Newly-elected Conway Board of Education member Jennifer Cunningham joined her colleagues and other district administrators during an orientation meeting Tuesday to go over basic information, policies and more.
Communication Specialist Heather Kendrick said this is something the district does after any new board member is elected. Cunningham received the majority vote during the district's annual school election in May.
Kendrick said current board members who didn't have scheduling conflicts, attended the refresher course alongside administration staff and district directors.
“I guess you could call it school board member 101,” she said.
The group discussed items including the district’s core values — students first, staff committed to excellence, value and respect diversity, provide innovative educational opportunities, cultivate community relationships and maintain a safe and caring environment — the district’s Wampus Cat history, the school calendar, the Freedom of INformation Act and what falls under that as a public entity and more.
“I think it was excellent,” Kendrick said.
In addition, with all the new directors in the room — former CHS principal Jason Lawrence moved up to the administration building and more — the meeting also became an opportunity for discussion about each person’s job responsibilities and duties.
“It really was a valuable time for everyone, not just the newest board member,” Kendrick said.
Board members present were Diane Robinson, Bill Clements, Trip Leach and Cunningham.
Kendrick said they were able to weigh in on the different topics and shed light on their experiences from Amy Ferdowsian’s first year to Bill Clements, who has been on the board since 2005.
“I think [it was] just great to have different perspectives,” Kendrick said.
Cunningham was officially sworn in by Faulkner County Circuit Judge Troy B. Braswell Jr. on Wednesday.
“We’re excited about Jennifer Cunningham joining the board,” Kendrick said.
Cunningham’s first meeting will be at 6 p.m. June 12.
“I would say I am more excited than I am nervous,” she said.
The meeting on Wednesday was from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cunningham said they went over a lot of information and that she was impressed by how well the Conway School District and its board is run.
She said the meeting was a great start for her to be able to dig in her feet and get to work figuring out what she needs to know and learn.
While Cunningham said she wasn’t surprised by anything she learned, she is more aware of what it takes to run a district and how much goes into it.
“There’s so much that goes into the running of the district,” she said.
Cunningham is from Conway and graduated CHS in 1995.
She said she had her own perspective coming up through the district but now that she has kids, she is on the other side of that.
“I am eager to serve and continue the district on the right path, the path that it’s on,” Cunningham said.
Attending the meeting and seeing her name plate placed by her school board seat in the boardroom at the administration building, she said, was an “oh my gosh” moment for her.
“I firmly believe God has me where he wants me and it [was] just exciting to see my name up there,” Cunningham said.