Pine Bluff School District
Zone 2 Candidates
Nichol has been a member of the Pine Bluff School District Board of Directors since 2010.
Phyllis A. Wilkins
“I believe that all children have a fundamental right not only to a good education but an excellent education,” she said in a recent news release. “My husband and I have two sons who graduated from the Pine Bluff School District. They have excelled in their endeavors to serve this state. I believe that we owe our children and community the best opportunity to fulfill their life goals.”
A mental health therapist, she works for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
If elected, Wilkins’ goals include demonstrating professionalism and stability in working with others, making sure tax dollars are spent appropriately, promoting a parent friendly campus environment and listening to residents.
Wilkins has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and a master of social work degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is a licensed clinical social worker in Arkansas and certified in co-occurring disorders as a professional diplomat.
She has been married to state Rep. Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV for 34 years and is a member of St. James United Methodist Church where he is the pastor.
Mark Essex Smith
At Watson Chapel High School, Smith is the Alternative Learning Environment lab manager and also serves as vice president of the Watson Chapel Education Association.
“If elected, I plan to work closely with the community, faculty and administration of the Pine Bluff School District to improve our schools and give our children the education they deserve,” he said in a press release Thursday.
“I believe we, as a community, can no longer afford to play politics when it comes to our children. We have to put the most highly qualified personnel in the correct position if we truly want change for the better,” he said.
Smith has a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Dillard University and a master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction from Xavier University.
He has 15 years of teaching experience and holds an Arkansas Teaching License in Mathematics for 7-12 grades, he said.
He and his wife Samona have been married 12 years. A daughter, Laquandaneshia, is a 2012 graduate of Pine Bluff High, and three other children, Melissa, Mark-Essex and Sa’Mia are current students in the Pine Bluff district.
Smith is the son of Melva Trask.
Zone 3 candidates
“I have worked extremely hard with administrators, administrative staff and teachers to implement programs that are designed to provide quality instruction and learning opportunities for district students,” Horace said in a press release.
Horace retired from the Army in 2008 as a master sergeant and is vice chair of the deacon board at Indiana Street Missionary Baptist Church.
A 1971 graduate of Pine Bluff High School, Horace earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1979 from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Horace is a member of the Arkansas School Boards Association, earning Master of Board Certification, and is a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.
Currently, he serves as vice president for the Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson County and athletic director for the Sigma Mustang T-Ball team.
“I will continue to work to build a stronger Pine Bluff for our youth,” he said.
A lifetime member of the NAACP, Horace is also a member of the Prince Hall Masons and is a Jefferson County special deputy sheriff.
He is married to Della Clark-Horace. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.
“I am running because of my love and concern for students of our district,” said Washington, who was an educator 36 years.
“I believe it is the board’s responsibility to provide a positive influence by exemplifying strong leadership and promoting the importance of student achievement. I understand the importance of putting children first in education and that teaching and learning is the core work of schools,” she said.
Washington graduated from Arkansas AM&N College, now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, in 1972 receiving a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She has worked in several school districts including Pine Bluff from 1985 until her retirement in 1999. She taught social studies at Jack Robey Junior High and was a cheer coach.
Washington continues to maintain her lifetime teacher’s license in education and is vice president of the Jefferson County Retired Teachers.
She has also been a member of the National Education Association, Arkansas Education Association, Arkansas Retired Teachers Association and local education association.
Washington has been married to Rev. W.T. Washington for 48 years and they have two children. They are members of the AME Churches in Sherrill.
Zone 4 candidates
Freddie M. Johnson
After 33 years of teaching, Johnson retired from the Pine Bluff School District in 2010, she said in a press release.
A graduate of Southeast High School, she received a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a master of education degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
She is also a graduate of Arkansas Military Officer Candidate Training, served in the military from 1974 to 2002 and is the mother of one daughter.
She’s a member of several organizations including the National Education Association, Arkansas Education Association, Pine Bluff Education Association, National School Boards Association, Arkansas School Boards Association and National Guard Association of the United States.
“Realistically, in any given school district, every student is not going to excel academically; therefore, other aspects of students’ skills and abilities should not go untapped. No student should be made to feel that he or she is inferior to any other because of his or her test scores. All children have the potential to become productive, successful adults in society. With the support of parents, teachers and the community dreams become reality.”
Johnson said she feels integrity, dedication, honesty and the ability to make tough decisions are essential for
anyone overseeing a school district.
Henry Dabner, Jr.
“I am running as a concerned parent for the students in the Pine Bluff School District,” he stated in a press release. “I believe it’s the board’s responsibility to show leadership in educating our students. I believe strongly in working together as a team for the benefit of our students and will work hard to that end.”
Dabner graduated high school in 1989 from the Stuttgart School District. He also attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and is employed with the city of Pine Bluff as a housing specialist for the economic and community development department.
