Newly-Elected LRSD Board Holds First Meeting

The newly-elected Little Rock School District School Board met for the first time on December 15, 2020, for an almost six-hour-long meeting that ended just before midnight. After an introduction from Superintendent Mike Poore, the nine board members selected board officers and their terms of office, viewed a presentation on district celebrations, heard public comments, and discussed agenda items.

Vicki Hatter of Zone 6 was elected board president in a 7-2 vote, with opposing votes from Jeff Wood and Michael Mason. Leigh Ann Wilson of Zone 4 was elected Vice President in a vote that passed 9-0. Three other roles were filled by Ali Noland, Michael Mason, and Sandrekkia Morning.

Then, the board voted 6-3 to change their terms from staggering three-year terms to staggering five-year terms, with Noland leading the opposition based on her concerns of betraying constituents. Noland argued that while she believes the longer term is a smarter plan, she is hesitant to change a term-length that was not what voters had in mind when they elected the board. Greg Adams of Zone 7 disagreed, arguing that voters place their confidence in all decision-making aspects when choosing a candidate. 

Superintendent Poore drew zone numbers bingo-style to determine the staggering of elections. Elections are often staggered to prevent a complete takeover by newer members. The results determined the following election years for each zone:


2021: None

2022: Jeff Wood (Zone 9) and Norma Jean Johnson (Zone 7)

2023: Ali Noland (Zone 5) and Vicki Hatter (Zone 6)

2024: Evelyn Callaway (Zone 3) and Leigh Ann Wilson (Zone 4)

2025:127 Michael Mason (Zone 1), Sandrekkia Morning (Zone 2), and Greg Adams (Zone 8)


After a presentation celebrating student athlete signings and teacher accomplishments, the board listened to written public comments about COVID-19 concerns and worked their way through action items for the remainder of the meeting under the guidance of newly-elected President Hatter. The primary concerns during the agenda were the K-5 enrollment drop of about 750 students and the resulting financial implications, as well as how to handle COVID-19 and education. Noland made a motion for Superintendent Poore to find a date for a special meeting dedicated to determining the board’s limits and powers in terms of implementing COVID-19 related policies. The motion passed with all nine members’ votes. Evelyn Callaway of Zone 3 then readdressed the financial state of the district, saying that “the elephant in the room” was the fact that charter schools are drawing away both kids and resources from the Little Rock School District. The board generally agreed before Noland kindly pointed out that it was nearing midnight. The board closed their meeting with grateful remarks toward each other.