A historical overview and oral history project about the development of public education in Hempstead County completed by four Hope High School students became part of the archive collection of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives with its presentation to SARA officials Nov. 9.
The project is the work of a team of four Hope High School students in the Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) program, and will also become part of the official contents of the Hempstead County Bicentennial Time Capsule to be sealed in December.
HHS senior Drake Mason presented copies of the historical overview and oral history CD to SARA Archival Manager Melissa Nesbitt and SARA Foundation board member Richard Read in a brief ceremony at HHS. Mason, senior Jacqueline Culley, and HHS 2018 alumni Jackson Bowlin and Elizabeth Bamber researched and produced the project.
“Two Hundred Years of Education in Hempstead County” spans the range of public education in Hempstead County from its earliest days in local Roman Catholic Church parish schools to today through a series of oral history interviews and accompanying research.
Mason and Culley presented copies of the project to the Hempstead County Bicentennial Committee during the summer and to the Hope Public Schools Board in October.
“We’re very excited at the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives to work with the EAST Lab students on their Hempstead County Bicentennial projects,” Nesbitt said at the launch of the project last November.
She said that the project represents the sort of collaboration for which SARA is suited.
“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/SARA is a division, and projects like these help further that mission in serving all Arkansans,” Nesbitt said.
The project overview provides general reference material in the timeline of the development of public education in Hempstead County as noted in the approximately 40-minute CD-based oral history video of 10 interviews conducted by the team.