HOPE – The settling into a newly-defined “normal” for what arguably has been the most unusual school year in the modern era of the Hope Public Schools brought changes to the HPS at each campus.

Three districtwide changes occurred at the outset of an academic year in which the COVID-19 crisis altered the ways many things are done in public education in Hope.

COVID-19 Point of Contact

Acting to directly connect the HPS response to COVID-19 to the Arkansas Department of Health, the Hope Board of Education appointed Bobcat Clinic Director Gretchen Carlton as the district’s Point of Contact Liaison with the ADH in August. Carlton is responsible for maintenance of ADH guidance communication with the district and public, maintenance of COVID-19 case information, implementation of notification to parents, and monitoring of timelines for acceptable returns of COVID-19 case patients to campuses in consultation with ADH.

The position requires a 24/7 presence by Carlton and is a stipend-based responsibility.

Carlton is a native of Bodcaw, a graduate of Nevada High School and Southern Arkansas University.

Aramark Food Services Director

HPS Food Services Clinton Primary School Cafeteria Manager Sandra Calhoun was named Aramark Food Services Director for the HPS in August. Aramark is the food services operations vendor for the school district, and Calhoun replaces Cortney Nutt, who left the company.

Calhoun was named to the Aramark “Ring of Stars,” recognizing the top 200 food service professionals in the global company in 2019.

A native of Nashville, she is a graduate of Nashville high School, and has been employed in the HPS food services department since 2016. At CPS, she managed the largest cafeteria in the district, serving up to 900 students at breakfast and lunch meals per school day.

HPS Director of Bands

Christian Davis was named HPS Director of Bands in August in place of Julie Gladden, who took a position in Texarkana.

Davis hails from north Arkansas and is a graduate of Harmony Grove High School in Benton. He took his Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Education at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, graduating in 2018. In college, Davis participated in several intercollegiate music ensembles and more recently in the University of Arkansas Conducting Symposium.

Davis comes to Hope from the Pocahontas Public Schools in northeast Arkansas, where he taught instrumental music as assistant band director.

Changes on other campuses have included classroom teachers, paraprofessionals and athletics staff, as follows:

Hope High School

New teachers – Carah Colbert-Matchett, Science; Nora Cummings, Family and Consumer Science; Eric Collins, Social Studies/Athletics; Alex Spradlin, Health/Athletics; TeKayla Dixon, Special Education.

New staff – Marketta Flowers, Paraprofessional.

Yerger Middle School

New teachers – Jared Morrow, 7th grade Math; and Delma Stewart, 8th grade Math; Hosea Born, from Math to Art.

New staff – Emmanuel Dixon, Paraprofessional.

Hope Academy of Public Service

New teachers – Hosea Born, Art; LaTonya Bradley, 7th-8th grade Science; Pamela Edmondson, 5th-6th grade Social Studies; Allison Girt, Music; Michael Herron, Band; Jordan Jones, 5th-6th grade Science; Whitney Hoglund, Self-Contained Special Education.; Barbara Holmes, Special Education; Sonji Flemons, Math Facilitator.

New staff – Mayra Garcia, Paraprofessional; Vickey Pierce, Paraprofessional; Carla Sermons, Paraprofessional.

Beryl Henry Elementary School

New teachers – Allison Girt, Music.

Clinton Primary School

New teachers – Kindergarten: Abby Honea; First Grade: Gail McClenton, Heather Avery, Amanda Shanks, Kylande Stewart; Second Grade: Viviana Bustamante, Jessie Lewis; Third Grade: Presley Capps; Fourth Grade: Katelyn Kidd. Special Education, Samantha Dougan; Health/Safety/PE, Bryce Cash.

New staff – Paraprofessionals Raquel Canalas, Iris Gomez, Byonnka Henderson, Jaylen Johnson, Mayra Juanes, Kenya Love, Latoya Muldrew, April Scoggins.