Tuesday, October 24, 2017

TOP STORY >> JNPSD appoints board member

Leader editor

The Jacksonville-North Pulaski School Board on Mon-day appointed Ava Coleman to fill the remainder of the term for Carol Miles, who resigned from the Zone 2 seat earlier this month for health reasons.

Coleman, a 1996 graduate of Jacksonville High, is a student recruiter for the UAMS College of Nursing. She previously worked as a school secretary in the new Jacksonville school district and for Lighthouse Academies of Arkansas as a family-community coordinator.

She has three children who attend Jacksonville schools — a senior, a fifth-grader and a third-grader.

The board considered four others for the appointment, who were given time to speak about their professional experience and why they want to join the school board.

The other nominees were Vivian Brittenum, a software support analyst at the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services; Ryan Maxwell, who is internet manager at Gwatney Buick GMC in Sherwood; Jasmine Wakefield, a regional coordinator for the AR Kids Read program, and Phillip Carlisle, a financial adviser and partner at Carlisle and Guthrie Wealth Management, which he said manages $106 million. Carlisle also co-owns 12 Subway sandwich stores.

The board went into executive session for about an hour before announcing Coleman would be given the vacant seat.

Coleman said she wants to run for the seat in the next school board election, which has not been set yet and could be held in May or November.

She said her children attended Lighthouse Charter School until the new JNSPD was formed.

“As soon as the new district rolled out, my kids rolled in. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I believe in transformation. I want to be a part of it,” she said.

Coleman has a bachelor’s degree in professional studies from Arkansas Technical University. Next month she will receive a master’s degree in human and social services from Walden University.

She is treasurer of the Arkansas Fatherhood and Family Initiative, which en-courages parents to become more involved in their children’s lives.

She was also on the state’s Early Childhood Commission, a gubernatorial appointment.

“I believe every student in the district deserves a fair chance. I believe we can give them a chance to produce productive citizens.

“I want our graduation rate to be 100 percent,” she said.

She told board member Jim Moore the No. 1 priority of the school board is “to bring quality education to our scholars.”

Moore invited Coleman to join the board’s site selection committee, which he leads. The committee will initiate plans to build a new middle school and elementary at the site of the current Jacksonville High School.

JNSPD has begun school construction projects worth $123 million. A new high school and elementary school are already underway with a new middle school and another elementary school planned.