Tracy Steele picked to head Arkansas Division of Youth Services | Arkansas Blog

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tracy Steele picked to head Arkansas Division of Youth Services

Posted By on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 2:26 PM

TRACY STEELE
  • TRACY STEELE
Former state Sen. Tracy Steele has been named to head the Arkansas Division of Youth Services. He lost a race for North Little Rock mayor last year.

Steele's past management experience includes being director of the state Martin Luther King Commission, roiled in turmoil during much of his tenure.

He has no direct experience providing education and rehabilitation services on a large-scale basis to youth, but he's led the STAND Foundation, which has provided leadership training programs to youth. We've written before about STAND, a nonprofit for which Steele raised money from corporate sources while a legislator and which has paid him a salary through the years. He's also led a publishing company that produced periodicals aimed at the African-American market. DHS notes that Steele also chaired legislative committees in which Youth Services matters were heard.

Ron Angel retired as DYS director after six years in the job effective June 1.

Department spokeswoman Amy Webb said Steele would be paid $100,077. She also responded to my questions about specific aspsects of Steele's career that recommended him for the work:

There were a number of characteristics that Director Selig was looking for in a new DYS director: knowledge of the juvenile justice system and the issues DYS has faced and overcome, strong leadership skills, knowledge of state government and an ability to work with legislators, judges and providers as we continue to improve the system. Tracy had all of those.

Steele is a Democrat. I'll note, before a reader does, that added years and salary contribute to the formula by which future retirement benefits for former public employees, including legislators, are figured. He is not the first former legislator to find his way into a state agency job. Nor is he likely to be the last. It is a bipartisan practice, too.

The DHS news release on the appointment follows.

NEWS RELEASE

The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) has chosen Tracy Steele, who has years of experience working on behalf of children, as the new Director of the Division of Youth Services (DYS).

As the former chair of both the Senate and House committees that oversee DYS activities, Steele is familiar with DYS’s mission as well as the challenges and successes the division has had over the years. In addition to his legislative experience, he has led the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and The STAND Foundation, each of which has a focus on serving underprivileged youth.

DYS oversees a system of programs, both community and facility-based, designed to address the needs of youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. It is responsible for eight facilities and contracts with a number of community programs across the state.

“Tracy’s familiarity with DYS and his passion for working with Arkansas youth make him a great fit for the director position,” said DHS Director John Selig. “He also has the support of the provider community and the ability to work with legislators from both sides of the aisle, which will be needed as we continue our work to improve the juvenile justice system.”

Selig said Steele’s extensive leadership experience and knowledge of state government also played a role in
his selection. Steele began his career with the state in 1987 coordinating then Gov. Bill Clinton’s rural development program. He worked for Clinton and later Gov. Jim Guy Tucker until 1994 when he became the executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. Steele left after more than a decade at the helm of the Commission to serve as the chief executive officer of The STAND Foundation.

Steele earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree from Rice University in 1985. He also completed Duke University’s Strategic Leadership for State Executives training in 1995, which focuses on a broad range of needed management skills.

“I am thankful for this opportunity to carry on the work that has been done to make this division a nationally-recognized juvenile justice program,” Steele said. “I will bring an unwavering degree of dedication to support our young people and the families this division serves.”

Steele will start his new role on Aug. 5.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation