Today's Paper Newsletters LEARNS Guide Fish Story Contest 🎣 Asa Hutchinson 2024 Today's Photos Public Notices Digital FAQ Razorback Sports Puzzles Crime Distribution Locations Obits

Three making bid for Bentonville School Board Zone 5 seat

by Mike Jones | October 18, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Tatum Aicklen (from left), Yoselin Bolivar and Letisha Hinds are the candidates for the Bentonville School Board Zone 5 seat.

BENTONVILLE -- It will be a three-person race for the Bentonville School Board Zone 5 seat.

Tatum Aicklen, Yoselin Bolivar and Letisha Hinds are the candidates. Early voting will start Monday. Election Day is Nov. 8.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff election Dec. 6 between the top two finishers.

The Bentonville School Board has seven members. Until this year, each member represented a specific zone of the School District; the board agreed to restructure itself so five positions are based on geographic zones and two are at-large. Residents therefore get to vote for their zone representative and for both of the at-large members when those seats come up for election.

Each of the five zoned seats are up for election this year. Once the board is seated after the November elections, members will draw a term length ranging from one to five years so their terms will be staggered. Board members normally serve five-year terms.

Zone 5 covers the southern portion of the School District, including south Bentonville, Cave Springs, Highfill and part of Rogers.

School board positions are nonpartisan and unpaid in Arkansas.


Aicklen said she's running because her experiences as a parent of four in Bentonville Schools and a longtime school volunteer make her uniquely qualified to bring a strong parent perspective to board discussions and decisions.

"Through my various positions on PTO boards, I have worked with parents, teachers and administrators organizing numerous efforts to engage our families and support our teachers and staff," Aicklen said. "On the Bentonville School Board, I will continue to work with parents and educators to fight to better our schools."

If elected, Aicklen said she'll work to improve family engagement within the district. Engaged families and great educators make schools thrive, she said.

"Effective communication between them is crucial to the success of our children because it allows our parents and teachers to build a partnership that works for our kids," she said. "Streamlining communications is key. While the new website and app are a good first step, there is still work to be done."

She said she's a level-headed, common-sense decision-maker who knows how to listen, when to speak up and what matters most: kids.


Bolivar said she's running because she's for parental rights. Parents are fundamental in each student's education, she said.

"I am for focusing on core education subjects," Bolivar said. "I am living proof that a child can learn, gain knowledge, apply it, take pride in their accomplishments, and use that knowledge to flourish and succeed."

She said she will listen to the parents, support their concerns and be a voice for them on the board, if elected.

It's vital to focus on core education subjects, she said.

"For example, I would like our students to exceed literacy grade-level standards. I would like our schools to implement a system to teach students to read and succeed their reading level."

Retaining teachers and providing safe transportation are two main focuses for the district in coming years, she said. It's becoming more difficult to recruit people who are interested in teaching and driving a school bus.

One of her core values is to help teachers focus on teaching -- not administrative work -- and to continue offering solid pay to staff and faculty.


Hinds said she's running because she wants to represent the community and schools.

"I hear our teachers when they say they do not make enough money to afford the cost of living in Bentonville," she said. "I see our students and families, from all backgrounds, who look at their leaders and representatives and do not see themselves. I want to change that."

If elected, she said her top priorities will be improving teacher and staff pay, addressing growth and how it's affecting the district, and ensuring schools are inclusive and representative of a unique community.

It's important for a board member either to have experience as a teacher or have children in the district, Hinds said, because teachers and parents have a vested interest in the schools.

Hinds has a daughter in the Bentonville schools. She wants her daughter to see diversity.

"I want her to grow up understanding that there is uniqueness in everyone, and I want her to be able to take her education and expand upon it because she was encouraged to be inclusive and accepting," Hinds said. "My campaign is based on promoting creativity, supporting our teachers and staff, promoting inclusion, and meeting people where they are because equity starts with meeting people exactly where they are."

Bentonville School Board, Zone 5

Tatum Aicklen

Age: 44

Residency: Rogers for nine years

Occupation: Homemaker

Education: Bachelor’s degree from E. J. Ourso College of Business, Louisiana State University

Political experience: None

Yoselin Bolivar

Age: 53

Residency: Rogers for 14 years

Occupation: Senior software engineer for Walmart

Education: Degree in “ingenierio en informatica” — similar to computer science — from Universidad Centro Occidental Lisandro Alvarado in Barquisimeto, Venezuela

Political experience: None

Letisha Hinds

Age: 33

Residency: Bentonville for six years

Occupation: Associate merchant for Walmart in the stationery department

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Arkansas State University

Political experience: None


Print Headline: Three seek seat on Bentonville School Board


Sponsor Content