Working with the Parent Teacher Association in Pine Bluff School District for 15 years, Dabner also is involved in Little League baseball and football. He is a member of Barraque Street Baptist Church.
Dabner and his wife, Felicia, have three children, all Pine Bluff High School graduates.
Meadows is a native of Pine Bluff, but as the son of an Air Force father, has lived in and out of Arkansas. He and his wife, Mia, have one son, Lee Josiah. Meadows earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a master of arts degree in public administration from Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Meadows currently is the chief information officer for Arkansas Career Education and Rehabilitation Services and is also an associate minister at Kings Highway Missionary Baptist Church in Pine Bluff.
“Regardless of your socio-economical status, generation, or belief system, we must start with the bottom line truth about what has happened to the Pine Bluff School District in recent years, and accept the honest fact that what has happened to our education system is criminal. Not because we have broken any laws, but because the standard and level of learning has degraded to the point to where if we do not change course now our students will have a greater success at becoming criminals if we do not make some drastic changes soon. Everyone has their reason for wanting to run…for me, I am on a mission to do my part in helping to restore Pine Bluff School District to a track record of success.”
Zone 6 candidates
The interim coordinator of the Department of Theatre & Mass Communications at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Barnes is a graduate of Pine Bluff High School, UAPB and Grambling State University.
“I am seeking re-election because I have a passion for education and a strong desire to see every child educated,” she said in a news release. “I have supported the administration in contracting in excess of $6 million to hire consultants to work with teachers and students to increase test scores and promote academic excellence.”
She has the experience to retain the position, according to a news release.
“Due to in excess of 100 hours of board training, I am highly qualified and understand the roles and responsibilities associated with being an effective board member,” Barnes said.
Barnes is a member of the National School Board Association and Arkansas School Board Association, where she has earned the Outstanding Boardmanship Award and Master Board Member Award.
She is president of the Parent Teacher Organization at W.T. Cheney Elementary School, a member of the Gifted & Talented council, Parent Advisory Council and the National Association of Black School Educators.
She has one child and is a member of the Mount Harmony Missionary Baptist Church.
Leon Jones Sr.
“I am running because I am very concerned about the future of our children and this community,” he said in a news release. “My goal as a board member is to work hard with the administration and teachers to produce the best educational environment for all students to learn.”
A 1971 graduate of Arkansas AM&N College (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), Jones received a bachelor of science degree in agriculture economics. He also studied religion at Southwest Theological Seminary of Dallas and is currently seeking an online master’s degree in business administration through Webster University.
A member of Barraque Street Baptist Church, Jones serves as children’s ministry director.
“As a board member I will work to ensure that our children are proficient or advanced in all areas of study,” he said.
If elected, he also plans to be open to all patrons in the district, be more responsive to the needs of employees and be transparent to the community, he said.
He and his wife, Beverly, have been married 40 years and have four children and seven grandchildren.
Carvis J. Campbell
During the Sept. 18 school board election, he will face incumbent Donna Barnes and challenger Leon Jones Sr.
“I am running as a parent standing with other parents with a vested interest — to improve our school system for our kids,” he said in a news release.
Campbell works for the U.S. Department of the Treasury and advises youth with the Little Rock Job Corps.
“I truly believe the school board is essential to creating a shared vision with emphasis on quality public education and ensuring the district has the necessary resources to transform the vision into reality,” he said.
In 1997, Campbell earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and in 2005 he received a master of arts degree in public administration from Webster University.
While attending graduate studies, he worked for the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he coordinated minority outreach activities with a focus on Pine Bluff School District. Students were transported free and given tours to the U of A and ACT Prep.
Campbell and his wife, Angie, have four children. Three are currently attending the Pine Bluff School District and one is a graduate of Pine Bluff High School.
Zone 7 candidates
Chandra Griffin, who currently holds the Zone 7 seat on the Pine Bluff School Board, is running for re-election.
Griffin will face challengers Andrea Little-Roaf and the Rev. Johnny Smith in the school board election Sept. 18.
The principal broker of C Griff Realty, Griffin has owned the agency since 2005 and has been a licensed agent since 2003, she said in a news release.
“I understand the foundation of a thriving community is education. I’m seeking re-election to continue the work and support needed to enhance this district and community through education,” Griffin said.
Her main priority is to move the district forward through positive initiatives and support of students and staff.
She received the Outstanding Board Member award in October 2010 and Master Board Member award in December 2012.
Griffin believes she has the qualifications to keep her position.
“I understand as a board member our training is critical to understand school law and the role of a board member. I feel I have the training and experience needed to continue the dedicated work needed for this district to maintain great strides of educating our students,” she said.
She has been married 16 years, has one child and is a member of Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church of Gould.
Andrea Roaf-Little is seeking the Pine Bluff School Board Zone 7 seat. She will face incumbent Chandra Griffin and the Rev. Johnny Smith.
