Luttrell Legacy comes to an end

The end of an era is becoming present in former school board member Mike Luttrell’s life. He has volunteered for the Springdale School Board for over a decade and a half, but he has recently decided that it is time to pass his role onto the next citizen who has a deep care for the future generations education.

“There are seven members to the board, and currently I am just a member to the board. In the past, I served a two year stent as the board president,” Mike said.

According to Mike there are many great advantages that come with the role of being a school board member: meetings until eight p.m. some nights, the opportunity to visit local schools, and much more.

“The thing that I’ve always liked about it is there are many ways to serve in the community and this has been a good one because it tends to impact everybody that lives in the community,” Mike said. “Everybody, for the most part, has a child or a grandchild or a nephew or a niece that’s in the school district, and I’ve just enjoyed being able to help the school district as it’s grown.”

There are three main things that school board members are expected to do hire and remove the superintendent, create a budget for the school district, and hold the district accountable for their actions.

“They have their school board meetings once a month, but I think that people think that they do a bunch of things to help out the schools and everything but they are mainly there to listen and participate. I wouldn’t say that they have a say on huge things that go on in our schools,” senior Nick Luttrell said.

Although the members of the Springdale District school board might not have a large direct impact on schools functionality, besides setting the budget, they do make a point to interact with students any chance they get. Members are invited to have lunch at a different school within the district every Wednesday, and it has even become Mike’s favorite part of his former role.

“I think the best thing that we get to do as school board members is we visit every single school building throughout the year for lunch, just being able to go into each building and see the good work being done by teachers and principals,” Mike said.

Due to Mike being a member at our school board since about 2004, he has been able to see many graduations in this time.  

“Graduation is a lot of fun as a school board member because you see a lot of kids that have worked for a lot of years to make that achievement. I will miss being a part of that as well,” Mike said.

Even though many parts of the position will be missed by Mike, his children are able to see many benefits to the decision to not run for re-election.

“From what I’ve seen, it has kind of taken some of his time. I think that it’ll be nice for him, although he’s been in that position for a while and he’s done some great things for our city and our community, it’s good for him to be able to focus more on work things,” Nick said. “And since we’re graduating now, that allows someone else to come and fill his position that still has a kid that is in springdale public schools. So I think it gives him an opportunity to work on things within his business.” 

With this new opening for an at large position in the school board, a few Springdale citizens are running for the position and have begun the campaigning process. 

“I just feel like his position was a good fit for me. So with him retiring I’ve decided that I was interested, and I talked to him about it and we decided it was a good thing to do,” canidate Clinton Bell said.

With Clinton’s decision to become an active school board member, he had to think about why he would truly want to take on that influential position.

“My family has been attached to public education my whole life, my mother taught at the same school for 40 something years that I grew up in. I’m an involved member of the community, I work with several business-community organizations and a couple of nonprofits,” Bell said, “I feel like one of the best things I can do to serve my friends, family members, and neighbors is to serve on the school board. I am continually trying to find something to do like that.”

Also with this new opening Mike has to now think about voting to put someone in his former at large position, something he has never had to do before. 

“You know it might feel a little bit different, but I don’t know. At the same time it feels a little bit odd voting for yourself,” Mike said. “The things I felt like I brought to the board as a community leader, as a business owner, as someone involved in the business community, and I think that is something that is important to the board.”

With this era finally coming to a close for Mike his daughter has some kind words for him.

“Thanks to my dad for serving all these years for the school, it means a lot to me. I’m so thankful for his leadership role,” senior Natalie Luttrell said.