Friday, August 18, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Little Red River has surplus of brook trout

Leader sports editor

HEBER SPRINGS – The Little Red River below Greers Ferry recently saw a few extra brook trout in August, thanks to a surplus of fish at the Greers Ferry National Fish Hatchery.

Hatchery staff released 860, 9-inch brook trout into the Greers Ferry Tailwater, which were left over after stockings were completed for the Bull Shoals and Norfork tailwaters.

“About 3,000 brook trout were stocked in the Norfork Tailwater, and 5,735 were stocked below Bull Shoals Dam,” said Kyle Swallow, trout management biologist for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “After our scheduled stockings, the hatchery had some brook trout leftover. We were happy to stock them in the Greers Ferry Tailwater as outlined in the Greers Ferry Tailwater Management Plan.”

Swallow says under the current management plan, the Little Red River only receives brook trout if there are surplus fish available after stocking the White River and Norfork Tailwater.

“We just have not seen the return on brook trout in angler catches or electrofishing samples that we would like to see for the amount of fish stocked,” Swallow said. “Nearly 5,000 brook trout were stocked in 2014 and in 2015, we only collected 15 of them. That was the most I have seen collected in one sampling location since I started working here 8 years ago. No brook trout were stocked in 2015 and in 2016, we didn’t collect a single brook trout in any of the Greers Ferry Tailwater samples. This tells us that survival of 6 inch brook trout is low.”

This low return has prompted an increase in the size of brook trout stocked from the hatchery. Instead of stocking 6-inch brook trout, the hatchery raises those fish a little longer and waits until they are 9 inches long before stocking.

“We’re hoping to increase survival of those fish by stocking them at a larger size,” Swallow said. “But the lower density of brook trout still will make them a bit of a rarity for anglers, especially on the Greers Ferry Tailwater.”

Swallow says he’s heard some anglers talk about catching a few brook trout since the size increase on the White River and Norfork last year, and hopes the same holds true for the ones stocked in the Little Red River.

“We know from our angler surveys that they enjoy having the extra opportunity to catch an occasional brook trout in the Greers Ferry Tailwater, so we hope these see some increased survival and end up on the end of an angler’s line one day,” Swallow said.

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers impress coach at jamboree

Leader sports editor

The Cabot Lady Panthers won both of their short matches at the Wampus Cat benefit jamboree in Conway on Thursday. The format didn’t allow for much competition. Each team would face two other teams for two sets to 25 or for 30 minutes, whichever came first.

Cabot was only able to finish one set apiece against Sheridan and Greenbrier, but they won both sets, and continued to show improvement. There were no official scorekeepers, but Cabot coach Kham Chanthaphasouk was satisfied with his team’s performance.

“It went well,” said Chanthaphasouk. “We got off to a slow start at first, but then we bounced back. I called timeout and they responded and played pretty well the rest of the night.”

The Lady Panther varsity squad was strong with its passing and hitting while serving and communication continues to improve.

“We passed well and our hits were pretty consistent,” said Chanthaphasouk. “We have been working a lot on serving and I thought our serves improved quite a bit.

“They’re starting to talk a lot more, so communication is improving. When we communicate and are having fun, we are very, very strong. So that’s something we will work towards the whole season.”

The head Panther also liked what he saw out of the junior varsity squad. It won its only set of the night as well against Sheridan’s junior varsity. Chanthaphasouk was a little disappointed with the time restrictions, but was very encouraged by the brief performance he saw.

“We tried to play everybody, but we were only able to play one set,” Chanthaphasouk said. “But the JV looks promising also. They communicate well. They’re getting better technically. They’re getting more confident. I’m very hopeful for this group of sophomores.”

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Bears beaten by Lakeside

Leader sports editor

Sylvan Hills volleyball coach Harold Treadway used a lot of players in the Lady Bears’ benefit match with Hot Springs Lakeside on Thursday. All proceeds from benefit games go to the Arkansas High School Activities Association. The home team had a good start, but the mistakes started to pile up late in game one as the visiting Lady Rams rolled to a 25-18, 25-13, 25-13 win.

Treadway was playing to win, but he’s also still searching for the right combinations for a team with a lot of new faces and without a lot of experience. Despite the free substitutions and it being the first game, he still wasn’t pleased.

“Overall I’m frustrated because we didn’t do things tonight that we’d been doing in practice,” Treadway said. “We weren’t focused. Our passing has been pretty good at times in practice. It was bad tonight. Our hitting has been decent at times. Tonight it was off. I thought my setters did OK for being so young.

Treadway was referring to freshman Riley Parker and sophomore Graemme Withrow.

“You got a freshman and a sophomore out there, they’re going to make some mistakes. But overall I thought that their play was encouraging.”

In game one, with Withrow serving, Sylvan Hills rallied from a 3-5 deficit to a 9-5 lead. Senior outside hitter Cory Tessman had three-straight kills during the run. It was the largest lead for either team until late in the opening game.

Midway through game one, Sylvan Hills appeared to have blocked a Lakeside kill for a point, and the Lady Bears rotated and substituted two players. But a delayed net violation call reversed the point, but the officials failed to cancel Sylvan Hills’ rotations and substitutions.

That caused some confusion on Sylvan Hills’ next substitution and rotation, as well as a long delay. The Lady Bears were never in sync again the rest of the match.

Lakeside took serve leading 18-20 and reeled off five-straight points on one kill and four unforced Sylvan Hills errors, including a formation violation.

HSL jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead in game two and kept the margin between three and four until it took serve with a 10-7 lead. The Lady Rams then scored five in a row before Sylvan Hills broke to make it 15-8, and then scored four more in a row for a 20-8 lead that forced Treadway to call a timeout.

Game three was a lot like game one. It was back and forth up to 14-12. That’s when Lakeside’s Gaylynn Green took serve and ripped off 10 consecutive points, including four aces for a 24-12 lead.

The Lady Bears finally broke serve, but Lakeside’s Olivia Lawrence got a kill on the next point to end the match.

Tessman, a senior, led the Lady Bears with eight kills. Senior Grace Turner and junior Sydney Diamond had three kills apiece.

Lyca Steelman led all players with 10 kills while Lawrence had seven.

Treadway knew he was going to use a lot of players on the benefit game, and says it could continue. But nothing is set in stone at this point.

“I have a lot of players and they all knew I was going to play everyone tonight,” Treadway said. “It’s good to have a lot, but at the same time we’re looking for the ones that are going to get that chemistry. So we could keep playing a lot, or we could start to trim it down if we don’t get more focus out of some of them than we did tonight.”

