Richard Abernathy is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators (AAEA). Prior to this position, Abernathy served as the superintendent of the Bryant School District. He has served in the education system for 26 years as a teacher, principal and superintendent.
Dr. Jay Barth is a member of the Arkansas State Board of Education. He was appointed to this position by Governor Mike Beebe in July 2012. Dr. Barth is the M.E. and Ima Graves Peace professor and Bill and Connie Bowen Odyssey professor of politics and director of civic engagement projects at Hendrix College. He has served on the faculty at Hendrix College since 1994. His teaching and research focuses on politics and education. Currently, Barth serves as Senior Southern Area Director for the National Association of State Boards of Education Board of Directors. A native of Saline County, Barth is a graduate of Little Rock Catholic High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Hendrix and master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Barth’s term on the State Board will expire in 2019.
Shane Broadway recently served as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and is currently Vice-President of University Relations for the Arkansas State University System. Broadway is a former State Senator who represented the 22nd district of Arkansas. He was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1997, where in 2001 he served as Arkansas’ youngest Speaker of the House. After being term-limited as a representative, Broadway was then elected to the Arkansas State Senate in 2003 where he was a member of the Senate Education Committee. Prior to his service to the state, Broadway was president of the student body at Arkansas State University, where he would later graduate with his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
John Brown III is Executive Director of the Windgate Charitable Foundation. He graduated from John Brown University in 1971 with a degree in Business Administration and in 1974 he received his law degree from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He became the third president of John Brown University in 1979 and during his tenure enrollment grew by 30% and $14 million in construction was completed. Since leaving the presidency at JBU in 1993, Brown has held various public affairs positions before being elected to the Arkansas Senate in 1995. He continues to be actively connected to JBU, occasionally teaching courses in political thought.
Dr. Gary Compton is an Assistant Superintendent of Support Services in Springdale Public Schools in Springdale, Arkansas. The Department of Support Services oversees the district transportation, food service, nursing service, maintenance, and custodial service offices within the district. In this position, Compton serves over 19,000 students in 26 schools.
Dr. Jerry Guess is the Superintendent of the Pulaski County Special School District. In his role as Superintendent, he serves nearly 17,000 students in 35 schools. Prior to Pulaski County Special School District, Dr. Guess was the superintendent of the Cambden-Fairview School District, a principal, an assistance principal, district gifted & talented coordinator, and language arts teacher. In 2008, Dr. Guess was voted Arkansas Superintendent of the Year. Guess received a bachelor’s degree from Southern State College in Magnolia, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and a doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Laura Kellams is the Director of the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in Northwest Arkansas, a position she has held since August 2008. Prior to this position, she was a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more than 11 years, covering politics, government and regional affairs in a 12-county region. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and has lived in the northwest corner of the state for 20 years.
Dr. Tom Kimbrell is a lifelong Arkansas educator who was appointed to be Commissioner of Education for the State of Arkansas by Governor Mike Beebe and the Arkansas State Board of Education in September 2009 and served in that position until 2014. Dr. Kimbrell is currently serving as Superintendent of Bryant Public Schools. Prior to the appointment, Kimbrell served as executive director of the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, as superintendent for the North Little Rock and Paragould school districts, as assistant principal in the Corning School District, and as a teacher and coach for the Paragould and Pocahontas school districts. Kimbrell earned his doctorate in education and his Master of Science in Education both from Arkansas State University, and he earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Alice Mahony is a member of the Arkansas State Board of Education, appointed by Governor Mike Beebe in July, 2008, and seven year term expiring in 2015. A native of El Dorado, Mahony serves on a number of boards and committees, including the SouthArk Community College Foundation Board, the Arkansas Business & Education Alliance, the El Dorado Education Foundation and the Committees of the El Dorado Promise, NASBE Governmental Affairs (GAC), and G.L.A.M.S. (Girls Learning About Math and Science). She is the past chair of the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce. Mahony holds a BS from John Brown University and an MBA from Harding University.
Dr. Matt McClure is the Chief Learning and Financial Officer of Cross County School District. Prior to this post, he was Superintendent of Cross County School District. During his tenure as superintendent, he was named the 2010 Arkansas Superintendent of the Year and was the youngest recipient to ever receive this award in the state. Prior to his service as Superintendent, McClure worked as a teacher in the Riverview School District, principal, and assistant superintendent of the England School District, and adjunct professor at Harding University. Dr. McClure is also co-founder and Coordinator/Facilitator of the LEAD 21 Walton Scholar Leader Program at Arkansas Tech University.