Herbert Carter, longtime former Marion Superintendent, passes away

Friends recall ‘ passionate’ champion of local community, schools

“Our hearts are heavy as we grieve the loss of former superintendent, Mr.

Herbert Carter, who served as a Champion for Eastern Arkansas and the Marion School District for over 60 years. His passionate leadership and relentless tenacity have been a remarkable asset in this region, community, and our state.”

That was the statement released by the Marion School District yesterday afternoon following the passing of “Mr. Carter,” as everyone knew him.

Mr. Carter began his career at Marion School District in 1956 as a shop teacher and bus driver.

After nearly three decades as Superintendent of Schools, he retired in 1990, but never really retired from his support and love of all things Marion.

“Herbert has been a great champion for the Marion community and this region for over 60 years,” said current Marion Superindentent Dr. Glen Fenter. “His passion, tenacity and strength of conviction were tremendous assets.”

Earlier this year, the Marion Board of Education voted unanimously to name one of our three new magnets in his honor: Herbert Carter Global Community Magnet.

Carter was remembered by his peers for his passion for the community and for turning Marion School District into one that was recognized statewide for its excellence.

“I would say the Marion School District is what it is today because of Herbert Carter,” said former Mayor Eddie Bigger. “There have been some people since then. But I think he is the one who put it on the right path. I gave him credit for the fact that the town grew so much when I was mayor. I honestly believe it was the school system that drew people here.”

Bigger said their friendship goes back years and recalled that he was in the first class that Carter taught at Marion High.

“I think I was a junior or senior,” Bigger recalled.

“He taught history and shop. I had already had all the shop I could take. He started a mechanical drawing class and I took that. I still have that book. I had history under him too.

“He was a very strict teacher. But he was a good teacher. When I spoke to him last week he said he was flattered by all the people who had come to visit him. I said ‘Herbert, you touched a lot of lives in this town.’ I thought as I left that I should have said that he probably touched a lot of behinds too… You could paddle kids back then.”

Former Marion Assistant Superintendent Jeff Altemus

said Carter’s passing is

a big loss for Marion.

“He was an awesome person,” said Altemus, who was hired by Carter in 1987. “He was a great administrator. He was very passionate about the school system and was a huge supporter of the community.

That was his world.”

An outpouring of heartfelt sentiments flooded social media pages as news of Carter’s passing. Former students, teachers, coworkers, church members and others who knew him reflected on his impact on the community.

“His passing truly leaves a tremendous void — one that perhaps may never be filled again in a similar fashion,” said Fenter. “I consider myself extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to work over the past 25 years with a man of such character and stature.

He leaves a tremendous legacy.”

Funeral arrangements were still pending at press time.

By the Evening Times News Staff