Sylvan Hills will officially open the season at home on Tuesday against Beebe.

EDITORIAL >> Promise made, promise kept

Jacksonville high school students will be better prepared for college and it will be more affordable, in some cases possibly even free, thanks to the Jacksonville Promise.

The program gives Jacksonville students mentorship from UALR staff who explain the college-application process and arrange scholarships from the Wilson Family Charitable Trust.

It was unveiled last year at Jacksonville High School and Lighthouse Charter School, helping 18 students attend UALR with more expected every year as the program takes shape.

Some of the students now attending UALR because of Jacksonville Promise attended a pizza party and reception Monday at the Donaghey Student Center, where First Arkansas Bank president and chief executive Larry Wilson and his wife, Wendy, got to meet the young people they helped send to college.

UALR Chancellor Andrew Rogerson thanked the Wilsons for their support of the university and their commitment to improving Jacksonville schools. He said there has been a 146 percent increase in the number of applications to his university by Jacksonville students.

The students were bright and engaged as they explained their majors and career goals. Jacksonville and UALR are fortunate to have them. Many of them receive $1,000 scholarships every semester through the Jacksonville Promise program.

They are planning careers in medicine, business, the FBI and more.

UALR staff based at Jacksonville High School are putting students on a path to college by guiding them through the application process, coaching them about possible majors, preparing them for college-entry exams and encouraging them to keep their grades up. Most can earn college credit while still in high school.

UALR recruitment coordinator Whitney Calliotte has an office at JHS. She’s gearing up for another successful year for Jacksonville Promise.

Larry Wilson said, “It is so important that folks like you all get that opportunity and take advantage of that opportunity to get that education. You all are going to be pacesetters and pave the way for a lot of great young people coming behind you. So I want you to be successful. I want you to work hard and prove that you are worthy and can do the college work and be successful beyond that, and do something special like come back to Jacksonville and work.”

Jacksonville students can learn more about the program during a financial planning workshop Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Nixon Library.

EDITORIAL >> Silver lining on state test

Did you see Jacksonville High School’s state test score results?

Only 8.9 percent of the ninth graders score at or above grade level in math, meaning more than 90 percent are slightly under or a whole lot under grade level.

Less than 9 percent making the grade! Horrible, terrible, absolutely unacceptable.

But Jacksonville breaking away from the Pulaski County Special School District should give students a fresh start and a chance to improve.

As bad as those math scores are, here’s the silver lining: In the last year (2015-16) with PCSSD, less than 5 percent (4.4 percent to be exact) of Jacksonville students met or exceeded goals. That means the percentage of freshmen understanding math doubled under Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District leadership.


If that trend continues this school year, that score will be 17.8 percent – still horrible. But in 2018-19, it will be 35.6 percent – getting better – and then coming out of the first year in the new high school, it willl be 71.2 percent. Now we are talking!

Is it a pipedream? No. The numbers are very achievable as long as the district keeps students first and politics, turf wars and miniature kingdoms last. That’s what plagued PCSSD and caused the state to take it over years ago.

In science, 20.4 percent of freshmen last April showed they understood science at or above grade level. The state calls it meeting or exceeding expectations. The year before, only 3.2 percent of the ninth graders did well, meaning in one year there was more than a 600 percent turnaround. Does that mean next year more than 120 percent of the student will make the cut? Mathematically, no, but it shows the district is moving in the right direction.

In English, ninth graders jumped from 27.3 percent to 37 percent, a move of about 40 percent. By the time they graduate, following the pattern, it could be at 75 percent.

The same idea holds true in reading, where yes, the scores are ugly, but almost 100 percent improvement from the year before. In writing, the jump was more than 130 percent.

The entire district has made a strong commitment to literacy, meaning those test scores could improve at those “dream” rates or even faster.

Even math scores will go up because there is almost more reading than math in the state math exams.

But why look at freshman scores? Because more than likely that will be the first graduating class from the new $60 million Jacksonville High School, and wouldn’t it be great to match that jewel of a facility with a crown of outstanding students?

TOP STORY >> Ward street closing helping

Leader staff writer

The closing of Hickory Street has gone well, Ward Mayor Art Brooke told the city council at its Monday meeting.

“You get pros and cons from closing Hickory Street, but most of the feedback has been very positive,” he said. “It has made that intersection a lot safer for people.”

Turning Hickory Street into a dead-end road is part of a project that will see traffic lights at the Hwy. 319 and Hwy. 367 intersection and railroad crossing. The lights will be synchronized with the train schedule to clear the track area when a train is coming through. The intersection, once five ways, is now a four-artery intersection.

The crossing has a hazard rating of 35.01, making it the ninth most hazardous crossing in the state.

“That project is 10 years old. It was first initiated in 2007,” Brooke said. “There’s been a lot of drawings that went back and forth, lot of meetings and public input. This project has now become a very valid project.”

The mayor continued, saying that the project has been held up for lack of federal funding. The city has its portion of the cost in reserve as well as a zero-interest loan from Metroplan if needed.

“We are hoping that we don’t have to draw any money from that loan. If we do we know that we have the money in reserve to pay it off. That’s where we’re at with that project,” he said.

The council approved of the disposal of a patrol unit with a bad engine and a stockpile of old safety equipment.

Fire Chief Randy Staley asked the council for permission to dispose of safety equipment that is no longer being used due to damage or age.

Police Chief Steve Benton requested permission to dispose of a 2007 Dodge Durango saying that it was “not worth fixing. If you can even find a used motor they’re outrageous, brand new ones aren’t higher than that.”

Benton also updated the council on the status of three new patrol units. The first, which the city will be reimbursed for by the state, is already on the streets. The second is having equipment installed and should be patrolling in a couple weeks and the third will be equipped and on the streets once the city receives reimbursement of the first.

Brooke reported that the city’s water report “came back perfect. We followed all the laws of the land. Everything is perfect, with one exception. We got written up for our wastewater treatment plant being out of compliance. We will have that write up every year until that plant is in compliance.”

Excavation work for the new sewer treatment plant is underway and the groundwork is ahead of schedule. Rebar should be placed in about two weeks.

The mayor also told the council that Arkansas Economic Development Com-mission recently made an onsite visit to the city and are “very much interested in what’s going on here in Ward” and finding ways to help the city grow.

Charles Gastineau, deputy operations director for the city, updated the council about a survey the city is conducting with Central Arkansas Planning and Development and UALR. Around 800 letters were sent to random homes around Ward asking questions about income and family makeup. There were 564 non-responses.

