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ROGERS -- The School Board on Wednesday selected Rob Phillips, a Rogers High School graduate and longtime Little Flock City Council member, to fill its vacant Zone 1 seat.

Phillips was one of four people who applied for the position. The board interviewed each candidate, then went into executive session to discuss before voting unanimously to appoint Phillips to the seat.

Board Appointees

The Rogers School Board last appointed a member in January 2011, when Curtis Clements was chosen to fill the Zone 2 position. Clements is board vice president.

Source: Staff Report

He will replace Edgar Hernandez, who resigned last month after accepting a new job and moving to Ohio. Hernandez, the board's first Hispanic member, served for one year.

Zone 1 incorporates roughly the northern half of the School District. Board members must live in the zone they represent.

Phillips, 51, gets to serve at least until next year, when he will have to stand for election if he wants to keep the seat. Phillips told the board he intends to run when the election is held. The board can choose to hold its elections in May or November each year.

He said he's served on Little Flock City Council for 16 years, but would resign from that position if the board selected him. He filed to run for re-election to the council this year and is unopposed in the Nov. 6 election.

When the Zone 1 position came open, he said, "I prayed about it, thought about it a long time, and I just felt like I could do more good helping more people on this School Board than I can where I currently serve for the citizens of Little Flock."

Others who applied included Keri Ledbetter, a grants administrator for the Walton Family Foundation; Patrick Sbarra, a real estate developer; and Casey Ward, a firefighter and emergency medical technician.

Board members spent about 15 minutes interviewing each candidate individually and posed the same set of questions to each candidate. Phillips, Sbarra and Ward appeared in person; Ledbetter spoke to the board by phone.

Phillips graduated from Rogers High School in 1985. He received a bachelor's degree in pre-med biology from Arkansas Tech University and another bachelor's degree from University of Central Arkansas in physical therapy, according to the resume he provided. He is the director of rehabilitation services, sports medicine and cardiac rehabilitation for Northwest Health System.

Phillips said he wants to help fight any negative perceptions there may be about the School District.

"I hear a lot -- a lot -- from other health care providers that move in, physicians that are recruited, what not, that they are told by real estate people the best school district is our neighbors over in Bentonville," Phillips told the board. "I take offense to that."

Phillips has two children, both of whom are Heritage High School graduates.

NW News on 10/11/2018

Print Headline: Phillips chosen for Rogers School Board seat

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