Posted Date: 01/23/2018
Moments after the Marion Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the magnet school model for Avondale Elementary, Marion Elementary, and Marion Intermediate Schools, Superintendent Dr. Glen Fenter made a surprising motion that was met with a standing ovation. He recommended that one of the three K-6 magnets be named in honor of former superintendent Herbert Carter.
“Herbert Carter has served as a Champion for Eastern Arkansas and the Marion School District for over 60 years. His passionate leadership and relentless tenacity have served this region in extraordinary fashion. We are very excited that our School Board chose to recognize his accomplishments in this manner and will be honored to have his name and legacy associated with our new Global Community Magnet School,” said Dr. Fenter.
Even more surprised by the gesture was Carter himself.
“I didn’t expect this. Dr. Fenter invited me to the meeting and I thought he wanted me to talk about a project we’re working on. I had no idea. But this is a great moment and I am honored,” said Carter who began his career at Marion School District in 1956 as a shop teacher and bus driver. The Korean War Veteran retired in 1990 after nearly three decades as superintendent.
Carter maintains that the success of the district during his tenure was made possible by the school board, administrators, and talented staff who served with him over the years. The real secret to Herbert Carter’s longevity as Superintendent of the Marion School District was his approach to people and his love for being among them, according to those who had the privilege of working alongside the avid storyteller, devoted husband, proud father, and doting grandfather.
“He became my boss in 1986, and he’s still my boss today. If Herbert calls, I drop everything. Mr. Carter trained me to work with people, not above them. He would say, “We’re here to serve our teachers; they’re here to serve their students,” and he made it clear that it was our job to make all areas of our staff successful,” said Marian Smith, Retired Assistant Superintendent for Marion School District.
“I was hired by Mr. Carter in 1979. He is a good man, a fair man, a man of great integrity. If anyone deserves this honor it is Mr. Carter. When I think of him, I think about an eagle, for he is strong, reliable, and can soar above any difficulty,” said Virginia Young who was hired by Carter as the first African-American secretary.
“I consider it a privilege and an honor to be able to name one of the schools in favor of Herbert Carter who served as superintendent for 29 years,” said A. Jan Thomas, Board Chairman.
The Global Community Magnet School, which will be located at now Marion Elementary, will be highly rigorous and move at a quicker pace with high expectations for all students. It will provide students with the background and skills for future career opportunities in the global community and emphasize developing leadership in young children. Students will frame learning within a world perspective while studying about business and law; environmental and biological sciences; government and public service; diplomacy and international organizations; media and public relations; and health care and education. All students will also have an opportunity to learn a second language.
“To know that our district is making this big change and that I get to be principal of this school, involved in the leadership, and that it will be named in honor of Mr. Carter is exciting,” said Adam O’Neal.
Herbert Carter is married to Verna Jean; has two daughters, Cathy and Cheryl, and four grandchildren. A formal dedication is planned for Herbert Carter this fall. The public will be invited.
In addition to the Global Community Magnet School, parents will also get to choose between two additional magnet models: Visual and Performing Arts; Math, Science, & Technology.
Dates are currently being secured for meetings with parents and community members that will provide more information on each school, the registration process, and commonly asked questions.
-Lynn Lampkin, Director of Communications