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January is School Board Recognition Month in Arkansas, and the Marion School District is taking time to show appreciation for its board members.

The seven members of the Marion School District Board of Directors are Jeffrey Richardson (president), Daryel Jackson (vice president), Gary Wehrum (secretary), Jerri Crase, Eddie Minton, Rob Rash, and Bartt Vaughn.

“I have nothing but respect and gratitude for this incredible group of people,” said Dr. Glen Fenter, Marion superintendent. “Their leadership, guidance, and support are the reason we are able to do the things we are doing here at the Marion School District. It is an honor to work with folks who are so committed to improving education in the community.”

Fenter credited the stability of the local school board for the improvements the district has made over the past several years, including the establishment of its three magnet elementary schools, upgraded school facilities, key staff additions, the transition to the Hybrid Academic Calendar, and more. He also noted that board members played a key role in the recent passage of the millage project and provided crucial support as the district navigated the Covid-19 crisis.

Last month, School Board President Jeffrey Richardson received the coveted ASBA School Board Service Award, an award presented to Arkansas school board members with 30 or more years of service. Richardson has also been recognized with the ASBA President’s Award and Platinum Award for the hundreds of hours of school board training he has received.

These are just a few of the many recognitions Marion School Board members have received in recognition of their service and training. Richardson and Jackson have both received the ASBA Pinnacle Award. Richardson, Jackson, Wehrum, and Rash have been named Master Board Members. Outstanding Board Member awards have been presented to Richardson, Jackson, Wehrum, and Rash. And Crase has earned a Certificate of Boardsmanship.

“To have quality schools, you have to have quality leadership with quality vision,” Fenter said. “And this is what our board provides. They know our community, and they know the impact a high-quality education can have on a community.”

As publicly elected school leaders, Marion school board members are empowered by state law to set policy for the district, hire and evaluate the superintendent, oversee district finances, approve the budget, and determine the vision and mission of the district. They are also required to earn a minimum of six hours of professional development each year in areas related to their roles and responsibilities.

The Marion School District is an innovative and growing district committed to helping every student find their unique path to success in school and in life. With more than 150 years of experience serving families in Crittenden County, the district offers a high school, a junior high, and three award-winning magnet schools. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit https://www.msd3.org/ or call 870-739-5100.