Each non-response is considered a high income, according to Gastineau. This puts the city at an 8 percent low- to moderate-income ratio. To qualify for grants and low- interest loans, the city needs to be at 51 percent or higher.

Workers have been canvassing the 564 homes that have not responded, reaching 396 homes so far, but have only had 190 responses. That does bring the city up to 31 percent, but there are still 168 homes to visit.

“If we go to the house, and no one is home or they don’t come to the door we leave a door hanger asking them to call the reception office and we can do the survey over the phone,” Gastineau said. “We’ve had maybe five people call. We’re going to hit those 168 houses then do an evaluation and decide if we want to go hit those houses again.”

TOP STORY >> Middle school results mixed

Leader staff writer

Almost across the board, area middle school students did well on the English portion of the annual state ACT Aspire test, but were unable to carry over that success to the reading and writing portions, showing about a 20 point or more difference.

At Cabot Junior High, 81 percent of the seventh graders met or exceeded goals in English, but only 35 percent did the same in writing. Sylvan Hills had 76 percent of its students do well on the English section, but only 27 percent did the same in writing.

In Jacksonville, the eighth graders were 60 percent meeting or exceeding goals in English, but just at 21 percent in writing. Jacksonville Lighthouse’s College Prep Academy had 70 percent of its eighth graders do well in English, but just 19 percent in writing.

“Jacksonville Middle School showed a 4 percent gain in the percentage of students who were ready or exceeding in eighth grade reading, a 3 percent increase in seventh grade math and a 6 percent increase in eighth grade math,” said Dr. Tiffany Bone, one of two assistant superintendents for the Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District.

“We are encouraged by the fact that although the scores are not where we would like them to be yet, there were multiple areas in which the percentage of students who were classified as ready or exceeding increased from the 2016 school year,” Bone said.

“Our goal is to continue to work together as a team to put systems in place that support the needs of every scholar, every day,” she continued.

Beebe Superintendent Belinda Shook said, “We want all students to celebrate how they are growing and improving instead of just focusing on the proficiency level of the whole group of students.”

“I looked at our scores and broke them down into four categories: Above the state and improved, be-low the state and improved, above the state with a decrease and below the state with a decrease,” she said.

“Of the 20 scores I compared, in grades 6-10, Beebe improved in 17 areas and scored above the state in 14 areas. The areas we decreased in were very small and from sixth grade — eighth grade, writing is a definite area for improvement. However, improvement was shown in writing this year in all of those grades,” Shook said.

Cabot’s top school leader, Dr. Tony Thurman said, “We are proud of this progress, yet recognize that there is still work to be done. We will strive to not only maintain these improvements, but build on them this academic year.”

“At the middle grades, the district saw significant increases in the percent of students at the College and Career Ready level in the following areas: 6th grade - Reading (+11) and Writing (+20); 7th grade - Reading (+9), Writing (+9) and Math (+10); and 8th grade - Reading (+16), Writing (+23), and Math (+22),” Thurman said.


Sixth graders were 50 percent proficient in English, but then dropped to 34 percent in math, 20 percent in science, 23 percent in reading and 32 percent met or exceeded goals in writing.

Seventh grade had 61 percent of its students meet or exceed goals in English, 22 percent in math, 16 percent in science, 14 percent in reading and just 20 percent made the cut in writing. At the eighth-grade level, 60 percent of the students met or exceed goals in English, but it dropped to 19 percent in math and science, 30 percent in reading and 21 percent in writing.


Sixth graders at Cabot Middle School South were at 79 percent meeting or exceeding their English goals, 73 percent in math, 54 percent in science, 61 percent in reading and 62 percent in writing. At Cabot Middle School North, 77 percent of the sixth graders made the cut in English, 62 percent in math, 50 percent in science, 48 percent in reading and 50 percent in writing.

At Cabot Junior High South, 81 percent of the seventh graders met or exceeded goals in English, 58 percent in math, 49 percent in science, 45 percent in reading and only 35 percent in writing. The eighth graders had 80 percent make the grade in English, 59 percent in math, 55 percent in science, 67 percent in reading and 60 percent in writing.

At Cabot Junior High North, 88 percent of the sixth graders did well in English, 69 percent in math, 51 percent in science, 52 percent in reading and 45 percent in writing. At the eighth-grade level, 83 percent met or exceeded goals in English, 68 percent in math, 51 percent in science, 67 percent in reading, but fell to 40 percent in writing.


At Sylvan Hills Middle School, 70 percent of the sixth graders made the cut in English, 53 percent in math, 39 percent in science, 41 percent in reading and 46 percent in writing. Seventh grade had 76 percent of its students meet or exceed goals in English, 44 percent in math, 39 percent in science, 33 percent in reading and 27 percent made the cut in writing. Among eighth-graders, 70 percent did well in English, 28 percent in math, 32 percent in science, 46 percent in reading and 25 percent in writing.


Sixth graders at Jackson-ville Lighthouse Charter School had 75 percent of its sixth graders meet or exceed goals in English, 45 percent in math, 41 percent in science, 45 percent in reading and 55 percent in writing. At the seventh-grade level at the College Academy, 65 percent did well in English, 33 percent in math, 37 percent in science, 19 percent in reading and only 21 percent in writing.

At the Lighthouse’s Flight-line Academy, sixth graders were 77 proficient at English, 64 percent at math, 46 percent at science, 41 percent at reading and 66 percent at writing. Among seventh graders, 74 percent did well in English, 50 percent in math and science, 41 percent in reading and 36 percent in writing. The eighth-grade had 85 percent of its students meet or exceed goals in English, 44 percent in math, 58 percent in science, 52 percent in reading and 44 percent in writing.


Lisa Academy North sixth-grade students were 75 proficient in English, 71 percent in math, 53 percent in science, 49 percent in reading and 47 percent in writing. At the seventh grade level, 81 percent made the cut in English, 70 percent in math, 46 percent in science, 49 percent in reading and 35 percent in writing. Among eighth graders, 75 percent met or exceeded goals in English, 65 percent in math, 50 percent in science and reading and 45 percent in writing.


At the sixth-grade level, 77 percent of the students made the cut in English, 55 percent in math, 43 percent in science, 45 percent in reading and 55 percent in writing. Among seventh graders, 82 percent met or exceeded goals in English, 45 percent in math, 36 percent in science, 29 percent in reading and 34 percent in writing. Eighth grade saw 80 percent of its students make the grade in English, 32 percent in math, 40 percent in science, 47 percent in reading and 15 percent in writing.


