Thursday, November 29, 2018

Students Present Bicentennial Project to SARA

(From left to right) Hope Public Schools superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart, SARA Archival Manager Melissa Nesbitt, student Drake Mason, SARA Foundation board member Richard Reed and high school principal Bill Hoglund gather Nov. 9 to honor a student-led research project on public education in Hempstead County.

A student-led history project is now a permanent part of our branch archives!

Students from Hope Public School’s Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) program recently presented our staff with an overview of research on the history of public education in Hempstead County. The project, “200 Years of Education in Hempstead County,” is in honor of the county’s bicentennial.

Current students Drake Mason and Jacqueline Culley and recent graduates Jackson Bowlin and Elizabeth Bamber put the yearlong project together. The students conducted 10 oral history interviews and used resources from our branch to complete a timeline and to create a 40-minute CD. The research project delves into the county’s education from its earliest days in local Roman Catholic Church parish schools to 2018.

The project celebrates the formation of Hempstead County on Dec. 15, 1818. The county is among five original counties to make up the state of Arkansas.

On Nov. 9, superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart, Mason and principal Bill Hoglund presented finished copies of the project to Archival Manager Melissa Nesbitt and SARA Foundation board member Richard Read. Another copy will go in the Hempstead County Bicentennial Time Capsule, which will be sealed in December.

The research project is just one example of how the Arkansas State Archives and our branch serve the community and preserve Arkansas’s history.

“Promoting education as well as inviting collaboration and teamwork are part of the core values of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, of which the State Archives is a division, and projects like these help further that mission in serving all Arkansans,” Nesbitt said.

For more information, contact SARA at 870-983-2633 or view the video below or at