Longtime school board member wants best for Riverview

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published March 10, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 8, 2013 at 1:42 p.m.
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PHOTO BY: Curt Youngblood

Buton Scott is president of the Riverview School District Board of Directors. Scott has served on school boards for 38 years and began his tenure on the Kensett School Board.

Buton Scott has been a school board member for 38 years and isn’t looking to stop anytime soon. His years with the Riverview School Board have allowed him to see change after change in the district.

Scott, 85, has a passion for education that stemmed from his time in the Army, he said. After he graduated from high school, he worked for industrial supply company Butler Brothers and was then called to serve in the Army in the spring of 1952.

While in the Army, Scott said, he always studied.

“I spent 57 weeks in one school and 14 in another,” he said. “The army is where I got my education.

“You always want to keep your mind open because you learn something new every day.”

After serving in the Army until 1954, Scott began working at the GH Scott and Sons general store in Kensett, where he still works today when he has time. His father and brother started the store, Scott said.

“We sold the first televisions in Arkansas,” he said. “We carried just about everything.”

Scott began his service on school boards with what was then the Kensett School Board on Jan. 1, 1975, and since then, he has missed only four school board meetings.

In 1991, the Kensett, Griffithville and Judsonia school districts consolidated with the Riverview School District, which brought the school boards together.

“We had four on [the Kensett] board when we came together,” Scott said. “We now have seven on the [Riverview] board, and they’re zoned.”

Scott said the zoned members give a better representation of the entire Riverview School District.

When board members make decisions, Scott said, it takes every member to decide what is best for the school.

“We try to do everything as a board,” he said. “We have a wonderful school board, and we do everything for the kids.”

Scott said that when he goes into a school board meeting, he has one thing on his mind: improvement.

“I always think of what we can do to make it better for the students here,” he said. “We try to raise the bar every year.”

Through the consolidation, the number of students in the district has grown, and Scott said he hopes he continues to see enrollment increase.

“I graduated [from Kensett High School] with 12 other students,” Scott said.

Riverview superintendent Howard Morris said a typical graduating class from Riverview has about 90 students.

Morris went on to say that Scott’s school board experience has made the school operation go smoother.

“Like in any profession, if you’ve got talented people, and you’ve got that experience along with that talent, there’s no substitute for that,” Morris said. “We’ve been very fortunate to have a very experienced school board.”

Scott said he will be on the Riverview School Board for the next three years.

He said the school district has just built a new cafeteria and a bus garage and is in the process of building a new field house.

“We’ve built quite a bit the last few years,” Scott said. “[The district] is growing, so we need the extra space.”

Scott’s drive to do the best he can for the school is inspired by the people he represents on the board.

“It takes everybody to make a good school: the teachers, mothers, fathers, bookkeepers, secretaries,” Scott said. “We try to be the best we can, and we appreciate the cooperation of all of them.”

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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