Dear Beebe School Board, Administrators, Staff Members and Patrons:
It is with both great joy and sadness, I am announcing my retirement at the end of the 2017-18 school year. After being an educator for 32 years, I feel it is time to move on to the next chapter of my life. As I tell people often, I have been at the Beebe School District since first grade. As a first grader in the fall of 1965, entering the halls of Beebe Primary School was the beginning of my lifelong relationship with the Beebe School District. I still remember the question from my first-grade teacher. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” to which I answered, “A cowgirl.” Who knew in 1965 that a female first grader in Ms. Jenkins’ class would grow up to be the superintendent of this great school district? To sum up my feelings, I have been blessed beyond measure to be a part of this wonderful organization.
I feel fortunate to have been selected as the Superintendent of the Beebe School District in 2005. I am forever grateful to the school board for the confidence they showed in me. Over the last thirteen years, the school district has undergone some great achievements. Being a part of the historical annexation of the McRae School District with the Beebe School District is very special. The communities are to be commended on joining forces to provide the best education possible for our students. This process has taken place across the state, and I would venture to say, there has not been a more successful one.
The District continues to grow in enrollment and constructed over thirty million in new facilities. This was done while only increasing our debt six million dollars – and all without a milliage increase. We provided our staff with raises and continued to increase technology equipment, as well as the use of technology. We entered a contract with Sprint in 2007 that brought the District nine million dollars in additional revenue over a thirty-year period. Most importantly, we increased curriculum and extracurricular offerings for our students and continued to focus on student achievement. This was done through teamwork from great administrators and a great staff. The Beebe School District’s greatest resource remains the people who work every day to provide a quality education for our 3,400 students.
It is with a great feeling of appreciation and pride that I leave the District. I am so appreciative to have worked with many fine individuals on the Beebe School Board. In every instance, I found myself surrounded by school board members who desired the best for our District and students. In addition, I would be remiss if I did not mention the great support from my Central Office team and administrators. Dr. Rick Duff, Dr. Scott Embrey, and Mr. Hal Crisco started my superintendent journey with me and I certainly could not have been successful without them. They have been a wonderful support system. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, but together, we made a great team.
Finally, I think it is entirely appropriate that I “go out” alongside the students with whom I “came in!” The Class of 2018 began kindergarten my first year as superintendent.
Once again, the memories I have made and the friendships I have established are life-long, never to be forgotten. Please feel free to contact me if ever I may be of future service to the Beebe School District. “Once a Badger Always a Badger,” has never been a more heartfelt statement.
With best wishes for continued progress and advancement and I will look forward to seeing great things happen in the Beebe School District.
Dr. Belinda P. Shook