Education notebook

Chief of computer education picked

Kelly Griffin is Arkansas' new director of computer science education, replacing Anthony Owen who resigned this summer from the Arkansas Department of Education post to become senior director of state government affairs for

Griffin, a licensed educator, previously served as a lead computer science specialist on the agency's computer science team -- a position she held since 2016. In that role, she participated in the Governor's Cybersecurity Task Force, helped with the revision of the state's computer science standards, engaged with the governor's coding tours of schools, and assisted with the development of a computer science toolkit, which has been distributed nationally.

She began her career in education as an administrative assistant before becoming a teacher.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has pushed for the expansion of computer science education throughout his tenure as governor. He signed legislation in 2015, the year he took office, that required all public high schools to offer computer science -- the first state to do so.

Now, beginning with ninth-graders this school year, every student will be required to earn one credit in a high school computer science or a computing course for graduation. Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, every public high school must employ at least one high school computer-science certified teacher.

City Year seeking student coaches

City Year Little Rock is seeking student success coaches for work in the Little Rock School District.

Now through Sept. 27, the non-profit City Year Little Rock organization, which is affiliated with AmeriCorps, is accepting applications and nominations for mid-year AmeriCorps members.

If selected, individuals will begin their service on Oct. 17.

"City Year Little Rock delivers proven results for central Arkansas students as well as AmeriCorps members," said Jennifer Cobb, senior vice president and executive director.

"Throughout their service, these young adults gain in-demand skills, from effective communication to time management, that are essential for future workforce success," Cobb said.

As AmeriCorps members, student success coaches will receive a biweekly stipend, health insurance, an education award, access to scholarships and more than 200 hours of professional development.

More information about applications or nominating someone to serve with City Year Little Rock from October 2022 to June 2023 is available at

Baroni moves to Resource Center

Luanne Baroni, assistant superintendent/director of communications of the LISA Academy charter school system, has moved to a new position in the Arkansas Public School Resource Center.

Baroni is the center's new director of charter development, according to Christina Fowler, the center's director of communications.

Baroni replaces Joanna Lever, who is now the vice president of education at Goodwill Industries of Arkansas.