper and masking tape. All of the Students did an amazing job.  Dylan Allison's project has been selected as one of the top five finalists out of thousands of entries!!!  Way to go Dylan!!  You can check out Dylans' design AND VOTE FOR IT by clicking here.  

You must login to vote. You will have to create a username and it will provide a password for you to cast your vote. Once you have created your username, there is a box on the right that says vote. Click on it and then click on Dylan's project (dallison5,11.) A box will pop up to say that your vote was received. It takes less than five minutes to vote. Show your support for Dylan, Forest Park and the ETC program. Voting ends on December 4th.

Random Act of Kindness Spurs Perfect Score on ACT

When life long LRSD student Deborah Rookey took the ACT in seventh grade at Horace Mann Arts and Science Magnet School she scored a 27 out of a possible 36. During her junior year at Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School, Deborah took the test again and scored a 35, putting her in the 99th percentile. But since she was sick with the flu at the time she wondered what would happen if she took the test when she was healthy. Last month when she took the exam again she stopped by the Starbucks on the corner of Mississippi and Cantrell for a pick me up, which she certainly got when she pulled up to the window and learned that the person in front of her had already paid for her coffee.

According to Rookey, “It just put me in the best mood. When I found out that I got a 36, I really wanted to thank the stranger whose random act of kindness helped to put me in the right frame of mind to perform my very best.” (Photo Credit: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

But if you talk to her teachers, they’ll credit her perfect score to her commitment to constantly challenge herself academically. You’ll hear words like “brilliant” and “model student” when you ask teachers to describe her. Her counselor Monica Watson refers to her as a “renaissance” woman and because she excels in so many areas of the arts and science the description fits. From AP courses, to choir and student congress competitions, Rookey is always ranked at the top. She recently won Best Delegate and Best Bill at the Arkansas Student Congress and she’ll participate in the Women's Honor Choir in the spring.

Soon Rookey will take the SAT in the hopes of obtaining National Merit Finalist status (she’s already a semi-finalist) and she plans to stop at Starbucks again but this time she’ll pay for the coffee of the patron behind her for good luck.

Rookey has spent her entire academic career in the Little Rock School District— attending McDermott Elementary, Horace Mann Arts & Science Magnet Middle School and Parkview Arts & Science High School.

View the KATV news story video here

Fulbright Students Get Into the Spirit of Giving

Fulbright Elementary students put their coins together to benefit those in need this holiday season – collecting money for the “Food for Kids” program, sponsored by the Arkansas Rice Depot.
Students began their service drive on November 5th with classmates collecting pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters to donate to the Arkansas Rice Depot.  The coin drive ended Tuesday, November 26th, with a representative from Rice Depot arriving to receive a generous donation of $849 dollars from Fulbright students.

Arkansas Rice Depot Development Assistant Sadie Smith praised the students for their efforts, “One in four kids in Arkansas is going hungry.  Eight-hundred-dollars goes a long way in fighting hunger in Arkansas.  You’ve done an amazing job!  On behalf of the Arkansas Rice Depot, thank you.”

LRSD Student Athletes Win Scholarships

On November 19, 2013 three Central High seniors signed letters of intent to play college sports on scholarship.

Wrestler and Central High Senior Tyler Mann will wrestle for Division I powerhouse Oklahoma State University— consistently considered the best wrestling program, OSU has more national titles than any other school.  Mann’s impressive record on the mat makes it easy to see why he’ll be wresting for OSU next year.

• 2x USA National Wrestling All-American
• 3x Arkansas Wrestling State Champion and 3x Arkansas All-State Wrestler
• 2x Most Outstanding Wrestler Award, 2x Win magazine Wrestler of the 
year, 2x National Champion,
    •  3.06 GPA, honor roll

Swimmer and Central High Senior Christopher Heye will swim on scholarship for Missouri State University, a Division I school.

• 2x Arkansas Swimmer of the Year and Arkansas State Record Holder
• 8x All-State Finisher
• 2x Academic All-American
• 3.9 GPA, National Honor Society

Parkview Wins Best Overall Delegation at Student Congress

Parkview debaters captured the top spot and were named Best Overall Delegation at the Arkansas Student Congress held November 10-12 at the Arkansas State Capitol in little Rock.  The three-day event features high school and college students debating student-authored legislation.

LRCH Senior Tyler Mann Recognized by the 2013 WENDY’S® HIGH SCHOOL HEISMAN® Program

Little Rock Central and the Little Rock School District are proud to celebrate Tyler Mann who was recently named School Winner and State Finalist for the prestigious Wendy’s® High School Heisman® Award. Mann was chosen for his excellence in academics, athletics, and community leadership, and will move on to the next round of judging to compete for the coveted National award.

“On behalf of Little Rock Central and the Little Rock School District, we are excited to celebrate and honor the outstanding athletic and scholastic achievements of Tyler Mann with this prestigious award,” said Nancy Rousseau, Principal

The Wendy’s High School Heisman Award celebrates the achievements of the nation’s top high school seniors both in and out of the classroom. Just as the collegiate Heisman is known for being the highest award in college football, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award is recognized as the most esteemed award at the high school level, as it encourages future leadership by acknowledging well-rounded students.

Mann was selected as a School Winner and State Finalist based on the following accomplishments:

2x USA National Wrestling All-American, 3x Arkansas Wrestling State Champion, 3x Arkansas All-State Wrestler, 2x Most Outstanding Wrestler Award, 2x Win magazine Wrestler of the year, 2x National Champion, 3 year Varsity Cross Country, 2 years Football, 3 years Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 3 years Young Life city program,  1 year Beta Club, 1 year EAST Lab Program,  Drama Club – Troubadours, Member of Immanuel Baptist youth group, member of USA youth sports wrestling association and volunteer youth Coach

33 Amazing LRSD Seniors Receive National Recognition

The Little Rock School District is proud to announce the names of 30 seniors who have received fall academic honors. These scholastically talented students, recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, deserve praise for their lifelong commitment to academic excellence.