LITTLE ROCK — Former state Rep. David Cook, a retired educator, was named director of the University of Arkansas’ Leadership Academy on Tuesday.
Cook, from Williford, served three terms in the state House and ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for Congress in the 1st district in 2010.
“We are very fortunate to have David direct our leadership academy,” said Tom Smith, dean of UA’s College of Education and Health Professions. “His experience as a public school administrator and state legislator gives him a unique perspective on what schools need in order to be successful. We are confident he will do a superb job in helping the leadership academy support school districts around the state.”
Created by the Legislature in 1991, the Arkansas Leadership Academy is a training consortium for educators where creative and innovative teaching approaches are designed and taught to educators in school districts across the state.
The academy is nationally recognized and works with 50 partners in education and business in Arkansas. It has staff members in Fayetteville and Little Rock.
Cook, who began his career as an educator in 1978, has worked as a teacher, coach, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent in the Sheridan, Bradford, McRae, Bald Knob, Sloan-Hendrix and Osceola school districts. He also has directed the Northeast Educational Service Cooperative and taught graduate courses in educational leadership as an adjunct instructor at Harding University.
Cook earned a bachelor’s degree in special education and physical education from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s degree in human resource management from Pepperdine University. He also holds an education specialist degree in educational leadership from the University of Arkansas.