Mike Poore has spent the last 5 years shaping the lives of students and faculty as the Superintendent of the Bentonville Public School system. Superintendent Poore has not only been an influence within the school district, but within the community. Mike Poore has been an avid and engaged supporter of United Way of Northwest Arkansas and although we are sad to see him go, we are grateful for the time he has spend educating and encouraging the community to stand up and join United Way in creating a pathway out of poverty for children in our community.
Superintendent Poore has been involved with United Way not only from a donor standpoint, but as an advocate for the organization within the community and within the Bentonville Schools since his arrival as Superintendent. When asked by he feels it is so important to be involved in the community, specifically as a school administrator, Superintendent Poore stated, “The community is the school district. Every single resident of the school district contributes. That comes from taxes to citizens volunteering in our schools. I believe schools are the lifeblood of a community. It creates vibrancy and ultimately it creates a pipeline for our future workforce.”
This past April United Way hosted the NWA Poverty Challenge, when asked to participate in the challenge of living on $5.00/day (the daily allotment for food on the SNAP benefit program) Superintendent Poore accepted with no hesitation. Superintendent Poore, his wife, and fellow Bentonville Schools administrator, Paul Stolt complete the challenge all while educating their staff, and community on the underlying issue of poverty.
“There is no single indicator that shapes academic performance more than poverty. The effort by the United Way and this community to impact that is the correct fight. If we can have students supported so that they have appropriate nutrition, have proper medical and dental care, and have adults that really care about them we can eliminate the academic gap that exists between those that have and those families who struggle economically.“
We asked Mr. Poore a few questions about his time as part of the Northwest Arkansas community and it is evident by the answers that Mr. Poore truly believes in the potential for success of Northwest Arkansas:
What is one important lesson that you will take away from your time in Northwest Arkansas, at the Bentonville School system, and with United Way NWA?
- Students love to give and participate in helping other students as much and possibly even more than adults. We need to always allow students to help shape fundraising activities for their peers.
What will you miss most about Northwest Arkansas as you move forward in your career?
- This community gets that students are the key to our future. This community will jump in to support if they can see a real plan to support those that need it the most. It is a model of involvement that needs to be replicated. A clear example of this community getting it is when we present the funds raised by our staff to the United Way at the football game. It is so clear the community has a respect for the United Way and understands how our staff contributions is set to go to people who really need assistance. I will miss that experience, that pride, and that sense of accomplishment in turning that check over to the United Way.
What is your hope for the NWA community?
- My hope is that this community does not forget how blessed we truly are and always seeks ways to support those in need
United Way of Northwest Arkansas wishes Superintendent Poore the best in his new role within the Little Rock School district. He has played an instrumental role within the Bentonville School District and the Northwest Arkansas community and will be a true asset in his new position.