2013 Cabot Schools Hall of Fame

Posted on 10/15/2013

The 5th Annual Cabot Schools Hall of Fame banquet sponsored by the Cabot Panther Foundation was held October 8 and inducted five new honorees into the Hall of Fame.

Approximately 200 people were in attendance as Nina Butler, Fred Campbell, the late Willie Ray, the late Oris E. Spence, and John C. Thompson were inducted. Will Feland served as the Master of Ceremonies.

(Pictured from left to right: John C. Thompson, Nina Butler, Gale Sikes (Accepting on Oris E Spence's behalf), Billye Everett (Accepting on Willie Ray's behalf) and Fred Campbell)

The Cabot Panther Hall of Fame was created in 2008 to celebrate the successes of public education by honoring talented graduates of Cabot Public Schools, as well as local leaders who have provided distinguished service to influence public school excellence.

Nina Butler is a 1980 graduate of Cabot High School. Mrs. Butler has been an interior decorator in Cabot for many years. In her career, she was the 2006 inaugural decorator for the Cabot Avenue of Dreams Home Show to benefit Open Arms Shelter. In 2006 she also received the Good Neighbor Award for donating carpet to Lonoke County Safe Haven office and Safe Haven house. In 2012 Mrs. Butler was awarded the Cabot Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year and received the “Readers Choice Best Place to Buy Floor Covering.”

Mrs. Butler continues to support her alma mater and community through such organizations as Cabot Chamber of Commerce, Cabot Junior Auxiliary, Cabot Scholarship Foundation, Cabot Panther Foundation, First Baptist Church and Lonoke County Exceptional School.


Fred Campbell is a 1966 graduate and a Vietnam Veteran where he served with the 1/508th Infantry 82nd Airborne Division and was a Staff Sargent in the US Army. Mr. Campbell started as a teller at Bank of Cabot in 1972 and worked his way to Sr. Vice President, then president of Mortgage Bankers of Arkansas.  He then went on to work for First Security Bank and Bank of the Ozarks, where he retired in 2008 as President of the Eastern Division. Mr. Campbell has been very dedicated to the Cabot community serving as a member of several civic organizations such as Cabot Jaycees, Cabot Lions Club, Cabot Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club of Cabot and Cabot Home Builders Association.

In honor of his community service, Mr. Campbell was nominated for the Citizen of the Year award in 2004. Mr. Campbell served twelve and a half years on the Cabot School Board and is an advocate for the Cabot Public School District.


Willie Ray grew up in Newport, AR and in 1940 he married Imogene Guthrie. Mr. Ray enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands of the North Pacific. At the conclusion of World War II the Rays moved to Cabot. Mr. Ray opened a small café and service station and Mrs. Ray operated a beauty salon. Mr. Ray became one of the leading businessmen in Cabot. He was active in several community groups such as the Cabot Chamber of Commerce and Cabot Lions Club. In 1975, Mr. Ray was chosen as Cabot’s Man of the Year.

In 1958, Mr. Ray was elected to the City Council, and in 1960 was elected Mayor. Cabot population was just over 1,300 when he began his first term as Mayor. Mr. Ray served 19 consecutive years as Mayor until 1979, and by that time Cabot’s population had grown to just under 4,000. Mr. Ray loved his community and the people he served! In 1964, Mr. Ray administered the construction of the new City Hall, fire station and jail. In March of 1976, a tornado resulted in the loss of life and the destruction of downtown Cabot. Mr. Ray diligently worked to rebuild Cabot and in 1978 the city of Cabot held a “We’re Back” celebration (later known as Cabotfest) to once again reunite the community.  Mr. Ray became ill and suddenly passed away on August 19th, 1979.


