Hope Public Schools

Longtime Educators Murphy, Powers, Highland & Hoglunds’ Retire

Hope Public Schools Board of Education President Linda Haynes, standing left, and Zone 4 Representative Jimmy Courtney look on as Zone 6 Representative Kathryn Dickinson presents a retirement memento to Clinton Primary School third grade teacher Cynthia Murphy, seated. – Ken McLemore/Hope Public Schools

HOPE – Retirements from the Hope Public Schools announced in the 2020-2021 academic year include several longtime educators.

“The 2020-2021 school year was filled with challenges and heartbreak, but it also taught us that we can overcome anything,” HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart said in recognizing the contributions of retiring educators.

Cynthia Murphy, Clinton Primary School third grade –

Among the longest serving educators in the HPS, Cynthia Murphy has been a classroom teacher for 48 years. Invoking that experience in her graduation address to the Hope High School Class of 2017, Murphy was noted for her emphasis upon personal improvement.

“You have been taught, but can’t be made to know,” she said. “Your parents took you to church, but they can’t make you believe.”

Murphy’s style in the classroom was a key reason for an Arkansas Department of Education documentary featuring her.

“Making learning fun is important because they can’t wait to get into the classroom the next day; and you can see it on their faces,” she said in the video. “Any time I have a student that has that sparkle in their eye and smile on their face, and I know they have learned; that takes the cake.”

The series of four videos was filmed at Clinton Primary School in May, 2016, and Murphy was recognized by the Arkansas Board of Education in connection with the project.

Murphy is a two-time education award winner as Hope/Hempstead County Educator of the Year in 2005 and Hope Rotary Club Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2001.

A graduate of the former Lincoln High School in Washington, Ar., she received a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff in 1972, and a Master of Education degree in Reading from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia in 1977.

“She has touched the hearts and minds of countless students,” Dr. Hart said.

Susan Powers, Hope High School physical education/girls’ basketball coach/Co-Athletics Director –

“Coach” Powers as she was always known on campus taught in the Hope Public Schools for 40 years. She was named the 2017 Hope Rotary Club Secondary Teacher of the Year and was appointed HPS Co-Activities Director in the same year.

Powers succeeded the late Melba Hall as HHS girls’ basketball coach and was named Arkansas Activities Association conference 7-4A Athletic Director of the Year for 2021.

Powers, a Hope High School graduate, came to the post with 35 years of educational and coaching experience which began at then Yerger Junior High School in 1981.

“Coach Hall called and asked if I’d like to come on board,” she said. “I said, ‘Yes;’ and she did grades 10-12 and I did eight and nine.”

A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, with BSE and MSE degrees in physical education, Powers was a graduate assistant at UCA until she took the girls’ junior track and basketball positions at Yerger. She has since served as senior girls’ and boys’ varsity tennis coach (1982-1985) and assisted with girls’ varsity basketball from 1981-2000, before becoming girls’ head basketball coach from 2001 to date.

She has also directed the Adaptive PE program of the HPS.

Terri Hoglund, Hope High School Special Education/business –

Terri Hoglund has been an educator in the HPS since 1990 and has been keenly involved in student life at Hope High School. Hoglund is the wife of retired HHS Principal Bill Hoglund and she taught in the Special Education program at HHS as well as in the Career and Technical program. Mrs. Hoglund taught the Orientation to Teaching class which was intended to develop new classroom teachers through the Teacher Cadet program.

Hoglund also taught the Noble Impact class at HHS which was designed to foster “soft skills” suitable for student employment in business and industry after graduation. The program is based upon key tenets of learning obligations of opportunity; steering in the right direction to learn and grow; creating contibutions to learning; and understanding the practical applications of mastery.

Hoglund has been a sponsor of NIKE Club and the HHS Senior Class, as well. She holds a BSE degree in Marketing Education (1983) and an MSE degree in Special Education (1992) from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. She was the Runner-Up Hope Rotary Club Secondary Teacher of the Year in 2003.

Bill Hoglund, Hope High School Principal –

Bill Hoglund began his career in public education as a substitute teacher at Hope High School in 1999. He became a classroom teacher and athletics coach at HHS in 2002, and has taught Advanced Placement history, government, as well as biology and earth science. Hoglund coached varsity football, baseball and golf as well as junior varsity basketball at HHS before becoming HPS Athletics Director in 2010.

He was named HHS principal in 2017.

A graduate of Texas A&M University in Texarkana, Hoglund received his bachelor’s degree in general studies in 2000, and he was awarded a master of education degree from Texas A&M-Texarkana in 2002.

He holds National Board certification, is a Certified Athletic Administrator, and is certified in social studies-history, adolescence and youth adulthood, building administration, physical education, coaching, general science, MS science, MS social studies, life/earth science in Arkansas; and is certified as a building level administrator in Texas.

Hoglund has also completed the Southern Regional Education Board Team Leadership Training and LDC Train the Trainer; and he is a member of the Arkansas Education Association, Hope Education Association, Arkansas High School Athletic Administrators Association, NIAAA National Turf Committee and National Five-Year Planning Committee. He has also served as contact person for the High Schools That Work program; was a grader for the NBCT Scholarship; and was a High Schools That Work technical assistance visitor.

He is a former AHSAAA Newcomer of the Year, a former Teacher of the Month, and he attended the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Connecting Teachers to Teachers group.

He is a former “voice” of the HHS Bobcats football radio broadcast and he has been active in local youth football for many years.

Cleonia Highland, Beryl Henry Elementary School, Special Education —

Cleonia Highland was Hope Rotary Club Elementary Teacher of the Year 2019.

Highland had already retired after 30 years as a teacher in the Lewisville Public Schools when she returned to teaching in the Hope Public Schools in 2004.

“Her desire was so strong to help children succeed in school that she re-entered the profession and has been working as a Special Education teacher for the last 15 years with Hope Public Schools,” BHE Principal Dr. Turner said.

Highland is a graduate of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, where she took a bachelor’s degree in business education at the secondary level. She continued studies at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, and received her Special Education Certification from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia.

Retirements across the Hope Public Schools this year also included Deanna Davis, Beryl Henry Elementary School sixth grade math, (1984-2020); Armida Flesher, Beryl Henry Elementary School migrant tutor/recruiter, (1998-2021); Michael Henagan, Hope High School agriculture, (1994-2021); and, Linda Rowe, Beryl Henry Elementary School administrative assistant, (1989-2021).

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