Friday, June 17, 2016

TOP STORY >> JNPSD hires its A-Team

Leader staff writer

The Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District now has an “A-Team” reviewing and coordinating its curriculum for next year.

The team of curriculum specialists hired by the district was introduced at its recent school board meeting by Deputy Superintendent Jeremy Owoh.

Owoh applauded the team members, who will start July 1 combing over school data and reviewing the curriculum guides.

“We want all of our students reading on grade level,” he said as the goal of the district’s curriculum. “We plan to hit it hard. That has framed all of our hiring.”

Owoh said this team of curriculum experts has been charged with making sure that the district is covering the state standards.

“The team will develop a plan and set the instructional tone and expectations,” Owoh said. “We want to have everything in place when we meet with principals and assistant principals July 31. This allows them to pass on the information to their teachers and staff.”

He explained that reading comprehension not only affects language arts skills, but also math and science.

Owoh, who recently received his doctorate in educational administration and supervision from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will lead the group he dubbed the “A-Team.” Members of the district curriculum team include:

National Board Certified teacher Takecia Campbell of Jacksonville will be the district’s curriculum and instructional specialist.

She is coming to the district from her assistant principal position at Indian Hills Elementary in North Little Rock. Prior to that she served seven years as the mathematics instructional facilitator at Ridgeroad Middle School. She got her start as a math teacher at Jacksonville Middle School in 2002.

Courtney Holmes, from Brooklyn Park, Minn., will be the director of special education. She was the student services supervisor for the Roseville, Minn., Area School District and before that she was director of special education certification at the University of Minnesota and has special education licenses in Minnesota and Georgia.

She got her first degree, a bachelor’s of science in special education, from the University of Central Arkansas in 1999.

Jacob Smith, who was Jacksonville High School principal this past year, is now on Owoh’s team as the director of student services. The Jacksonville resident has a bachelor’s and a master’s from Harding University in Searcy, and before taking the JHS top job was the principal at Bald Knob Middle School and was also an instructor in the Educational Leadership program at Harding.

“I will tirelessly serve the students, faculty and stakeholders of Jacksonville-North Pulaski schools,” he told Owoh when hired.

S. Ronette Metcalf of Benton will be the district’s director of gifted and talented. She is coming in from Pulaski County Special School District, where she was the gifted-and-talented facilitator for secondary schools. She also worked for 20 years in the Watson Chapel School District, serving half that time as the district’s advanced placement coordinator.

Tracey Garrison of Conway, who was a teacher and math facilitator at North Pulaski High School since 2001, is now JNP’s math coordinator. She has two math degrees from the University of Central Arkansas.

Hope Ericson of North Little Rock will be the district’s literacy coordinator. With degrees in English, middle childhood education and building level administration, comes to Jacksonville from the North Little Rock School District, where she worked at North Little Rock and Ridgeroad middle schools.