Arvest Bank will be hosting Coffee with the Superintendent

Wednesday, September 05 at 09:00 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Arvest Bank will be hosting Coffee with the Superintendent on Wednesday, September 12th from 7:30am to 9am. Fayetteville residents are encouraged to stop by and meet newly appointed Fayetteville Public Schools superintendent, Dr. John L Colbert. The event will be held in the downtown Fayetteville lobby located at 75 N. East Ave.


Dr. John L Colbert, a native of Rondo, Arkansas, graduated from Barton High School in 1973 as the first African-American Valedictorian. Attending the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, he received a BSE in Education (1976) followed by a Master of Education in 1981. He received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2017.

In 1986, Dr. Colbert began his career in education as the first African-American Special Education Teacher at Bates Elementary in Fayetteville. He taught there in both special education (4 years) and the sixth grade (4 years) classrooms until becoming the Principal at Howard Elementary School in Ft. Smith (1984) where he worked until 1987. Returning to work in the Fayetteville district as the first African-American Principal in 1987, Dr. Colbert served as the Principal of Jefferson Elementary School until 1995. In 1995, Fayetteville added two new elementary schools to its numbers. Dr. Colbert was selected to serve at the helm of the newly constructed Holcomb Elementary. Thus, from its inauguration until 2008, Dr. Colbert carried the mantle as head educator and has basked in the warmth of affection shown to him at this diverse elementary school. In 2008, he served as Associate Superintendent for Elementary Education and then in 2016 he became the Associate Superintendent for Support Services. Currently, he is serving as the Superintendent for the Fayetteville Public Schools. 

Dr. John L Colbert has been actively involved in a number of civic and professional groups over the years. One can gain insights into Dr. Colbert’s concern for children as well as the community by looking at the groups that garner his staunch support. Educational and professional groups include: National Association of Elementary School Principals, Phi Delta Kappa, North Central Accreditation Team, Holcomb Elementary School PTA, South Washington County PTA Council, University of Arkansas Partners in Education, “Break The Mold” Schools, Arkansas A+ Advisory Council, Arkansas Athletic Association, and Special Olympics. He is a Former Board Member of the Arkansas Alumni Association. He is the Advisor and Founder of the Northwest Arkansas King Team and founder and past president of the Northwest Arkansas NAACP Branch.

His interest in the community is evidenced by his substantial service on many civic groups. This list includes Kappa Kappa and Omicron Zeta Lambda Chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (charter memberships in both chapters). This list of honor would also encompass Chapter Advisor to Kappa Kappa Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Past NPHC Advisor, Founder and Past President of the Yvonne Richardson Community Center Board of Directors, Fayetteville Community Foundation Board of Directors, and Prince Hall Mason (Royal Arch Mason, Knights of Templar, 32nd Degree Consistory, 33rd Degree Grand Inspector General, Order of the Eastern Star, Past Senior District Deputy Grand Master, and currently serving as Grand Treasurer). Dr. Colbert has assisted in the organizing of the Fayetteville’s Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have A Dream” March for the past 38 years and the MLK Celebration Banquet for the past 21 years where he is serving as the Immediate Past President.   He is a member of the St. James Missionary Baptist Church where he currently serves on the Deacon and Trustee Boards of Directors. He was one of the first recipients of the Historic St. James Missionary Baptist Church Squire Jahagen Award. Taking the directive to and discussing the matter with the Fayetteville Mayor and the City Council, in January 2003, Dr. Colbert was instrumental in securing the naming of a street to honor his beloved brother in Alpha, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In his rostrum of honor, he received the 2018 Community Service Award from the University of Arkansas Alumni Association, he received the 2016 Phi Beta Sigma Southwestern Region Noble Achievement Award, the 2015-2016 Arkansas Alumni Heart Award, the 2013 NWA Democratic Black Caucus Award, the 2011 Noark Diversity Champion Award, 2008 and 2009 College Brother Advocate of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the 2009 Life Time Achievement Award of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., 2007 Dr. Martin Luther King Salute To Greatness Award (Arkansas MLK Commission), recognized as the 2006 National Alumni Brother of the Year of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, inducted into the U of A Greek Hall of Fame. Dr. Colbert has received the Outstanding Advisor of the Year Award, and has been recognized as a Kappa Kappa Seven Jewels Award Winner. He received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Award, Special Olympics Leadership Award, Fayetteville Community Citizen Award, Black Alumni Service Award, Masonic Charity Supporter Award, Arkansas District Distinguished Service Award, Alumni Brother of the Year (State and Southwestern Region), and the Southwestern Region Esprit De Fraternite Award. Because of his service to his fraternity, he was bestowed the honor of having two awards named in his honor by the Kappa Kappa Chapter and Omicron Zeta Lambda Chapter respectively; The John L Colbert Brother of the Year Award and The House of Alpha John L Colbert Leadership Award.

He is currently serving his fraternity chapter in the capacity as the Membership Director of his chapter, Membership Trainer for the District of Arkansas, Assistant Area Director, Chapter Advisor, Former National Program Director, and Former Project Alpha Director. In his District, he serves as the District Director of Arkansas, the Past Dean of Alpha University and as a presenter, Project Alpha Member, past treasurer, and as the Director of the Collegiate Scholars Bowl. At the Regional Level, he is the past Regional Treasurer, Director of the Collegiate Scholars Bowl, Member of Project Alpha, Instructor at the Alpha University, and a member of the Election Committee. On the National Level, he is the Immediate Past Chairman of Project Alpha, National Project Alpha Faculty Member, Member of the Election Committee, and a Member of the Grievance and Discipline Committee.  

In his personal accomplishments, Dr. John L Colbert includes his 42 years of marriage to his late wife, Cheryl, (August 23, 1975) and parenthood. They are the proud parents of J’onnelle (a thirty-four-year-old graduate of the University of Arkansas,) and Janneesa, a 28-year-old graduate from Fayetteville High School in Fayetteville, Arkansas (she is a graduate from Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR). And two lovely granddaughters, Sy’Ree and Serena. Though he rarely has time to pursue hobbies and recreation, Dr. John L Colbert enjoys swimming, diving, weight lifting, racquetball, tennis, meeting people and traveling. His motto in life is “Through Christ, all things are possible.” 

Tags: Arkansas, Fayetteville
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