patterson InE

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- The Pulaski County Special School District awarded its third quarter Inspiration in Education award for the 2023-2024 school year at the March Board of Education meeting.  

board meetingDamian Patterson, interim principal at Mills University Studies High School, received this quarterly Inspiration in Education award. The District received a total of 19 nominations for this quarter’s award, two of which were for Patterson.

Patterson began serving as interim principal at Mills University Studies High School in January 2024. In this short time, he’s made quite an impact on both staff and students. 

“Although he has been here at our school for a very short time,  we as a staff have seen the climate change for the better,” said Gale V McBride, a MUSHS teacher. “He has been visible everyday to the student body.  He says positive things to the students and tries to make connections with them.

Over the past 11 years, Patterson served as an assistant principal at Maumelle Middle School, Mills University Studies High School, and, most recently, Joe T. Robinson High School. This experience working across multiple feeders within PCSSD has helped him connect with both students and staff.

“Since he came to work here this semester, he has uplifted the students and staff through his diligence, dedication, hard work/long hours, steadfast principles, and lots and lots of patience,” said Allison Silva-Coleman, another MUSHS teacher. “The discipline has improved and you can see that by the way the students behave in the hallways.  With a change in this behavior, a new positive outlook can be noticed in both students and staff.”

Teachers across the school pointed out how his enthusiasm and commitment to making changes is infectious.

“I am looking forward to being a part of this group of teachers as he institutes his leadership goals and procedures that will drive student and staff success,” Silva-Coleman added.

Several board members also shared positive remarks about Patterson and the impact he’s made during his time with PCSSD. Specifically, Eli Keller shared a personal story about the connection between his son and Patterson from when he (Patterson) worked at Maumelle Middle. 

The Board of Education created the Inspiration in Education award to honor certified and support staff members who are inspirational to their students or colleagues in their roles at PCSSD. Additionally, the award recognizes employees who exhibit traits including leadership, mentoring, dedication, excellence and effectiveness in their places of work. 

The Inspiration in Education award is presented to the winner quarterly in October, December, March and May. Anyone may nominate a PCSSD employee for the award. The applications are reviewed by the Superintendent's Cabinet for ranking, and the highest scorer is named the quarterly winner and receives the award from the PCSSD Board of Education.