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story.lead_photo.caption After serving as the department chair for health, physical education and recreation at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Lynn Glover-Stanley is stepping down and returning to the classroom. She is the first ever woman to serve as the HPER department chair, after replacing former chair Hal McAfee, who died in 2008. - Photo by Sam Pierce

For Lynn Glover-Stanley, her career in education has come full circle.

After coming to Henderson State University in Arkadelphia more than two decades ago to be a classroom teacher, Glover-Stanley is stepping down as the first female department chair for health, physical education and recreation because she misses the students.

“I’m going to be teaching some of the classes I taught when I was first hired,” she said. “I will teach travel and tourism in the fall, those types of things.”

She has served as the department chair for 11 years, replacing Hal McAfee, who died in 2008. It wasn’t until a few years ago that Glover-Stanley knew she was the first woman to hold the title at Henderson.

“Until somebody mentioned it, I didn’t think about it,” Glover-Stanley said. “There were several women before me — instructors and professors — [in the department], but none that was ever a full-time department chair, so I had an attagirl moment. I never felt like I couldn’t do my job or someone wouldn’t take direction because I’m a woman — that’s never happened.”

Prior to coming to HSU, Glover-Stanley served as director of student recruitment at the University of Arkansas at Monticello for a year. Before that, she was at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville.

“I like the kids,” Glover-Stanley said. “Even though this generation may be a little different from when I first started, they still teach you something, and you can learn from these kids.

“It is kind of neat.”

Glover-Stanley said she misses interacting with the students and watching them interact with each other.

“A lot of times, these kids don’t know each other, so I try not to have a standard set up in a classroom, by [setting up the desks] in a circle for the first couple of weeks,” she said. “I have students who have met each other in class, and they [got married and] are still married today.”

She said that as the department chair, by the time students see her, they have either gotten in trouble, or their grades aren’t good.

“I just miss the classroom because you are always learning from them,” Glover-Stanley said. “It may be something you don’t want to know, but you are always learning.”

Glover-Stanley has been at HSU for 21 years. Patrick Wempe was named as her replacement as department chair.

“After so many years, I’ve pretty much achieved the goals I set out to do as department chair. I just feel like it is time to let someone else come in,” Glover-Stanley said. “It is time, while the going is good, to step back and enjoy the rest of the years that I have here.”

She said being department chair is a very demanding job, especially with technology like it is today. She said she was always answering emails from students or other colleagues.

“It is going to be a nice step down,” she said.

Marla Tademy has served as Glover-Stanley’s secretary for the past year.

“One day, she took me to a furniture shop during our lunch hour, and one of her former students [from about five or six years ago] came up to her, and [Lynn] remembered him,” Tademy said. “She remembers everybody. Whenever I’ve been out with her, they will come up to her, and she always remembers them and their situation and how far away they were from graduating because she knows how important it is to get that degree. … Henderson is fortunate to have her. They are very lucky to have had her for so many years.”

Tademy has known Glover-Stanley for two years, taking a job in her department as a part-time employee when Tademy and her family moved to Arkadelphia two years ago.

“She is the best to work for; she is a great boss,” Tademy said. “She makes it a very comfortable atmosphere.”

Tademy’s husband, Tony, served as an assistant football coach at HSU but took a job at Grand Prairie High School in Texas. Tademy will return to Texas this year.

“Even though I was just part time with her, I thought she was good with students, and they were relaxed around her,” Tademy said. “Especially during the past registration, she had kids coming here nonstop, signing up for courses.

“I think she is great with advising the students and great with her faculty. She always makes people feel comfortable. … A lot of those students do need help because they don’t get it at home, and I think she is super good with that.”

Glover-Stanley said the main thing she believes she accomplished as department chair was bringing the professors and coaches together as a team.

“Not that it was bad before, but we all got on the same page with what we needed to do,” Glover-Stanley said. “The environment of this building — I feel like I have done a lot for that and getting our name out.

“It would be hard to not find a high school in Arkansas, especially in this area, that if you went to the coaching staff and asked them where they studied, [many] would say Henderson State University.”

Glover-Stanley is originally from Pine Bluff, having graduated from England Academy in 1973. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway in 1993 and a master’s degree from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville in 1995. She earned a doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2001.

After high school, Glover-Stanley got married, and her husband was stationed in Berlin, Germany, “when the wall was still up,” she said. Even though it wasn’t through a book, she was still getting educated, she said, having lived there for about 5 1/2 years. After she got divorced, she started as a student at UCA in fall 1989.

“When I first enrolled at UCA, I majored in business because my family in Pine Bluff had so many successful businesses, and I felt like that’s what I needed to do,” Glover-Stanley said. “It didn’t take but a semester to realize that’s not what I wanted to do.”

One day, she was at the Ferris Center on campus with some friends, and she met some of the faculty over there, so she changed her major to kinesiology, health and physical education.

“When schools started taking out the requirement for physical education, cutting the days during the week that a child would take up an activity, the rate of obesity went up,” Glover-Stanley said. “And now you are seeing commercials that say, ‘Get up, move, have fun and play.”

“That’s why we teach why you need to get up and play, because until we require a certain amount of hours or a certain amount of days of physical education, people need to be active,” she said. “It may not be math or English, but it is still important to be active.”

John Thomasson was a student of Glover-Stanley’s at Henderson, beginning in 2003, and after returning to HSU after earning a doctorate at the University of Arkansas, he began working with her.

“She is excellent, by far,” Thomasson said. “Being able to recognize the unique challenges that she had to deal with and the circumstances in which she took over that were not ideal, … she was able to step up and, in my opinion, do an amazing job.”

Thomasson said Glover-Stanley is the most down-to-earth person and caring person.

“She is one of the most selfless people you will meet, and that really carries over to her leadership style as well,” Thomasson said.

“One of the things that stands out is that she wouldn’t ask any faculty member to do what she wouldn’t, or doesn’t already, do herself. Despite the fact that she is in a leadership position, she doesn’t perceive anything as being [below] what she should do. She gets down in the trenches and does whatever needs to be done,” he said.

“I’ve got a super faculty, and I want to be with them,” Glover-Stanley said. “Hopefully, the team concept will stay in place, and I feel like it will.

“I’m going to like the fact that I’m back in the classroom.”

Staff writer Sam Pierce can be reached at (501) 244-4314 or spierce@arkansasonline.com.

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