Forward Arkansas Adds 3 To Board

Forward Arkansas, a nonprofit organization in Little Rock that works with school districts, educational partners and state leaders to improve educational outcomes for Arkansas students, has added three new board members: Mary Elizabeth Eldridge, Deborah Frazier and Anna Strong – bringing the nonprofit’s board to 10 active members. Established in 2014 with grants from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and Walton Family Foundation, Forward Arkansas seeks to transform learning, build educator capacity and provide equitable resources to ensure every student has access to, and is prepared for, opportunities in their lives and careers.

Mary Elizabeth Eldridge is a trustee and the director of programs at the Ross Foundation in Arkadelphia, where she oversees grant distribution to support public education in Clark County. She serves on the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation, for which she has served as the grants committee chair, as well as with Nature Conservancy of Arkansas and the Arkansas Forestry Association. Eldridge earned a bachelor’s degree in European history from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, before earning her law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville.

Mary Elizabeth Eldridge

Deborah Frazier joins ForwARd Arkansas following a recent retirement from a more than 30-year career in Arkansas Higher Education, during which she served as chancellor of the University of Arkansas Community College in Batesville. She has provided leadership as co-chair of IMPACT Independence County to increase opportunities to bring economic prosperity to the county and increase sustainable family wages. She also participated in the movement to provide Arkansas high school students access to the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship. Frazier was the first woman to serve as a member of the consolidated Midland Public School District and is a first-generation college graduate – with a bachelor’s in accounting from Lyon College and a master’s in business education from Arkansas State University. 

Deborah Frazier

Anna Strong is the executive director of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (ARAAP), where she leads policy and advocacy initiatives and engages members in statewide programs that promote child health and health care quality. She previously served as the director of child advocacy and public health at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, leading outreach programs that extended to all 75 counties. Her work as the director of health care policy at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families involved leading Medicaid-related policy and advocacy. Strong received a bachelor’s in Mathematics from Hendrix College, and is a graduate of the dual Public Service and Public Health Masters programs at the Clinton School of Public Service and the UAMS College of Public Health.

Anna Strong

For more information about Forward Arkansas, visit its website.



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