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Eric White, President

Zone 4, 2021

 

Eric White serves as President of the Bentonville Schools Board of Education. He is employed as an Executive Vice-President of Brosnan Risk Consultants, where he is a strategic advisor in the area of security for Fortune 500 organizations. His background in law enforcement and professional security has allowed him to serve as a most qualified consultant in the area of school security. Under his leadership, school safety has been brought to the forefront of school board discussions and practices. 

 

Eric is married to Tamara White, who is a graduate of Bentonville High School and a current counselor in Bentonville Schools. Together they have two daughters, Rylee and Sydnee. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and hunting and is always up for college football. Eric is a graduate of North Illinois University with a degree in Criminal Justice.

 

Connect with Eric

 

ericwhite@bentonvillek12.org


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Kelly Carlson, Vice President

At-Large, 2024

 

Kelly Carlson was elected to the Bentonville Schools Board of Education in 2019 and currently serves as its vice-president. He is a Senior Vice-President at Arvest and a graduate of Bentonville High School. Kelly is known for his financial stewardship and for his commitment to the community he calls home. He is a Board Member and Vice President/Treasurer of the Scott Family Amazeum, where he is actively engaged in strategically planning the future of the museum. Kelly is passionate about the growth of Downtown Bentonville and is a Board Member of Downtown Bentonville, Inc. He is actively involved with the Boys and Girls Club golf tournament and previously served with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity and Leadership Benton County.

 

Kelly and his wife, Cortney, also a 2000 graduate of Bentonville High School, have two daughters; seven-year-old Julianna Mae, who is in the second grade, and kindergarten student, Caroline Kelley.

 

Kelly enjoys golfing, running and spending time outdoors with his family. The Carlson family is actively involved in their church, Bentonville Church of Christ.

 

Connect with Kelly

 

kellycarlson@bentonvillek12.org


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Brent Leas, Secretary

Zone 1, 2022

 

Brent Leas has resided in Bella Vista for more than 25 years. 

 

Brent serves as the Secretary for the Bentonville Schools Board of Education and describes himself as a lifelong learner. He enjoys listening to students, teachers and staff on the issues they face in the course of a typical school day and then advancing resolution.

 

Brent and his wife, Stephanie, have three children:  Sophia, who attends Bentonville Schools, and Josiah and Breanna, both graduates of Bentonville High School. Brent enjoys spending time with family, reading and listening to books and visiting with friends. He is a graduate of Evangel University with a degree in Biblical Studies. 

 

Connect with Brent

 

brentleas@bentonvillek12.org


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Matt Burgess

Zone 3, 2023

 

Matt Burgess is a veteran on the Bentonville Schools Board of Education, currently in his second five-year term. He is an attorney serving as Senior Counsel for Walmart, Inc. and is always helpful in discussing the legal ramifications of any board vote. 

 

His wife, Jennifer, is a math teacher at Bright Field Middle School. Together they share a daughter, Mary Kate, and son, Jack. Just recently, Matt was inducted into the 2020 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. He was a physical force on the gridiron there playing center for five years. Matt left the University of Missouri with both his undergraduate and law degrees.

 

Connect with Matt

 

mattburgess@bentonvillek12.org

 


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Willie Cowgur

At-Large, 2024

 

Willie Cowgur is a Senior Vice-President at First Western Bank overseeing business development. Willie is in his second five-year term on the Bentonville Schools Board of Education. Born and raised in Bentonville, he has watched the community change significantly and worked hard to steward Bentonville Schools soundly as its population reflects the city’s overall growth.

 

Willie is a passionate sports enthusiast.  His wife, Martha, also a graduate of Bentonville High School, was a basketball standout. Together, they love coaching their children in a myriad of sports. Their children, Cole, Caroline and Will are all students at Bentonville Schools. Willie received his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Arkansas. 

 

Connect with Willie

 

williecowgur@bentonvillek12.org


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Jennifer Faddis

Zone 2, 2025

 

With five children either currently enrolled or just graduated from Bentonville Schools, Jennifer Faddis is no rookie. For more than 13 years, she has served the district in numerous volunteer roles. Having served in the trenches, she’s able to share with her fellow board members how to better serve parents and teachers. Jennifer is also a licensed professional counselor at Still Waters Family Counseling. 

 

Jennifer’s husband, Lance, is a healthcare professional as well, and together they parent Hope, Luke, Rilinxe, Sara and Emma. Jennifer received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Ouachita Baptist University and a Master's Degree in Counseling from the University of Central Arkansas. 

 

Connect with Jennifer

 

jenniferfaddis@bentonvillek12.org


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Mike Swanson

Zone 5, 2026

 

Mike Swanson is the newest member of the Bentonville Schools Board of Education.  He won his seat in 2021 but was well acquainted with Bentonville Schools, prior to his election, thanks to his young family. Mike is married to his wife, Shelby, and together they're raising three children: Sloane, Oakley and Finn. He is employed as a business category lead with General Mills. He holds two degrees, one from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and a master's in business from John Brown University. Mike enjoys camping and hiking with his family and is also into woodworking. 

 

Mike ran for a seat on the board to represent young families who continue to move to Bentonville and drive much of the area's growth. He looks forward to that challange of growth and meeting it in a way that makes sense for Bentonville and all of Northwest Arkansas.

 

Connect with Mike

mikeswanson@bentonvillek12.org