Sixth grade had 74 percent of its students meet or exceed goals in English, 73 percent in math, 50 percent in science, 49 percent in reading and 59 percent in writing. Among seventh graders, 77 percent made the cut in English, 54 percent in math, 44 percent in science, 39 percent in reading and 30 percent in writing. The eighth graders had 80 percent do well in English, 67 percent in math, 53 percent in science, 58 percent in reading and 36 percent in writing.


Among sixth graders, 85 percent made the cut in English, 76 percent in math, 40 percent in science, 45 percent in reading and 26 percent in writing. Seventh grade had 70 percent of its students meet or exceed goals in English, 45 percent in math, 23 percent in science, 18 percent in reading and 30 percent in writing. At the eighth-grade level, 61 percent made the cut in English, 33 percent in math and science, 44 percent in reading and 58 percent in writing.


Carlisle had 84 percent of its sixth graders meet or exceed goals in English, 76 percent in math, 52 percent in science, 42 percent in reading and 74 percent in writing. Seventh grade saw 73 percent of its students make the cut in English, 45 percent in math, 38 percent in science, 39 percent in reading and 29 percent in writing. Among eighth graders, 88 percent did well in English, but only 49 percent in math, 54 percent in science, 63 percent in reading and 40 percent in writing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Minor leaguers work through assignments

Leader sports editor

Life as a minor league baseball player is unpredictable to say the least, and for the three local athletes currently trying to work their way onto a Major League roster, that’s been largely true.

All three are pitchers. From Sylvan Hills, Ashur Tolliver is in the Houston Astros’ Triple-A (one level below the major leagues) organization in Fresno, Calif.

Beebe’s Griffin Glaude is currently with the Toronto Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats roster. He has been bounced around like a pinball in his third year as a professional.

Connor Eller, a right-handed pitcher from Sylvan Hills, is also in the Blue Jays’ system. He is currently with the Single-A affiliate, the Lansing Lugnuts in Michigan.

For 29-year-old left-hander Tolliver, it’s been bouncing back and forth between the big leagues and Triple-A Fresno. Tolliver, who was drafted in the fifth round out of Oklahoma City College in 2009, was sent to Fresno after spring training, but he’s been called up for spot duty with the Houston Astros three times this season.

It’s been a similar season this year with Houston as it was last year, when he finally broke into the Majors as a 28-year-old rookie with the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore used up all his options and had to put him on waivers.

An option in MLB means being sent back down to the minors after being called up for the majors. MLB teams are only allowed to option a player four times in a season before it has to put the player on waivers.

When Baltimore did so, he failed to clear waivers, and was scooped up by the Los Angeles Angels. After a brief appearance in L.A., he wasoptioned to the Arkansas Travelers, where he was able to end the season near his hometown.

This year, the Astros have also used up all of Tolliver’s options, and so had to place him on outright waivers, which he did clear. He was then sent outright to Fresno, where he will finish the season.

In his three appearances for the Astros this season, Tolliver has pitched five innings total with a 3.60 earned run average.

He has allowed three hits and two runs with five strikeouts and four walks. His opponents have a collective .235 batting average. He has a walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIP) ratio of .160.

He has thrown 35 innings for Fresno with less success than his outings for Houston. In Triple-A, Tolliver has a 7.31 ERA. His opponents are averaging .289 and his WHIP is 2.04.

Glaude could be called the Blue Jays farm system utility pitcher. Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015, the Lyon College graduate has been activated by four different Blue Jays affiliates and has worked as a starting and relief pitcher. He has been assigned 11 different times to those four teams.

In chronological order, Glaude’s summer has gone like this.

April 3 – Assigned to Single-A Lansing out of spring training.

April 24 – Assigned downward to Single-A short season Vancouver

April 26 – Assigned to Lansing

May 15 – placed on the 7-day disabled list

June 1 – Activated by Lansing

July 4 – Assigned to Double-A New Hampshire

July 6 – Assigned to Triple-A Buffalo

July 9 – Assigned to Single-A Lansing

July 19 – Assigned to Triple-A Buffalo

July 21 – Assigned to Lansing

July 27 Assigned to New Hampshire

July 30 – placed on New Hampshire’s temporarily inactive list

Aug. 9 – Activated by New Hampshire

He did not make an appearance during his short stint in Low A ball in Vancouver. He has 19 mound appearances with Lansing, two with New Hampshire and one with Buffalo.

And he has done well.

Combined, Glaude has thrown 41.2 innings with a 3.89 ERA. He has allowed 37 base hits and 18 earned runs with 42 strikeouts and 16 walks. Opponents are batting .234 and he has a 1.27 WHIP.

Eller was a 22nd round pick out of OBU in 2016. He has had a more normal summer with the Blue Jays, bouncing back-and-forth between regular Class A Lansing, and the Class-A Advanced affiliate in Dunedin, Fla. He was assigned to Triple-A Buffalo for one day on May 21, but did not make an appearance in that game.

He has made 31 total appearances, including 19 with Lansing and 12 with Dunedin. He spent the entirety of his first summer with Rookie League affiliate in Bluefield, West Virginia.

After spring training this year, he was skipped over the Low-A affiliate in Vancouver and placed in Lansing. His last move was to Lansing on June 3, where he has been since.

In his 12 appearances at Dunedin, Eller has a 5.12 ERA. In 19 appearances with Lansing, his ERA is 4.05.

Combined, he has a 4.44 ERA in 52.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 56 hits and 26 earned runs while striking out and walking 32 apiece. Opponent average is .256 and WHIP is 1.67.

SPORTS STORY >> Broyles' legacy exceeds athletics

Leader sports editor

Frank Broyles was a good football player, a great coach and a legendary athletic director. His unique talent for looking into the future led to a monumental build-up of University of Arkansas athletics between becoming the AD in 1973 and stepping down in 2007.

He died Monday at the age of 92 from complications of Alzheimer’s, and though it may seem a little ironic, it was his post-retirement writing on the subject of Alzheimer’s that was his greatest contribution to mankind.

Broyles’ was never that one-dimensional jock-minded brute personality that some football coaches exude. Even his criticisms sounded heady, even with the thick Georgia accent he never lost despite living in northwest Arkansas three times longer than the early years he spent in his home state.

My own mother was a switchboard operator in Fayetteville in the late 60s. My dad worked for a plumber and sold cars as he and his new bride worked to put him through college.

They attended one Razorback football game together, and it happened to be The Great Shootout against Texas in 1969. They say they sat directly across from Richard Nixon.

