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Springdale high school principals move to new positions

SPRINGDALE -- The School District's three high schools will need new principals for next school year.

Har-Ber High School principal Danny Brackett and Don Tyson School of Innovation principal Joe Rollins will fill district administration positions starting this summer, district spokesman Rick Schaeffer said Tuesday. Springdale High School principal Pete Joenks said last week he's becoming an assistant superintendent for Prairie Grove School District.

Brackett's filling the new position of student services coordinator and said he'll oversee the district's first social workers, mental health and safety, after-school programs and other projects. He said it's his first time in a district-wide position after being a principal at one school or another for almost three decades.

"It's gonna be a high curve for me to learn, and I look forward to learning," he said Tuesday afternoon. "What we're trying to do is find ways to support our school buildings better."

Rollins, son of district superintendent Jim Rollins, will become director of support services, which include transportation and food services and the like. Schaeffer said the position has been unfilled since Gary Compton retired in 2016. The superintendent wasn't involved in that hiring process, Schaeffer added.

The younger Rollins was out of the office Tuesday afternoon and didn't return an email requesting comment.

Schaeffer said the district would begin looking for new principals immediately. The three schools together enrolled more than 5,000 students in the 2017-18 school year, about one in every four of the district's students, according to the Arkansas Department of Education.

Jared Cleveland, deputy superintendent for personnel and facilities, said both positions will report to him and will mean more hands on deck for essential services in the district.

"It's an opportunity for everybody to grow," he said.

With Joenks's plans to move, Cleveland said he and others had already begun interviewing potential principal candidates within and outside the district. He expects to fill all positions before next school year, with a selection for one of the high schools possibly announced as soon as next week.

"We're not going to let this lay out there," Cleveland said.

Brackett has helmed Har-Ber since it opened 13 years ago and said its quickly growing and ethnically and economically diverse student body is a snapshot of the entire district. The staff members there, whom he called family, will be able to help the next principal meet the challenge, Brackett said.

"It's been quite a blessing for me to serve at Har-Ber High School and the highlight of a career," he said.

NW News on 05/16/2018

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