Over the past two weeks you have learned about the Outstanding Faculty and Staff members from ASU-Newport and today it is my pleasure to announce and introduce our Outstanding Alumni…Darlene Black.

Over the past two weeks you have learned about the Outstanding Faculty and Staff members from ASU-Newport and today it is my pleasure to announce and introduce our Outstanding Alumni…Darlene Black.
Darlene will represent ASU-Newport at the annual conference of the Arkansas Association of Two Year Colleges (AATYC) in Hot Springs next month.
A 1974 graduate of Newport High School, Patricia Darlene Kirk Black attended ASU-Newport from August 1991 until December 1993. She then transferred to Arkansas State University and in 1995 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. In December 2004 she received her Master of Science in Education/ Special Education-Gifted, Talented, and Creative from ASU. 
Darlene began teaching second grade in the Earle School District after receiving her Bachelor’s degree, then moved to Newport in 1997 and taught first grade at Castleberry Elementary School. Since 2001, she has served as the Gifted and Talented Enrichment Teacher for the Newport Special School District, K-3.
Darlene is a member of many professional organizations, such as the International Reading Association, Arkansas Reading Association, Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education, World Council for Gifted Education, Society for Emotional Needs of the Gifted, Global Association of Teachers of Economics, National Council for Geographic Educators, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
 She has also served on numerous committees with the Arkansas Department of Education, dealing most with the selection of textbooks and curriculum frameworks. She served on the 2006 Arkansas Gifted and Talented Educator Standards Panel by the Arkansas Department of Education and the Education Testing Service.
 Among many other achievements and awards, Darlene was chosen as the 2005-2006 Gifted and Talented Outstanding Alumni from the Department of Educational Leadership, Curriculum, & Special Education at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro. This year she was the Newport Special School District’s candidate for Arkansas Teacher of The Year.
Another accomplishment to her credit (that she gives great credit to others and her higher power) is that she is a cancer survivor.
Darlene writes, “As an African-American female teacher and cancer-survivor, I passionately appreciate the fact that opportunities for early intervention in education is precious and our lives are too short for ‘waiting to make a difference’ in the constructive shaping of young minds.  My experience has embedded into me the truth of the statement, “The more you give, the more you will receive.”  When students are equipped with a great thirst for learning, they are most likely to receive more knowledge.  Likewise, when educators are selflessly driven to impart knowledge by sharing with students, colleagues, and the community, they are most likely to receive much more in return.”
Our congratulations go to Darlene on her honors this year. We are truly proud that part of her educational experience was gained at ASU-Newport. She is a shining example of an Outstanding Alumni!