Broyles tried to make a phone call during a particularly busy time, and was having to wait his turn for a line. My mother loves to relate the order (accent and all) she received from Fayetteville’s most popular, and possibly powerful, man.

“Well if you would just put fowith a little ayefut.”

She never liked Broyles’ much after that, but even her opinions changed when she discovered his touching caregivers guide.

His book, aptly titled “The Alzheimer’s Playbook”, is a supportive and practical resource for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. Broyles was a primary caregiver to his wife Barbara years before he himself was afflicted with the disease. She died from complications of Alzheimer’s in 2004.

For a clear picture of how delicately Broyles handled the subject and how helping and comforting it has been to so many people, just check the nearly 100 reviews of it on Amazon.

Over the course of his career, Broyles revealed many aspects of his personality, and then revealed yet another one after his career with “The Alzheimer’s Playbook.”

As a player, his teammates at Georgia Tech University said he was a fierce competitor. That was also obvious as a coach, but once in charge of the Razorback program, he showed a creative side when he became one of the pioneers of the I-Formation, which was soon duplicated by nearly everyone at every level of football, replacing the old and reliable variants of the T-Formation.

He spent four years as head football coach and athletic director, and in that time began working on building up Arkansas’ other sports programs. Before Broyles, the UA approached other sports as a means to and end. It had to have certain amount of programs to offer to be considered Division I by the NCAA, and they did the bare minimum to meet those requirements.

Broyles began to change that. He hired John McDonnell to head the track program, and gave him the resources he needed to turn it into the greatest NCAA dynasty in the history of American collegiate athletics.

He hired Eddie Sutton and began construction of Barnhill Arena, and the UA was soon on the elite national stage with the likes of UCLA and Indiana.

After Sutton’s departure, Broyles’ peered into the future, and found that it was in nearby Tulsa, Okla. He made Nolan Richardson the first black head coach of a major program in the history of the Southwest Conference, or in the South for that matter.

It wasn’t a popular choice for everyone, but Broyles could see, as with the I-Formation in football, that the frenetic pace set by Richardson’s relentless full-court defense was going to sweep the nation, and it did.

In four years Richardson turned a ragtag team depleted by the turmoil of the end of the Sutton era into a Final Four team. In four more years, he won Arkansas’ first national basketball championship.

Also in the early 90s, Broyles made the highly controversial decision to take Arkansas out of the Southwest Conference, and move into the Southeastern Conference. Not only was that move immensely profitable for the program, it sparked a wave of conference transfers that has made the whole of NCAA sports more profitable.

There were always rumors that while Broyles was a visionary of the big picture, he was too much of a micromanager on the ground floor. Every football and basketball head coach he hired, except for Richardson, ironically, was said to have had a tough time dealing with Broyles’ meddling in his or her operations and game plans.

It might have been true, but several of his hires left unceremoniously and unhappy.

Even though Broyles took a lot of heat for hiring Richardson, he let Richardson do his thing on the court, but even that relationship ended bitterly and controversially, after Richardson was fired.

But Broyles was never one to deny making mistakes.

Lou Holtz, who Broyles hired to replace himself as football coach in 1976, tells the story of how he learned Broyles told the Notre Dame athletic director that firing Holtz was the worst mistake of his career, and they would be fools not to hire him.

He later expressed similar regret about how the Richardson era ended, and has been accepting of the possibility that he perhaps didn’t give coach Jack Crow a fair chance to implement his new system when he fired him after one game in 1992. He finally publicly showed the delicate and caring side he had already shown privately with his Alzheimer’s Playbook, and that will be his lasting legacy, one struggling reader at a time.

SPORTS STORY >> McDonald, Harris get ready

By RAY BENTON Leader sports editor

Jacksonville’s own Clinton McDonald is healthy again and gearing up for a strong return to gridiron with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McDonald, a 2008 graduate of Jacksonville who played college ball for Memphis, suffered a torn pectoral early last season and sat out the rest of the year.

McDonald has been the starting defensive tackle his first two years with Tampa Bay. He signed with the Bucs after working his way up from a practice squad player with Cincinnati his first season, to winning a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks his sixth year in the NFL.

He was making near the league minimum for a veteran the year of the Super Bowl win, but his play on the field earned him a lucrative contract in the free-agent market.

He was, however, listed as the backup to five-time Pro-Bowler Gerald McCoy when the Buccaneers released their first depth chart last week prior to the first preseason game.

However, Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter said they only released the depth chart because they had to release one before the game, telling the Tampa Bay media,

“We released a depth chart because we had to release one. You could slash a lot those ones and twos together.”

McDonald was relegated to No. 2 on the depth chart because of the free-agent acquisition of Chris Baker from the Washington Redskins. McCoy has not participated in much live scrimmaging during the preseason, and did not play in the Bucs first preseason game, a 23-12 loss to Cincinnati.

Despite being No. 2 while Baker is listed as a starter, McDonald has shined brighter on the field so far. Koetter singled him out for praise for his performance in an unsanctioned scrimmage during a combined practice with the nearby Jacksonville Jaguars.

Against Cincinnati, McDonald made a strong play on third down to stop a run and forced the Bengals to try a 54-yard field goal. In the third quarter, he made a tackle-for-loss deep in Tampa Bay territory to force another field goal.

The Buccaneers official website says of McDonald, “McDonald, who has started all 31 games in which he’s played over three years in Tampa, is listed after McCoy, but is certain to see significant playing time. In fact, when Buccaneers gave McCoy a day of rest on Monday, it was McDonald who soaked up most of his first-team snaps and made a big impact, against the run game.”

Buffalo will play an official preseason game at Jacksonville at 7 p.m. Thursday.


Another Jacksonville graduate, Demetrius Harris, also played his first preseason game of the year with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has not garnered much media attention this preseason, despite being listed as the No. 2 tight end behind Pro Bowler Travis Kelce, who had been inactive with a knee injury until this past Sunday.

Harris caused a brief PR gaffe when he was arrested for possession of marijuana early this summer, but the charges were dropped due to the miniscule amount confiscated and the testimony of the other vehicle passenger that it was theirs. The Chiefs soon announced no disciplinary action would be taken.

Harris has been a project of KC general manager John Dorsey, who signed Harris as a free agent after his senior season of basketball with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

At 6-foot-7, 250 pounds and running a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, Harris has elite size and speed. He got stronger in the weight room and became a better blocker, which earned him more playing time towards the end of last season.

Harris was targeted three times during the 27-17 preseason loss at San Francisco, but finished the game with no receptions.

The Chiefs will be back in action at 6 p.m. Saturday at Cincinnati.

