It is with great excitement and pride that we congratulate Central High School

student, Courvoisiea Harris, for his accomplishments this year in the EAST Initiative

Program. Courvoisiea performed so well at this year’s EAST Conference, which was

held in Hot Springs March 13-15, that he was awarded the Difference Maker Coin.

Out of the 3,000 students in attendance this year, only 150 of them received this


The Difference Maker coin is only given to those students who exemplify the

fundamentals of the EAST Program, and because of their dedication and hard work,

they also helped lift up their fellow classmates. It is no easy task to win awards at

this conference, which hosts over 200 schools annually. Typically, only the top 10-

15 percent of schools receive any formal recognition, and the environment at the

EAST Conference is highly competitive. Courvoisiea’s performance, and the

performance of the entire Central High School EAST student team, put Central’s

EAST Program on the map and we are very excited to see what’s in store next year

and the years to come.

EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) is a program found in schools across

Arkansas that encourages and empowers students to address real-world issues in

their communities while using the latest technologies. Central’s EAST Program is

one of roughly 260 programs in various school systems throughout the region. To

provide a little background on the investments being made in Central’s EAST

Program, the Helena-West Helena School Board elected to hire local non-profit

Thrive in the Spring of 2017 to integrate its Design Mentorship Program into

Central’s EAST and Art Departments. To that end, Thrive has had four design

mentors working in these departments to help with teacher workload and enrich

the education process for our students.

In the March 2018 Helena-West Helena School Board meeting, Superintendent John

Hoy put his support behind a second-year contract with Thrive and the proposal

received unanimous support from the school board. This is a very exciting time for

Thrive as the potential for the Design Mentorship program continues to grow and

deliver results. It is also exciting to report that EAST will be designated as a

completion class at Central High School, and for the first time, EAST will have the

potential to be a four-year class for interested students. For Central students who

are interested in EAST, be sure to speak to counselor when you are creating your

schedule for the 2018-2019 school year.

Speaking on his excitement for the coming school year, Thrive Co-Founder Terrance

Clark had this to say, “We are so thankful to the leadership of the Helena-West

Helena School District for supporting our work, and we look forward to working

with Principal Simpson and his teachers in the coming school year. We had a

groundbreaking first year in Central this past school year and my team and I

anticipate even more success from our students in the years to come.”