Oris Eugene Spence attended all twelve grades at the one-room Oak Grove School near Sylvania. In 1937, he bought his family farm from his mother and raised cotton. In the mid-1940s Mr. Spence bought the Sylvania Grocery, which he operated for fourteen years. Mr. Spence was a retired dairy farmer who had been involved in the dairy business for 39 years. Mr. Spence began his political career in the late 1940s when he was first elected to the Sylvania School Board, then served four years as the Lonoke County Judge and later sixteen years as the Justice of the Peace. In 1947 the Sylvania School District merged into the Cabot School District. Mr. Spence was elected to the Cabot School Board in 1959 and served until 1964.

Mr. Spence was married to Arlene Hunter Spence for 61 years. Together, they had two children, Shirley McDaniel and Gale Sikes.


John C. Thompson graduated from Cabot High School in 1969 and continued his education at the University of Arkansas, where he graduated in 1973 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business.  After graduating from banking school, he pursued a banking career and was a valued loan officer for Bank of Cabot, Bank of the Ozarks and Arvest Bank. Mr. Thompson is dedicated to serving the Cabot community through his volunteerism and civic organizations. He was a member of the Cabot Jaycees and served on the Cabot School Board for 10 years.  While a member of the Cabot Chamber of Commerce, he served as the Cabotfest Chairman for 4 years and was named Cabot Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1989.
Mr. Thompson serves as an instrumental piece in the Cabot Scholarship Foundation, a non-profit organization that recognizes graduating Cabot High School seniors with scholarships for attending college. Mr. Thompson and his family attend United Methodist Church of Cabot.


“For the fifth consecutive year, the Cabot Panther Foundation is proud to sponsor the Hall of Fame and is honored to recognize the dedication to our school system and community and the professional achievements of the 2013 inductees,” said Sarah Owen, President, Cabot Panther Foundation.

The Cabot Panther Foundation is a non-profit organization designed to support the educational purposes of the Cabot School District, including, but not limited to, funding research, education, athletic and other activities to promote public education. To learn more about the Cabot Panther Foundation, please visit the Cabot Public School website, www.cabotschools.org.


Hall of Fame 2013

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Cabot Public Schools

Elementary Schools (Grades PreK-4)

Central Elementary
36 Pond Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3564
Fax: (501) 843-4503
Eastside Elementary
17 Bellamy Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3563
Fax: (501) 843-5619
Magness Creek Elementary
16150 Arkansas Hwy 5, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3565
Fax: (501) 843-7567
Mountain Springs Elementary
3620 Mountain Springs
Road, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3575
Fax: (501) 605-1300
Northside Elementary
814 West Locust Street,
Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3568
Fax: (501) 843-6032
Southside Elementary
2600 South Pine Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3567
Fax: (501) 843-6229
Stagecoach Elementary
850 South Stagecoach Road,
Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3574
Fax: (501) 605-1221
Ward Central Elementary
1570 Wilson Loop Road,
Ward, AR 72176
(501) 743-3569
Fax: (501) 843-9744
Westside Elementary
1701 South Second Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3566
Fax: (501) 843-5802

High School (Grades 10-12)

Cabot High School
401 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 843-3562
Fax: (501) 843-4231

Academic Center of Excellence
(Grades 7-12)

Academic Center of Excellence
21 Funtastic Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3520
Fax: (501) 843-0283

Cabot Freshman Academy

Cabot Freshman Academy
18 Spirit Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3576
Fax: (501) 941-1505

Cabot Learning Academy

Cabot Learning Academy
813 West Locust, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3540
Fax: (501) 843-3138

Special Programs

404 North 2nd Street, Cabot, AR 72023
(501) 743-3543
Fax: (501) 941-2613

Central Administrative Office

602 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR 72023
(501) 843-3363
Fax: (501)843-0576

Middle Schools (Grades 5-6)

Cabot Middle School North
1900 North Lincoln Street, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3571
Fax: (501) 605-0413

Cabot Middle School South
2555 Kerr Station Road, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3570
Fax: (501) 941-7432

Junior High Schools
(Grades 7-8)

Cabot Junior High North
38 Spirit Drive, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3572
Fax: (501) 605-8472

Cabot Junior High South
38 Panther Trail, Cabot, AR
(501) 743-3573
Fax: (501) 941-7746