“I am running because I have a desire to make a positive impact on education in our community,” she said. “I want to be a part of a solution that helps foster an atmosphere where children can learn. I want to work as a team with the members of the school board so that we can be effective in our efforts and I look forward to this challenge.”
Roaf-Little received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 1991. She also has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Arkansas State University and a master of science degree in addiction studies from UAPB.
In 1998, she began her career with the Department of Community Correction where she is currently a treatment coordinator.
In the Pine Bluff School District, Roaf-Little is an active member of the PTO at her daughter’s school and has helped with the planning and implementation of numerous after-school projects and activities. She also served as a parent representative during a round table discussion to develop creative ways to address many of the issues within the district.
She has been married to Gregory Little for 21 years and they have two children.
Rev. Johnny Smith Jr.
The pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church for 20 years, Smith is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a bachelor of science degree in physical education.
“It is my belief that the members of the community have a right to give input and direction for the school district,” he said in a news release.
“I believe it is the administration’s responsibility to help devise and effectuate the desires and goals of the community for the school district. My commitment as a board member is to understand the desires and goals of the school district and work with the administration, community, its partners and stakeholders to facilitate the mission objective of the school district,” Smith said.
Smith’s experience includes being a commissioner in Criminal Justice and Prison Ministry with the NBC USA program, youth advocate with Jefferson County’s Sixth Division Circuit Court (also known as the juvenile division), director of evangelism, lecturer and teacher of the Regular Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
“I am convinced that my position as a school board member will be one of servitude; therefore, I am willing to ensure that the will of the community, the philosophy of the administration, and the standards of public school education are aggressively pursued,” he said.
Smith also has a certificate of theology from Arkansas Baptist College, bachelor of arts degree in ministry from Morris Booker College, certifications in Police and Institutional Chaplaincy and a diploma from COPP National Baptist Convention Christian Education Department.
Watson Chapel School District
Zones 3 and 5 at-large candidates
Sandra C. Boone
Boone has been an educator for 32 years and believes that her experience on the school board has prepared her well to continue in that role.
“I have first-hand knowledge of the goings-on in public school as referenced by my experience as an educator, education association leader, chief negotiator for the collective bargaining committee and tenure on the Watson Chapel School Board,” Boone said in a press release.
Boone worked to ensure that faculty and staff paychecks are placed in sealed envelopes to protect employee privacy and to prevent identity theft.
“My role as a board member is to provide support for those persons we hired to assure that our board policies are followed,” Boone said.
Boone received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Arkansas AM&N College (now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), and a master of arts degree in English from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Boone was Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year and member and past president of the Arkansas Education Association and the Jefferson County Retired Teachers Association.
Boone is married to retired Major Walter R. Boone Sr. They have two adult children, Kimberly Boone Goodwin and Major Walter R. Boone Jr.; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Lieutenant Harold Clark is a Pine Bluff native that started his fire service career with the Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department in July 2000. Clark started out as a firefighter and was one of the first emergency medical technicians in the department, and has had increasing rank and responsibilities with the department throughout his career. Clark is a 1992 graduate of Watson Chapel High School. He holds a master’s degree in public administrations from Webster University and in recognition of his high scholastic attainment (graduating with a 3.93 GPA) was elected a member of the International Honor Society in Business Administration.
He holds a bachelor of arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, an associate’s of applied science degree in fire science from Southeast Arkansas College, and currently attending the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute at the campus of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Clark is a fire department public information officer and liaison to the fire chief. He currently serves as an adjunct instructor for the Arkansas Fire Academy and is a member of the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce, Fraternal Order of Firefighters, Arkansas State Firefighters Association, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Delta Mu Delta, NAACP, Toastmasters International and the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters.
Zone 3 candidates
In a press release, Reynolds said he is a 1981 graduate of Altheimer High School, a 1988 graduate of Delta Career College and a 2007 graduate of Arkansas Baptist College where he received a bachelor of arts degree in theology.
“If re-elected, I will continue to work hard and put children first — They are our future. My role as a board member is to provide support for those persons we hired to assure policies are followed,” he said.
A member of the National Baptist Consolidated USA Inc., he is also a member of Interested Citizens for Voter Registration, United Paper Workers International, ACORN, NAACP, Bible Fellowship Study and is a deacon of Mt. Bayou Missionary Baptist Church.
He has four children.
A graduate of Watson Chapel School District, Moye is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal investigations, she said in a news release.
“I am running because I have a desire to make a positive impact on our children’s education as well as in our community,” she said. “I want to be part of a solution that helps support an atmosphere where children can learn and be motivated towards their education.”
If elected, she plans to work with others to promote the district.
“My goal as a board member is to encourage and work hard with parents, staff and the community to ensure that our children are receiving the best education and guidance,” Moye said.
An active parent, Moye has two children in the district and is a member of Pleasant View Ministries.