Reception Held for Retiring Beebe School Board Member Brenda McKown

Sep 27th, 2017 | By | Category: Top Story

Brenda McKown – retiring Beebe School Board member – was honored with a reception Monday night, Sept. 25th at the monthly meeting. This was her last board meeting as a Beebe School Board member. Ms. McKown has been a member of the Beebe School Board for the past 12 years and before that was a member of the McRae School Board for 10 years. Her twenty-two years of service have been invaluable to the board. Her down-to-earth style and diplomatic demeanor have helped in many situation. McKown decided not to run for re-election because she felt it was time to move on, as she explained. “I will miss it terribly but will continue to be supportive from the sidelines,” she said. McKown said that there were two projects she wanted to see completed while she was one the board. “One was the Career and Technical Center which provides outstanding opportunities to participate in Career and Technical courses that help prepare them for adulthood,” stated McKown. “ Students in the C &T building take classes in Drones, Medical Professions, Family and Consumer Sciences, Broadcasting, Agriculture, Technology Courses and even a marketing class that runs a store within the high school. The other is the Tornado Shelter on the McRae campus. A few years ago the District constructed a new building, along with a storm shelter on the campus. The shelter is used for students in the daytime, but available for the community after hours.” Asked what she has enjoyed the most of her years on the school board, McKown stated, “School Diplomas and shaking each hand of the Senior Class; Monthly presentations of Student achievement during Board Meetings which include Art Winners, Choir, Stem, Second Chance Graduates, just to name a few. Our students are so incredibly bright and gifted. Second Chance is a program within our conversion charter school, Badger Academy, which allows students who have dropped out of Beebe High School to return for a diploma. We have recognized many students at school board meetings for completing their graduation requirements.” When asked what the one thing you hope a BHS student looks back on with fondness long after graduations, McKown state, “The one thing I hope a BHS graduate will remember with fondness are the teachers.  Of course a student will remember the “fun” teachers they had but I believe a student will look back and remember the teacher(s) that made them put forth much more effort with their work.  The teacher who made them think and expand their brain to find the answer.  The teacher who made them question their work in order to bring out the student’s very best when at the time the student said I’ll never be able to use this in the future. Students at the time may have disliked that teacher but when the student got in the adult world they realize the teacher had the student’s best interest at heart and they will look back and appreciate the teacher with new respect and admiration.   The teachers who encouraged the students to go do their best at all times and helped them grow into the fine men and women of our future.” McKown’s family includes two daughters and one granddaughter. McKown added, “My oldest, Allison Porter is married to Jeff and they are the proud parents of my sweet little 3 year old granddaughter, Olivia. (Allison is a McRae graduate). My youngest daughter, Spencer is engaged to Casey Whitfield (both Spencer and Casey are Beebe graduates). Both daughters have graduated college and are successfully employed. I’m so very proud of all their accomplishments.” Superintendent Dr. Belinda Shook had these words of appreciation for Ms. McKown: “Brenda McKown has devoted 22 years of her life making big decisions for our school district. She is a strong leader with a steady, quiet manner. She takes action when action is needed and is dedicated to her duties. She was the President of the McRae board when the annexation took place. As always, she handled it with grace and professionalism, always keeping the students’ best interest at the forefront. She was also on the board when I was hired as the superintendent. Personally and professionally, she has my utmost respect and gratitude. In the 22 years she has served on the board, she has seldom missed a meeting. I could always count on her and I’m very appreciative of the time and support she has given to the District. She is definitely a pillar of strength and knowledge on the board and will be missed. She also served at President of the Arkansas School Boards Association in 2015-16. I am not sure Beebe as ever had a board member serve as president of the state organization. “ “After 22 years of service, we will miss her but we wish her much happiness in her retirement from the board.” We wish you the best, Ms. McKown!