EDITORIAL >> Tracing roots of extremism

White supremacists marched over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., where they held a torchlight parade, carried Nazi banners, quoted Adolf Hitler and gave the Nazi salute. The torches were probably Chinese made and purchased at Pier 1, but they were meant to evoke the nighttime Nuremberg rallies in Germany. More than 135,000 American soldiers died in Nazi-occupied Europe in 1944-45 to free the continent from fascist tyranny.

One of the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville ran over a crowd of counter-demonstrators in a vehicle imitating ISIS terrorists in Paris and London. The thug killed Heather Heyer, 32, who was protesting against hate.

More neo-Nazi demonstrations are planned for this weekend. Let us hope they will stay out of Arkansas. We don’t need them here.

Many of our readers have loved ones who fought against Nazi Germany. Many of them are buried in cemeteries in France, Italy, Germany and elsewhere. Private 1st Class Jack Fogel of Chicago left Hungary before the Holocaust and was drafted in the U.S. Army during the Second World War. He fell near Metz in France on Sept. 14, 1944, as our soldiers were about the enter Germany. Fogel, service number 3668837, was shot by a German sniper. Fogel’s loved ones found his gravesite in Plot C, Row 17, Grave 26 at Lorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold in northern France.

Alonzo Mulcahy and Rudy Feldman survived the Battle of the Bulge, where nearly 20,000 Americans died. They would weep at the sight of Nazi flags in our cities if they were still alive.

Germany, which banned Nazi paraphernalia after Hitler’s defeat, knows the dangers of extreme prejudice and warned Americans this week to beware of these fascist radicals. Their rise to power in Germany in the 1930s was unexpected, but today’s neo-Nazis and Klansmen find inspiration on the internet, where they can plan demonstrations and bring chaos to the communities wherever they hold their rallies.

Many of these far-right groups get their funding from Vladimir Putin, who spends millions on fascist groups in Europe in hopes of toppling their fragile democratic institutions. That is another reason to condemn them: Their financial ties to Moscow deserve scrutiny by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose findings will likely show a sophisticated network of hate groups sponsored by the Kremlin.

Don’t be surprised if these neo-Nazis one day start demonstrating with red flags in support of North Korea. In the final analysis, there’s not much difference between the two 20th Century totalitarian movements. What is shocking is that they still have followers in the 21st Century.

TOP STORY >> District salutes Shook’s Success

Leader staff writer

Beebe School Superintendent Belinda Shook is retiring at the end of the school year after 13 years leading the district.

The school board accepted her resignation on Monday during its regular meeting.

“She dedicated her life to the district, and we hate to see this day come,” school board president Clay Goff told The Leader.

“Dr. Shook is an absolute asset to the district and the community. She is extremely knowledgeable in school finance, curriculum and administration. She is approachable and personable. Dr. Shook will continue to be a strong supporter and cheerleader for our district,” he said.

“We will miss her dearly, but we’re excited for her and her family,” Goff said.

Goff said the school board has not started a search for a new superintendent but will begin the process soon.

Shook has 32 years with the Beebe and McRae districts. She started as a fifth-grade teacher in 1986 later becoming elementary school principal, moving to assistant superintendent in 2000 for five years until hired in 2005 as superintendent. She is leaving with the class she came in with as superintendent.

She taught graduate classes in school administration for Moore has served as vice chancellor since June 2016. He was ASU-Beebe’s director of student success for five years and taught as assistant professor of business on the campus from 1998-2011.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of the Southwest and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Arkansas.

He has completed coursework toward a doctoral degree in organizational leadership in higher education from Grand Canyon University.

Welch said he will seek input from campus constituencies this fall and anticipates a nationwide search for a successor next spring.

ASU-Beebe, which has an enrollment of about 4,000, also has campuses at Little Rock Air Force Base, Heber Springs and Searcy.

TOP STORY >> Program assisting students at UALR from JHS

Leader editor

The Jacksonville Promise program, which provides Jacksonville high school students with UALR scholarships and mentorship to help them attend college, held a reception Monday at the university to welcome the initiative’s first group of students.

It is funded by the Wilson Family Charitable Trust. Larry Wilson, chief executive and president of First Arkansas Bank and Trust, told the students to study hard and make their hometown proud.

UALR staff members provide students at Jacksonville High School and Lighthouse Charter School College Preparatory Academy with guidance, starting as early as their freshman year in high school, on the college-application process.

Its Pathway to College Checklist, a month-by-month guide that prompts students to advance the application process by helping them pick colleges, fields of study, prepare for SATS and ACTs and more.

The process, led by UALR staff based at Jacksonville High School, can help students be admitted to colleges across the country. The students must attend UALR to receive Jacksonville Promise money.

The program is likely to increase the number of students who attend college, a key indicator of a quality school system.

Several of the students it is helping attended the eventMonday in the Donaghey Student Center.

Trent Palsa, who graduated from Jacksonville High last May, gets $1,000 per semester from the Jacksonville Promise scholarship and plans to major in business administration.

Palsa learned about the program at an assembly in November last year at Jacksonville High announcing the program.

“If people didn’t have the right ACT scores or if they were struggling financially, if you came to UALR they were going to help you with that, you got the $1,000, all you had to do was write a thank-you letter to the family who donated, explain what you wanted to major in and how your high school experience was,” Palsa said.

“They will work with you. They help you apply for college,” he said of the Jacksonville Promise program.

UALR Chancellor Andrew Rogerson introduced Larry Wilson to the group.

“We are a university that prides itself on affordability and quality. One of the reasons you are here is we went out there and connected with as many high schools as possible to show students and families there is an affordable path to education in Little Rock,” said Rogerson, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, who holds a Ph.D. in protozoan ecology from the University of Stirling in Scotland.

“Concerned individuals like Larry Wilson want to help individual students in Jacksonville get that higher education. He’s part of the Wilson Family Charitable Trust that he has with his sister Kathy and his brother Mike, and they’re great supporters of education, particularly for individuals like yourselves in Jacksonville,” the chancellor told the students.

“I really appreciate all you do for these students, and everyone in your community, and we’re going to take care of them now and get them that four-year degree. You’ll graduate in 2021,” Rogerson said.

Wilson explained the origins of the Jacksonville Promise program. “It is indeed a pleasure to see these smiling faces from Jacksonville and looking forward to getting a great education here at UA Little Rock. Our family has been very interested in education in both the high school and junior high and elementary schools in Jacksonville, but also UA Little Rock with three members of our family having served on the board of visitors over the past 30-something years. We understand the importance of education. Fortunately, my parents left some money in a foundation that my dad wanted to earmark for education.

