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Local educators taking part in LEAD 21 scholars program

Arkansas Tech University has selected an inaugural cohort of 20 Walton Leader Scholars for its LEAD 21 program.

LEAD 21 is a new initiative by the Arkansas Tech Center for Leadership and Learning that will make the Arkansas Tech Master of Education degree in educational leadership available to selected teachers in Pulaski County and the Delta region of Arkansas through a blended format of online course offerings and seminars.

“Made possible through a $974,157 grant from the Walton Family Foundation, LEAD 21 will serve two cohorts of 20 Master of Education in educational leadership students each over the next four years,” said Shara Brazear, a spokeswoman for the North Little Rock School District. “Two of the teachers selected to participate in the first class are North Little Rock School District teachers.”

The inaugural class of Walton Leader Scholars (listed with the educational entity at which they serve) includes:

Local participants in the LEAD 21 program are:

• Mary Beth Cox, North Little Rock High School;

• Amanda Crowder, Lighthouse Academies of Arkansas, Jacksonville;

• Tamara Davis, Maumelle High School;

• Suzette Decesaro, Adkins Pre-K, Pulaski County Special School District;

• Pamela Freeman, Dupree Elementary, Pulaski County Special School District;

• Catherine Hayes, North Little Rock High School;

• Valencia Rochelle, Taylor Elementary, Pulaski County Special School District;

• Courtney Stone, Lighthouse Academies of Arkansas, Jacksonville;

• Norman Whitfield, Lighthouse Academies of Arkansas, Jacksonville.

The inaugural cohort began its studies with a two-day retreat at the Lake Point Conference Center in Russellville May 31-June 1. The second cohort will begin the program in summer 2014.

Dr. Matt McClure, superintendent of the Cross County School District, will serve as coordinator and facilitator for the LEAD 21 program.

Dr. Lonnie Melvin, visiting assistant professor of educational leadership in the Arkansas Tech Center for Leadership and Learning, will serve as both instructor and advisor for the Walton Leader Scholars.

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