Foreman prepares for another school year

Updated: August 10, 2018

By Quinton Bagley

Little River News

Foreman Superintendent Pat Tankersley

Another school year starts Monday for students in Little River County and the rest of the state of Arkansas. Over the summer many improvements have been made on school campuses, new teachers have been hired and now it is time to open the doors and welcome the students.

For Foreman students and teachers, a familiar face with a new title will greet them when the new school year begins. Pat Tankersley, who was hired earlier this summer as the district’s new superintendent, is excited to begin her first school year in her new position.

“Foreman has been my home for the biggest part of my life,” Tankersley said. “I graduated from Foreman as well as my two children, mother, brothers, nieces and nephews. My love for this school runs deep.”

Tankersley, like any new administrator, has a vision for the district.

“My vision for the Foreman School District is to be a place where students feel safe and “WANT” to come to school,” Tankersley said. “It is also my vision for Foreman schools to continue to provide all students with a quality education that will help them become successful and productive citizens. Foreman has some of the most highly qualified teachers in the state. Our parents and community members always support our district in every way possible. I am proud to be the superintendent that will lead them into the future.”

As previously stated, many changes have taken place on the Foreman campuses during the summer. Some of those changes were cosmetic, but it is the educational changes that has Tankersley so excited.

“This year at Oscar Hamilton Elementary we are excited to begin implementation of a new reading curriculum that will enhance our students learning,” Tankersley said. “The new curriculum we will offer is Wonders, a comprehensive K-6 ELA/ELD program that is designed to meet the challenges of today’s classroom and reach ALL learners. A wealth of research-based print and digital resources provide support for building strong literacy foundations, accessing complex texts, engaging in collaborative conversations, and writing to sources. We feel this will make a tremendous difference in the way our students learn to read by helping them become successful in all areas.”

Three new teachers join the Foreman faculty as well.

“We would also like to welcome Kayla Hornsby back to our staff,” Tankersley said. “Mrs. Hornsby graduated from Texas A&M with her education degree. She is in her fifth year of teaching with four of the five being in third grade where she will be our literacy teacher. Foreman is her hometown and we are proud to have her back!

“In addition to Mrs. Hornsby, we are also pleased to have Deirdre Dove for K-8 Art and Glenn Welch as head baseball and assistant football as well as high school history,” Tankersley continued. “Mrs. Dove is coming to us from Dierks as a first year teacher, but with a wealth of experience considering her 20 year background in the Navy. Mr. Welch has over 29 years of coaching experience, including coaching many athletes who went on to play collegiate sports and some even were drafted for the major league organizations. Four of those former students are still playing professionally.”

Oscar Hamilton is not the only campus to see curriculum changes during the summer. According to Tankersley, FHS is continuing to grow new opportunities for students whose career choice may only require a technical certificate instead of a four year degree such as welder, mechanic, nursing, etc.

“Foreman High School is steadily expanding our Career and Technical Education opportunities,” Tankersley said. “This fall, FHS will implement a Medical Professions Program of Study as well as partner with UA Cossatot-Lockesburg and their Industrial Maintenance Program.

“Medical Professions is a career and technical education program that will prepare students to apply technical knowledge and skills in the health sciences career path,” Tankersley continued. “Students will engage in activities and instruction that will better prepare them to enter the workforce by exposing them to various areas in the medical field, introducing them to medical professionals, allowing them to narrow their focus to a specific area and providing them a skill/trade to enter the workforce.

“Industrial Maintenance is also a career and technical education program that we are offering our students,” Tankersley added. “Local industries including Tyson and Ash Grove have donated large sums of money to update the old Lockesburg High School building into a facility that will become a trade school. This is a two year program for pre-apprenticeship industrial maintenance courses that will be recognized by NCCR (National labor dept). This may include areas of electrician, plumbing, hydraulics, instrumentation, etc. This is an exciting opportunity for Foreman School District that we are really looking forward to offering our children.”

Tankersley has taken on her new role with an excitement that has become contagious. The whole district is excited about the new school year and both academically and athletically. Tankersley summed it up best with, “It’s a great year to be a Gator!”