HOPE – Six former Hope Public Schools educators will be inducted into the Hope Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame in a video presentation which will become available on social media March 11.
The new inductees have almost two centuries of public education service among them, all six having begun their careers as classroom teachers. Five of the six honorees have served as administrators at the campus or district level and two have been groundbreaking counselors.
All six inductees have earned at least one advanced degree and/or administrative certification, while one has been mayor of Hope, one has been superintendent of schools in Hope, one was an ordained minister, and one has served on the Hope Public Schools Board.
Four of the six are Hope natives and three of the honorees have coached athletics teams.
The inductees of the Class of 2020-2021 include:
JUNANNE BROWN – Junanne Reynolds Brown is a lifelong resident of Hope and a 1969 graduate of Hope High School. She holds a BSE in history and physical education from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia and a bachelor’s degree in counseling from the University of Central Arkansas in Russellville as well as principal and superintendent’s certifications from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Brown has taught in public schools in Arkansas for more than 30 years, beginning in the Hughes School District in 1973 and later in the North Little Rock School District. She served as a history and Gifted/Talented Program teacher at Yerger Middle School, and as a counselor and assistant principal at Hope High School in the Hope Public Schools from 1979 until she retired from public education in 2010. Brown was named Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year in 1988, has served as counselor and director of Arkansas Girls State and was a member of the Ouachita Baptist University Board of Trustees from 2001-2007.
ROSE DAVIS – A native of Hope, Rose L. Davis was a graduate of H. C. Yerger High School in 1953 and took a BSE degree from the AM&N University (University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff) in Pine Bluff in 1964. Davis earned a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1976. She began her career in the Hope Public Schools in 1963, serving as a classroom teacher at Hopewell Elementary School, later served as assistant principal and principal at Hopewell, as assistant principal at Rutherford Middle School, and as reading specialst at H.C. Yerger Middle School before retiring while serving as HPS Federal Programs Director in 1997. She was the first Black to serve as a campus principal after integration of the HPS in 1969 and Davis was the lead plaintiff in the Davis. v. Franks federal civil suit in 1988 to remediate past practices of racial discrimination. After retirement she served on the Hope Public Schools Board from 1998-2002.
KENNETH MULDREW – Retiring in 2012 after 39 years in public education, Kenneth Muldrew was the first Black superintendent of schools for the Hope Public Schools. Muldrew graduated from H.C. Yerger High School in 1967 and he received a BSE in biology from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia in 1972. He took an MSEd. in education administration from the University of Arkansas and received Arkansas School Leadership Credentials in Education Administration for superintendent certification through East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas, and the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Muldrew has served as assistant superintendent and interim superintendent of the HPS after serving as a teacher and coach at H.C. Yerger Middle School, where he later became assistant principal. He has also served as a principal or superintendent in the Washington and Saratoga schools in Hempstead County and the Nevada Public Schools in Nevada County.
BOBBY B. WHITMARSH – After 10 years of active duty in the Arkansas Army National Guard, Bobby Whitmarsh retired from military service and began a career in public education in the Hope Public Schools that lasted 28 years. A graduate of Prescott High School in 1948, Whitmarsh married and served in the AANG, including the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Thereafter, he took his BSE in mathematics and history from Henderson State University in 1961, and returned to Henderson to earn a MSE in education in 1969. Whitmarsh entered classroom teaching at Hope high School in 1961 teaching world history and mathematics, including geometry, advanced math and calculus. He was named assistant principal at HHS in 1968, and he became HHS principal in 1974. During his tenure as principal Whitmarsh also served as golf team coach for HHS.
Rev. Dr. W. G. WYNN – The late Rev. Dr. Willie Grays Wynn gave 70 years of service to African Methodist Episcopal Church ministry and public education from a life of study. Born in Louisiana, Dr. Wynn was home-schooled during his early childhood by his mother, a licensed school teacher and later attended Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church School before transferring to public schools at East Carrell Parish Training School. He began preaching ministry at age 19 and theological study under the North Louisiana Annual Conference, completing high school studies in 1940. He, then, enrolled in Campbell College, Edward W. Lampton School of Religion and graduated with honors. Wynn was conferred the degree of Doctor of Divinity, Campbell College, in 1958. He continued studies over the course of his life at Jackson College, Morehouse College, Arkansas AM&N College in Pine Bluff and Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Wynn was awarded a fellowship at Southwestern Oklahoma State College with a major in mathematics through the National Science Foundation. His tenure of service in the Hope Public Schools is largely unknown, but his obituary notes he taught in the classroom, served as a principal and was a special assistant to more than one superintendent, retiring from academic service in 1987.
FLOYD YOUNG – The advent of integration in the Hope Public Schools placed teacher and counselor Floyd Young in a critical role in that important transition. Young, Yerger High School counselor, worked with Earl Downs, Hope High School counselor, to mesh the registration of students from both campuses into a unified student body. Young graduated from Blevins Training School in 1957 and took his BSE in mathematics from Arkansas AM&N College (University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff) in 1961. He completed additional graduate study through the National Science Foundation at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, prior to taking an MSE in guidance and counseling at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia in 1966. Young began as a classroom educator at Carver High School in Marked Tree, and later at Clow Training School in Ozan and Lincoln High School in Historic Washington. He taught classes while serving as counselor at Yerger High School until 1969, becoming a counselor at HHS in 1970 until 1975. Young has since served as vice chancellor for student services at the University of Arkansas Community College – Hope; guidance specialist and GED administrator for the Arkansas Department of Education; counselor for the Arkansas Employment Security Division; and a licensed professional therapist. He has served as chairman of the Arkansas Counseling Board of Examiners, president of the Arkansas School Counselors Association, delegate to the American Personnel and Guidance Association, mayor of the City of Hope and member of the Hope Housing Authority Board, as well as deacon ministry chair at Rising Star Baptist Church, chair of the Neva Carmichael Scholarship Committee and trustee of the Earl Collins Foundation Scholarship of Kiwanis International (Missouri-Arkansas District).
Nominations were solicited from the community, from professional education organizations and from education-related organizations of former HPSD educators with at least 10 years of active service as an HPSD educator, administrator or support professional, inclusive of posthumous nominations.
The six honorees will comprise the third class of the HPSD Educator Hall of Fame since the inaugural class was selected during the Hempstead County Bicentennial year in 2018.