Shortly after being named as the 2018 Hempstead County Educator of the Year at the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Banquet on Monday, March 12, Spring Break happened, and Thomason and his family were on the way to Florida.

Shortly after being named as the 2018 Hempstead County Educator of the Year at the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Banquet on Monday, March 12, Spring Break happened, and Thomason and his family were on the way to Florida.
Such quick movement didn’t surprise local Hempstead historian Mark Keith, who said “He is always on the go; he is always doing something.”
In touting Thomason’s most recent achievement, Keith wasn’t surprised either, “He is that university’s greatest cheerleader. That is what he does. He promotes it, and then, he promotes it some more.”
Thomason, named as Chancellor of the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana some ten years ago, is now one of the longest tenured chancellors currently in the UA system.
In a prior recent interview with the Hope Star, Thomason was even amazed, saying “Yeah, I guess it has really been that long. Seems like just a couple of years ago.”
Even then, three weeks ago, Thomason was preparing for a state television appearance to explain the state’s new funding formula for universities and community colleges, and how UA Hope was ready for the challenge.
As Keith, again not surprised, said “That is Chris. That is what he does.”
Keith credits Thompson for believing in himself and being a self-made success story.
“Here is a guy, a hometown guy, that came up through Hope High School in 1991, then got a Criminal Justice degree at UALR, and then graduated with honors at UALR’s Bowen Law School,” Keith said.
“And, he worked hard to get to where he has arrived, and I consider him one of the brightest minds in the state. The fact that he has continued to serve us here in southwest Arkansas and his hometown… well, I have the utmost respect for that.  I have the utmost respect for him,” Kieth said.
Thomason’s story and rise to both local and state prominence has been chronicled many times throughout the pages of the Hope Star as well as newspapers throughout the state and region.   
Keith recalled that Thomason, at one time, had opened his own private practice law office in Hope, but he gained regional attention and acclaim as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the 8th Judicial District North (Hempstead and Nevada County) from 1999-2002.
Then, in 2002, Thomason was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives, and served two terms out of Hope’s District 3. While in the House, he served on the House Transportation Committee, State Agencies and Government Affairs Committee, Joint Budget Committee, Judiciary Committee and Insurance and Commerce Committee.
After two terms, Thomason was elected Prosecuting Attorney in his own right for the Eighth North Judicial District in 2006 and took office January 1, 2007.
Then, in August 2008, he was named the Chancellor of the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana, where he has served ever since.
Keith said, “Thomason spent a good deal of his public service prosecuting crime, and trying to keep people safe, but to continue public service as an educator at the university, he is now helping educate our youth, and trying to keep them out of a life of crime and despair, by helping them to a path of education and opportunity. That, to me, is worthy of any award.”