FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Two former educators have committed $250,000 to the University of Arkansas’ College of Education and Health Professions, according to a news release.
UA alumnus Les Carnine and his wife Linda, of Edmond, Okla., have committed $250,000 to the college, which will create the Carnine Endowed Scholarship in Education Leadership.
“We feel very blessed, and we both have a passion for education,” Les Carnine said. “Helping others is part of our DNA.”
The Carnine Endowed Scholarship in Education Leadership will benefit students pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in the education leadership program of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education and Health Professions.
“Les and Linda have been tremendous supporters of both our college and the entire field of public education,” said Michael T. Miller, dean of the College of Education and Health Professions. “(Les) has really been a champion of helping schools perform, and this scholarship will help to get the best possible students to lead our schools.”
The college offers advanced academic degrees as well as professional development opportunities and learning communities in service to the education and health systems of Arkansas and beyond, according to the university.
Les Carnine earned a bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, and a master’s degree from Central Missouri State University. In Missouri, Carnine met others who had completed doctoral degrees at the U of A, and they suggested he consider the university.
Carnine and his wife moved to Fayetteville in the late 1960s.
“We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the university,” he said. “Once I became a Razorback – even though we weren’t natives – it became a life-long love affair.”
After Les Carnine earned a doctorate in educational administration, the couple moved to Independence, Missouri, where Les became a principal. They then moved to Manhattan, Kansas, where Les worked as an assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent.
Over the course of his career, Carnine worked for Arkansas school districts in Harrison, Texarkana and Little Rock and the Wichita Falls school district in Texas. He also worked in banking for a short time and taught at Kansas State as an adjunct finance professor.
Linda Carnine spent her career as an elementary teacher – for first and second grades and gifted and talented classes – and as an educational specialist. She also taught undergraduate classes at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Carnines have 70 years of education experience between them – Linda with 27 and Les with 43.
The Carnines returned to Fayetteville in the 2000s, where Les Carnine served as an executive in residence in the College of Education and Health Professions and taught as an adjunct professor for six years. He was then elected to the Arkansas Legislature and served the state until he was term-limited.