Hope Public SchoolsSchool News

Hall of Fame class to be honored Sept. 17

Ken MCLemore

HOPE – Five former Hope Public Schools educators will be inducted into the Hope Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame on Sept. 17 at Hammons Stadium prior to the Hope-Prescott football game.

“As I have learned more about each honoree for this year’s Hall of Fame, I am increasingly impressed,” HPS Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Crossley said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate these individuals. “HPS is lucky to be associated with them, and our community is better for their service.”

Crossley issued an invitation to Bobcats, Bobcat alumni and Bobcat fans to join the celebration.

“Please come out to the game on September 17 to pay your respects to the tireless efforts of these educators,” he said. “They embody excellence. They embody the best of us. They embody the true essence of being Hope Bobcat Proud.”

A reception for the honorees will be held in the rotunda of Hempstead Hall on the University of Arkansas-Hope campus from 1-2:30 p.m. on Sept. 17. The “come and go” reception will introduce the honorees to the community in preparation for induction ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. at Hammons Stadium.

Honorees of the Educator Hall of Fame Class of 2021-2022 include Harrel Dickerson, Melba Hall, Mary R. Moses, Margaret Moss and Johnny Turner.

HARRELL DICKERSON – Mr. Dickerson is a former longtime facilities and maintenance director for the Hope Public Schools who retired in 1995 after 29 years that began in the classroom at Hope High School in 1966. A graduate of Prescott High School in 1959, Dickerson earned a BSE in Social Studies from Henderson State University in 1964 and received his MSE from HSU in 1970. He completed Principal Certification at the University of Arkansas in 1974 and his School Administration Certification at UA in 1978. He taught 10thgrade World History and 12th grade Western Civilization at Hope High School for six years before becoming YergerJunior High School Principal from 1972-1974. Dickerson served as HHS Assistant Principal from 1974-1976 before becoming HHS Principal from 1976-1981. Thereafter, Dickerson became Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Transportation until his retirement in 1995, during which he oversaw new facilities construction, a duty he continued on a part-time basis for another eight years.

MELBA HALL – The late Melba Hall was a legend as the Hope High School girls’ basketball coach. Hall graduated from HHS in 1962, where she played Ladycat basketball and went on to play for Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, where she graduated with a BSE in 1966. She received her MSE from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and taught and coached in the Chidester, Prescott and Hope schools for 34 years. Hall took the Prescott girls’ basketball program to a state championship in 1971. She spent the majority of her career from 1975-2001 in Hope, where she took the HHS Ladycats from three-on-three play to the full court game. She coached the Ladycats to numerous conference titles and state playoff appearances.  Hall coached girls’ track, volleyball and tennis while at HHS, winning a state doubles tennis title in 1992. She sponsored the HHS Fellowship of Christian Athletes, organized Cats Camp summer youth basketball and was a member of the Arkansas Coaches Hall of Fame. She passed away in November, 2016. 

MARY R. MOSES – Miss Moses was born Jan. 15, 1927, and is a Hope High School graduate of the Class of 1945. She holds at BSE degree from the University of Arlkansas, conferred in 1949, and she was awarded an MSE degree from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia in 1962. Moses began her teaching career in Marianna, Ar., from 1949-1950 and she taught in the Natchez, Miss., public schools for two years prior to returning to Hope to teach 11thgrade English at HHS from 1961-1990. Moses was also the longtime sponsor of the HHS chapter National Honor Society. 

MARGARET MOSS – Mrs. Moss brought her love of reading and literature to Yerger Middle School as its librarian for 19 years prior to her retirement after 37 years in the Hope Public Schools in June, 2016. Her book fairs at YMS were memorable. She began her career in public education as a fourth-grade teacher at Beryl Henry Elementary School for 16 years prior to becoming librarian at Clinton Primary School and YMS. Moss also taught Adult Basic Education at Garland Learning Center. She served students as a cheer coach and student council advisor while at Yerger. Moss is a Hope High School graduate, and holds a BSE in Elementary Education with Certification in Library Science from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia as well as an MSE in Education from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. She has continued post-graduate studies at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia and SAU.

JOHNNY TURNER – Coach Turner worked in almost every aspect of coaching during his 38 years as an educator and coach in the Hope Public Schools. He began as a classroom teacher at Garland Elementary School, later taught career orientation, social studies and physical education at YergerMiddle School and began coaching in 1980. During his coaching tenure, he served as 7-8th grades basketball coach, assistant varsity football coach, 8th grade track coach, assistant varsity basketball coach, 9th grade football coach, varsity secondary/offensive backs coach, offensive coordinator, interim head Bobcat football coach and Bobcat head football coach. A transitionary alumnus of Yerger High School, Turner graduated with the Class of 1971 at Hope High School. He holds a BSE in secondary physical education from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, where he was active in Omega Psi Phi in community service. He is also a lifetime member of the Arkansas Coaches Association.

Nominations were solicited from the community, from professional education organizations and from education-related organizations of former HPSD educators with 10 years or more of active service as an HPSD educator, administrator or support professional, inclusive of posthumous nominations.

The honorees will comprise the fourth class of the HPSD Educator Hall of Fame since the inaugural class was selected during the Hempstead County Bicentennial year in 2018.

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