The Hall of Honor was established to recognize former students, faculty, administrators and community leaders who have made significant and lasting contributions to Conway Public Schools. Inductees are honored yearly at a special Hall of Honor gala event. The Foundation board of directors welcomes nominations from the public and selects recipients based on a comprehensive review and assessment of all nominations.
All nominees should be individuals of significant influence, high character and integrity, with deep connection to the Conway Public School District. For each category the respective criteria apply:
The honoree must be a Conway Public Schools graduate (minimum age of 30) or have completed a substantial portion of his or her education in the Conway Public School District, with notable scholastic and/or professional achievements and who is a positive reflection of the district’s mission to produce forward-thinking and innovative men and women.
The honoree must be five years removed from employment with Conway Public Schools (regardless of cause) and must have made a substantial positive impact on students and colleagues during his or her tenure as a teacher, coach, staff member or administrator.
The honoree must be a current or former member of the Conway/Conway Public Schools community (minimum age of 30) who has positively and tangibly enriched the educational environment or advanced the educational mission of the district.
Conway native Tab Townsell is a 1979 Conway High School honor graduate. In 1984, he received a degree in political science with a minor in economics from the University of Central Arkansas, where he served four years in the Student Senate, including terms as student body president and treasurer. Townsell worked for U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers as a summer intern in 1985. After earning a master’s of business administration degree from Texas Christian University in 1986, he joined Townsell-Hill Construction Inc. in Little Rock in 1988. He traveled to Germany in 1990 as part of a six-week Group Study Exchange Program sponsored by Rotary International through the Conway Rotary Club. In 1992, he and his brother Todd joined their father as co-owners of Concrete Forming Inc., a sister company to Townsell-Hill. He is a 1993 graduate of the Faulkner County Leadership Institute. Tab was involved in many government and community affairs prior to being elected as mayor in 1998, including the Conway Planning Commission (1993 –1995) and Conway Transportation Advisory Committee (1992, 1993). From 1993 to 1995, he was one of Conway’s three representatives on the first Transportation Advisory Committee of Metroplan, the long-range planning body for the Little Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area. He later served as Metroplan president in 2001 and in 2008. In 2007, he served as president of the Arkansas Municipal League and served on the National League of Cities Steering Committee.
Carolyn Lewis is a Conway native. She attended Conway Public Schools and graduated with honors from Conway High School in 1961. She earned a BSE and MSE in Early Childhood Education from the University of Central Arkansas. She taught for eight year at Warren Dupree Elementary School in the Pulaski County School District, and five years at Mayflower Elementary in Mayflower, Arkansas. She then came to the Conway School District where she taught for six years at Ellen Smith Elementary and 4 years at Marguerite Vann Elementary. While at Marguerite Vann, Mrs. Lewis was promoted to assistant principal and remained there for two more years. She became principal at Sallie Cone Elementary and was there for seven years before retiring in 1999. Mrs. Lewis was in the education field for 32 years having taught kindergarten, first, third, fifth and sixth grades. After retiring, Mrs. Lewis could not stay out of education and was elected to the Conway School Board. She was on the board from 2000-2010 serving as secretary, vice-president and president.
Friend of the District
Richard Arnold was named Conway Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer in 1998. He began working at Conway Corporation in 1978 in the data processing department, where he served as manager until his promotion to Manager of Finance and Accounting. In 1996, he was named Chief Financial Officer. He is one of only five individuals that have held the top post at Conway Corporation. Arnold, along with the Conway Corporation Board of Directors, was instrumental in making the Building the Foundation campaign a success and he has been a tireless promoter of the efforts of the Conway Public Schools Foundation.
Bobby C. New, a 1965 Conway High School graduate, began his in public education career in Conway, where he served a decade as a teacher, coach, principal and assistant superintendent. A member of the 1964 undefeated Wampus Cat football team, New later played for the University of Central Arkansas, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. He later received his education specialist and doctorate of education degrees from the University of Arkansas. After six years with the Arkansas Department of Education as the Director of Secondary Education, he served as school superintendent at Greenbrier, assistant superintendent at North Little Rock and superintendent at Fayetteville Public Schools, until he retired in 2009. Alongside his education career, he is a military veteran, serving on active duty with the U.S. Army and later in the Arkansas Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserves, where he flew helicopters and airplanes for 26 years, retired with the rank of colonel and received the Army’s Legion of Merit honor.
A native of Marked Tree, Ark., Woodrow “Woody” Cummins attended Arkansas State Teachers College (now University of Central Arkansas), where he played football and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He also earned his specialist and doctorate in education the University of Arkansas. Cummins taught elementary school and served as principal and assistant superintendent. He later became Deputy Director at the Arkansas Department of Education. Cummins has been active in civic groups, including the Conway’s Noon Rotary Club, Conway City Council, Conway Planning Commission, the Conway Boys and Girls Club, and was a charter member of the Arkansas Special Olympics board. He is a recipient of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce Community Development Award. Cummins is currently a financial consultant with the Private Client Group at Stephens.
Friend of the District
The late Conway Public Schools board member and board president John McConnell is the namesake of the Conway High School football stadium. A prominent Conway business, McConnell owned several companies but always gave his undivided attention to Conway Public Schools. He served on the school board for 16 years, including 11 years as president. As a board member, McConnell was closely involved in the planning and construction of the stadium, which was originally built in 1975. The 1993 AAAA-Central Champion Wampus Cats were the first team to play in John McConnell Stadium. McConnell’s mission was to enhance the quality of education in Conway, a legacy he left to his children and grandchildren, who attended Conway Public Schools.
Tom Courtway, a 1971 Conway High School graduate, is the 10th president of the University of Central Arkansas. He is an alumnus of Hendrix College, the University of Arkansas School of Law, and Georgetown University. Courtway practiced law for several years and previously served as UCA general counsel and interim president, vice president of Hendrix College, interim director of the Arkansas Department of Education, and served three terms in Arkansas House of Representatives.
A 1941 graduate of the University of North Texas, A.C. Anderson worked as a chemist in the Texas oil fields after graduation and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He and his wife Mildred opened Anderson’s Paint and Wallpaper in Conway. Having taught in the Rio Grande Valley and Little Rock’s Joe T. Robinson School, Anderson joined the Conway School District in 1963 and retired in 1991. He died in Memphis, Tenn., in 2008.
Friend of the District
Conway native Ray Simon is the former United States Deputy Secretary of Education. Simon began his career as a mathematics teacher at North Little Rock High School and directed computer and food services before he returned to Conway Public Schools as assistant superintendent for finance and later as superintendent from 1991 to 1997. Raymond & Phyllis Simon Middle School in Conway is named for Ray and his wife Phyllis.