Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman honored the commitment to education of Dr. Benny Gooden, Superintendent of the Fort Smith School District, in the Congressional Record, the official proceedings of Congress.

Gooden is retiring at the end of June after 30 years of leading the school district and 50 years in education.

The following are remarks printed in the Congressional Record:

Mr. President, I rise today to honor Fort Smith School District Superintendent Dr. Benny Gooden who will retire at the end of June after a lifetime of dedication to education.

Dr. Gooden has led the Fort Smith School District since 1986 and in those 30 years he has proven himself to be a driving force in education at the local, state and national level.

He made a career out of helping students and creating a solid education to pave the way for a successful future for them. During his 50 years in education he always put students first and fought to ensure the community created opportunities in their best interest.

Dr. Gooden has remarked to the School Superintendents Association that his best professional day was when Fort Smith voters approved a 20 percent tax increase to guarantee the district’s financial stability.

He has been recognized for his career as a school administrator earning the American Association of School Administrators’ “Arkansas Superintendent of the Year” award and was ranked in the top 100 Outstanding School Administrators in North America by Executive Educator magazine. He was named “Administrator of the Year” by the Arkansas PTA in 1995, received the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Educator award from the National PTA. In 1999 and a year later was the recipient of the Dr. Dan Pilkington Award by the Arkansas School Boards Association. These accolades are all well deserved.

Dr. Gooden is actively engaged in the legislative process at the state and national levels on behalf of education. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of School Administrators and served as the organization’s president from 2012-2103. Dr. Gooden has served his community, state and nation in a remarkable way in pursuit of better education opportunities for Arkansas students.

He has been a resource for me over the years to keep up with the needs and challenges of our education system. Whether pursuing opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds, cheering the accomplishments of adult education graduates or paving the way for advanced technology in the classroom, Dr. Gooden’s dedication to the young people of Fort Smith has made a positive impact on the community. Because of this, Fort Smith will continue to benefit from Dr. Gooden’s work long after his retirement.  

I congratulate Dr. Gooden for his outstanding achievements in his career and thank him for his dedication to education, students and the community. I appreciate his friendship and enjoyed supporting his efforts to improve education. I wish him all the best in retirement and know that his wife Martha and the rest of his family will enjoy the opportunity to spend more time with him.