LRSD educator dies, board seat open

Michael Peterson

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - The family of Little Rock School Board member Michael Peterson announced arrangements for his funeral service. Peterson, who died last week, will be laid to rest following a service commemorating his life, Friday, November 9, 2012, 11 a.m., at St. Mark Baptist Church. It is located at 5722 West 12th Street, in Little Rock.

Peterson had retired from the LRSD in 2010 after 38 years, serving as a coach, vice principal and principal, but his love for education and commitment to students led him to a successful bid as a LRSD board member. Peterson was elected to his first term, representing Zone 6, in September.

Peterson's daughter Branndii said of her father, he was "very excited" about working with the district "to make Little Rock School District a better place for our students."

The LRSD Board of Directors issued this statement regarding their newly elected colleague:

"The LRSD board of directors is shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Michael Peterson. Mr. Peterson had served our district well for 38 years as a teacher, coach, administrator and friend to many students. He had chosen to use that experience by running for the school board to which he was recently elected. Mr. Peterson had already proven to be a thoughtful member of the board and was an advocate for all students. He continued to have a strong concern for students who were in the vocational programs and were best served in those areas. Board members who have known him for years or who had just met him were equally impressed with this gentle giant of a student advocate. We will miss our friend and colleague and have his family in our thoughts and prayers."

The LRSD Board will honor Peterson's life and contributions to education during this Thursday's agenda meeting.

Peterson's death leaves an opening in the Zone 6 position. The process for filling the seat includes the Board first declaring a vacancy.nThose who are interested must submit an application; then the Board has 30 days to appoint someone to fill the vacancy. The appointee must be registered to vote in Pulaski County and must live in Zone 6. The appointee will serve until the September 2013 school board elections. The appointee may then choose to run for the position and if elected, will serve the remainder of the Zone 6 term which ends in September 2015.