“Rogerson and others talked about the possibility of getting some money to add to the already-existing scholarship funds to basically make it a free education for students from Jacksonville. We couldn’t say no. It was just a great package. It is so important that folks like you all get that opportunity and take advantage of that opportunity to get that education,” Wilson said.

He emphasized the importance of the program to Jacksonville.

“You all are going to be pacesetters and pave the way for a lot of great young people coming behind you. So I want you to be successful. I want you to work hard and prove that you are worthy and can do the college work and be successful beyond that, and do something special like come back to Jacksonville and work,” Wilson said.

His three keys to success in college are “Go to class, go to class, go to class.”

After Wilson spoke, some Jacksonville Promise students, about 10 or so, introduced themselves.

Chelsea Taylor, who graduated from Jacksonville High in 2016, is majoring in psychology with a minor in criminal justice. “I want to be a forensic psychologist, hopefully with the FBI,” she said.

Amia Evans, a sophomore majoring in chemistry with a minor in biology, said, “I really do like the advantages we have on campus. The staff is very open and welcoming. I’ve had many opportunities while being on campus – it’s endless, it’s fun so take advantage while you can.”

Kaitlin Parker, a sophomore who graduated from North Pulaski High in 2016, is majoring in nursing. “We have so many opportunities on this campus and being in the middle of Little Rock. The nursing building is really great. There’s a lot of great new technology there.”

Precious Scott is a sophomore and a mass-communications major. “I’m going into public relations, probably have my own firm,” she said.

Jocelyn Gaynor, who graduated from North Pulaski in 2015, is a junior. “My major is innovation and entrepreneurship. I want to own my own gym and coach gymnastics.”

Christian O’Neal, vice chancellor for university advancement, said the Jacksonville scholarships are $1,000 per semester. Combined with Pell grants and Arkansas Challenge money, which are typical ways Arkansans pay for college, Jacksonville Promise can help pay for students’ entire college educations so they can graduate debt free.

The program is unlike any other in the state. “It’s Larry’s idea. He felt strongly about doing this, and it’s actually helped lead us to try and replicate this in other communities,” O’Neal said.

“The students are fully embracing it,” said Jacksonville High Assistant Principal Mary Jane Brockinton. “Last year, when the program was first introduced, 59 juniors signed up,” she said. Those juniors became seniors Monday.

Whitney Calliotte, who helps run the program for UALR, and has an office at Jacksonville High, said, “We’re really going to be rolling out those programs at the end of September.”

Calliotte said the high school students would be able to earn concurrent credits by taking some classes at Jacksonville High taught by UALR staff and arrive on campus with a head start.

UALR freshman Darryl Kimble-Brooks, last year at Jacksonville High, was the first to sign up for the program, Calliotte said he is among those featured in a promotional video that can be viewed on YouTube at “Discover Your Pathway to UALR Little Rock.”

In the video, Kimble-Brooks wears a Jacksonville Titans T-shirt then turns around and is wearing a UALR T-shirt.

The Jacksonville Promise program administrators have a whole schedule to communicate with current students, Brockinton said. “It’s a very exact plan.”

There is a schedule of workshops for the Jacksonville students this year, beginning with a financial planning night Oct. 4. Representatives of Jacksonville’s First Arkansas Bank and Trust will be presenters and parents can learn about the unique Arkansas 529 GIFT plan.

There are 18 students from Jacksonville in the program, though only 12 have received the scholarship.

Four students are from Lighthouse, which had two students receive scholarships.

The program is expected to have more students participate every year as UALR has more time to connect with students.

“We’ve had a 146 percent increase in the number of applications from Jacksonville because of this program.

Unfortunately, they were not all college ready because we didn’t get them in time, but it shows when you actually try to make connections and show them there’s a pathway then they get interested and they apply. The problem was by the time we went in there, the grades were what they were,” Rogerson said.

Students who weren’t admitted to UALR likely went on to attend college at Pulaski Tech, Rogerson said.

TOP STORY >> Test results showing shortfalls

Leader staff writer

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series examining recently released state test scores.

According to the latest round of annual state testing, about two-thirds of the ninth and 10th graders across Arkansas are not ready to move up in math, science or reading.

About half don’t write well enough to be considered meeting or exceeding grade-level requirements and only 40 percent make the cut in English.

In other words, more students are doing poorly on the test than those doing well.

At Jacksonville High School, the scores were about half or worse than the state averages, especially in math, where only 9 percent of freshmen met or exceeded grade-level goals. That’s twice as many as the previous year. Just 7 percent of the 10th graders did well enough to be in the Ready or Exceeding categories.

This is the second year the state has given the ACT Aspire test in English, math, science, reading and writing to students in the third grade, up through 10th grade. The test is given over a period of days in April.

“Thankfully, we have the opportunity to stay with the ACT Aspire for an extended time. Over the three-year period from 2014-16, we administered three totally different assessments – Benchmark, PARCC, then Aspire. Familiarity with the assessment system is a benefit to students,” said Dr. Tony Thurman, superintendent of Cabot schools.

Dr. Belinda Shook, head of the Beebe School District, echoed those thoughts, “The testing process as a whole went much smoother this year. We had very few glitches with technology, and since this was the second year for ACT Aspire, we knew more of what to expect with the online testing.”

Based on scores, students fall into one of four categories: Exceeding, Ready, Close or In Need of Support. One could look at the categories as A, B, C and D.

Math and science seems to be an overall weakness across the state.

Lisa Academy North charter in Sherwood had the highest test scores in the area across the board, yet still half the ninth and tenth graders didn’t do well on the math exam.

Cabot’s Freshman Academy students and the sophomores at the high school were second in almost every category.

“Both Cabot Freshman Academy (grade 9) and Cabot High School (grade 10) saw improved scores in the number of students scoring at the College and Career Ready level in all five testing areas (English, Reading, Writing, Science and Math). The greatest increases for the freshmen were in Science (+10) and Math (+14). While the greatest increases for sophomores were in Reading (+13) and Math (+14),” Thurman said.

Beebe also hit high on the test list for area schools.

“We want our scores to be high and we want our students to do well, but we also understand the key to doing so is meeting the needs of each individual student,” Shook explained. “We want all students to celebrate how they are growing and improving instead of just focusing on the proficiency level of the whole group of students.”

She added, “The tenth-grade scores were all above the state average and we showed improvement in each area. The ninth grade decreased about two points in English, but overall, English tends to be a high area for Beebe, as well as the state. Writing is an area that needs strengthening, but in 9th and 10th grades, our students scored very well, in comparison to the state. I believe there are alignment issues with the standards and testing that will be worked out the longer we use the same standards and take the same assessments.”

