NLR Remembers Former Librarian

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This year, staff and students are missing a familiar, friendly face in the North Little Rock High School Media Center.

Paul J. Hartness, former educator, veteran, and a loving father and husband, passed on July 6, 2019 after a fall on vacation. Hartness served 35 years in the Arkansas Army National Guard  and was a retired teacher. Hartness loved his students, and whenever he had a chance, he wo

His heart was filled with love and kindness,””

— Heidi Cherry

uld even volunteer at the NLRHS library. Hartness was well known around the school by both teachers and students. Media Specialist Heidi Cherry, who worked closely with Hartness, would say he had a big heart for helping others.

“His heart was filled with love and kindness,” says Cherry.

She fondly recalls the special relationship they shared while working together in the media center.

 “Mr. Hartness always wanted to help. He knew I loved Diet Coke and would bring me a 12 pack a week,” says Cherry. 

Cherry remembers how Hartness would bring her lunch and made sure it was perfect.

 “I remember he would bring our lunch everyday from KFC and they would always get something wrong. Whenever I wanted potato wedges and they gave me mashed potatoes, he would threaten to go back and make them fix my order,” Cherry explains. “Until one day he was fed up of them getting our order wrong and drove back to KFC and made them fix my order.” 

Spanish teacher Cecilia Franco also cherishes memories of Hartness’ compassion for others.

 “I remember last year when I fell and went to the hospital, Paul would be the only person from the school to visit me, bring me books, movies, candy, and flowers. He was very kind to me,” says Franco.

While he was kind to the staff, he also cared deeply for his students. “When ever we went on our Spanish field trip and a student or students were not financially able to pay for the trip, he would pay for their ticket,” says Franco.

“Mr. Hartness was a very generous, kind, loving, and friendly man,” Franco laments.

Though he may not be with us in person, North Little Rock High School will always keep Mr. Hartness and his kindness, love, and happiness in our hearts.