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Governor to salute learning program

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will serve as the keynote speaker at a ceremony Friday to highlight the 3-year-old Arkansas Declaration of Learning program that is intended to bring history to life for students in grades six through 12.

Arkansas Declaration of Learning is a public-private partnership in which art, English language arts, social studies teachers and school librarians create lessons with historical objects and art from state and national museum partners. A total of 110 educators have participated in the activity, benefiting more than 6,000 students.

Program partners are the Arkansas Department of Education, Clinton Foundation, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Central Arkansas Library System's Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, and the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Reception Rooms.

Friday's ceremony will be from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Choctaw Building on the Clinton Presidential Library campus.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will highlight the work of this past school year. It will include the awarding of the "Best of the Best" honors to three educators.

Arkansan honored with robotics prize

John Taylor Novak, a 2015 graduate of Mountain Home High School, recently competed in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's "Design and Manufacturing I" robotics challenge.

The MIT challenge was a single-elimination competition consisting of five sudden-death rounds.

Novak's robot "Redeye" was ranked No. 1 going into the competition and got the highest score in one of the tournament rounds, but Redeye was eliminated before the final four, according to an email from Mary Beth O'Leary, a spokesman for MIT's mechanical engineering department.

Novak won the Whitelaw Prize, which is given by MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering to a student who demonstrated "Originality in 2.007 Design and Contest," according to O'Leary. Course 2.007 is the department's robotics design class.

Redeye tipped the scales at nearly 12 pounds -- the competition limit -- and could extend several feet tall, O'Leary wrote in an article for MIT News.

Novak just completed his junior year as a mechanical engineering student and is attending MIT on a FIRST scholarship, according to the news release. The acronym stands for "For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

FIRST is designed to inspire young people's participation in science and technology, and to motivate them to pursue education and career opportunities in those fields.

Novak has been involved in FIRST Robotics for some time, according to the release. He was a student member of Hall of Fame Team 16, Baxter Bomb Squad, and currently mentors another Arkansas team he founded: Team 323, Lights Out.

Coordinator starts at school district

Cheesa Williams started work Monday as the Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District's first marketing and communications coordinator.

A graduate of Arkansas State University's radio and television degree program, Williams comes to the district from NBC affiliate KARK-TV and Fox affiliate KLRT-TV, where she was an Emmy-nominated news producer. She started at the Fox affiliate in 2005.

In her new role, she said that her goals are to attract new students to the Jacksonville/North Pulaski district, publicize the strengths of the academic faculty and generally promote the district.

The Jacksonville/North Pulaski district began independent operations in July 2016 after detaching from the Pulaski County Special School District.

Safety commission sets report meeting

The Arkansas School Safety Commission will meet at 9:30 a.m. Thursday to finalize its preliminary report that is due by July 1 to Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

The commission meeting will be at the University of Arkansas' Criminal Justice Institute in Little Rock.

Hutchinson appointed the commission of law enforcement officers, educators and mental health professionals in March to identify gaps and propose improvements to school safety and security measures.

Metro on 06/24/2018

Print Headline: Governor to salute learning program Arkansan honored in robotics contest Coordinator starts at school district Safety commission sets report meeting will finalize report

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