Here is a list of schools by subject and in order from top school to lowest school.


Across the state, 62 percent of sophomores did well and so did 61 percent of ninth-graders.

Nearly 85 percent of Lisa Academy’s sophomores hit or surpass the state standards.

Beebe had 71 percent of its tenth graders make the grade. Cabot Freshman Academy had 71 percent of its freshmen meet or exceed goals.

Cabot High School tenth graders came in at 69 percent.

Lisa Academy had 64 percent of its ninth-graders meet or exceed goals. Sophomores at Sylvan Hills met or exceeded goals at a 59 percent pace. Lonoke sophomores had 57 percent meet or exceed goals.

Of Beebe’s ninth-graders, 57 percent met or exceeded goals. Lonoke ninth-graders were at 53 percent. Of Carlisle’s freshmen 52 percent met or exceeded goals.

Sylvan Hills had 48 percent of its ninth-graders hit the mark. England had 46 percent of its sophomores and 41 percent of its freshmen score well. Only 40 percent of Carlisle sophomores made the cut. Jacksonville had 37 percent of its ninth graders and sophomores meet or exceed goals.


No school in the area scored better than 50 percent on the math portion of the ACT Aspire. The state average was 30 percent for ninth graders and 25 percent for sophomores.

Freshmen at Lisa Academy North did hit the 50 percent mark of meeting or exceeding expectations. The tenth graders were at 46 percent. Cabot freshmen were just one point behind with 45 percent making the cut.

Among sophomores at Cabot High, 38 percent did well. At Beebe High School 34 percent of sophomores either met or exceeded goals, while 33 percent of the ninth graders did the same. Cabot’s Academic Center for Excellence had 31 percent of its freshmen hit the mark. Lonoke had 30 percent of its ninth graders do well on the test.

Carlisle had 23 percent of its ninth graders meet or exceed goals. At Jacksonville’s Lighthouse College Prep Academy, only 22 percent of its freshmen made the cut. Among the ninth graders at England High School, 21 percent made the grade. Sylvan Hills had 19 percent of its sophomores and 18 percent of its ninth graders make the grade. At the tenth-grade level, 17 percent met or exceeded goals. It was the same for Lonoke sophomores with just 17 percent hitting the mark.

Just 13 percent of Carlisle sophomores scored well. Among sophomores at Cabot’s ACE only 9 percent met or exceeded goals. It was also just 9 percent for Jacksonville’s ninth graders. Only 8 percent of sophomores at the Lighthouse school met or exceeded goals.

The tenth-grade class at Jacksonville High School had the worst score in the area with 7 percent of the students tested scoring at or above grade level.


Like math, science was a weak spot for the state, with just a third of tenth- and ninth-graders making the cut.

Both Lisa Academy North’s ninth and tenth grade had 57 percent of its students meet or exceed goals.

Cabot High School had 46 percent of its sophomores meet or exceed goals, while 45 percent of the ninth graders did the same. Beebe had 40 percent of its sophomores do well.

Among Cabot’s Academic Center for Excellence ninth graders, 37 percent did well.

Sylvan Hills had 29 percent of its sophomores do well. In Lonoke and Beebe, 28 percent of freshmen met or exceeded goals, while 26 percent of the Lonoke sophomores did the same. Among Lighthouse charter freshmen, 23 percent made the grade. In England, 22 percent of the sophomores met or exceeded expectations. Twenty percent of the Jacksonville ninth-graders did well on the test.

At Sylvan Hills, just 19 percent of ninth graders made the cut. In Carlisle, it was 19 percent for both the freshmen and sophomores. Only 14 percent of the Cabot ACE sophomores met or exceed goals. England also had only 14 percent of its freshmen do well. Just 13 percent of Jacksonville’s sophomores hit the mark. Lighthouse freshmen did the same with just 13 percent doing well.


State average for ninth grade was 39 percent making the cut and 36 percent of the sophomores doing the same.

At Lisa Academy, both freshmen and sophomores had 57 percent meet or exceed goals. Freshmen at Cabot’s Freshman Academy were close behind with 54 percent making the cut. Sophomores at the high school had 57 percent meet or exceed goals. At Cabot’s ACE, 44 percent of its freshmen did well. Beebe hit the mark with 43 percent of its sophomores.

At Beebe, 38 percent of its ninth graders met or exceeded goals. Lonoke had 35 percent of its freshmen meet or exceed goals. In England, 33 percent of its sophomores made the cut. Sylvan Hills had 32 percent of its tenth graders and 31 percent of its freshmen make the cut. Among ninth graders at Lighthouse, 31 percent did well.

Only 28 percent of Lonoke sophomores made the grade. Tenth grade at the Lighthouse had 27 percent meet or exceed the mark. Carlisle had 26 percent of its tenth graders hit the mark. Among ninth graders in Carlisle, 24 percent did well. Just 23 percent of Carlisle ninth graders met or exceeded goals. Jacksonville had 22 percent of its ninth graders make the grade.

Jacksonville tenth graders tied with the tenth graders from Cabot’s ACE with just 14 percent meeting or exceeding goals.


More than half the state’s students met or exceeded goals in writing — 57 percent for tenth grade and 51 percnet for ninth grade.

Lisa Academy had 73 percent of its sophomores meet or exceed goals. Beebe’s tenth graders were right up there at 72 percent doing well. It was 69 percent of Lisa Academy’s ninth graders hitting the mark. Cabot High School had 68 percent of its tenth graders meet or exceed goals and 65 percent of its Freshman Academy students made the grade. Among ninth graders at Beebe, 60 percent did well.

Sylvan Hills had 56 percent of its tenth graders do well. Lonoke had 54 percent of its sophomores meet or exceed goals. At Lighthouse, 51 percent of the sophomores did well as did 49 percent of the ninth-graders.

England had 44 percent of sophomores meet or exceed goals. At Cabot’s ACE, 41 percent of the ninth graders made the cut.

Sylvan Hills had 38 percent of its ninth graders make the cut. For Carlisle, 38 percent of its sophomores were doing well and 37 percent of its freshmen hitting the mark. England’s freshmen had a 36 percent success rate. Jacksonville’s sophomores had 34 percent do well. Cabot’s ACE had 33 percent of its sophomores meet or exceed goals. At the tenth-grade level in Jacksonville, 30 percent made the cut. Among Lonoke ninth graders, 29 percent did well.