HIGHLAND, AR (KAIT) - With three weeks left of summer, the Highland School District is without a superintendent.
Tuesday night the school board held their monthly meeting and ended up buying the former superintendent, Tracy Webb, out of her contract.
"We had a discussion with Mrs. Tracy Webb about issues dealing with the future of the school board, and we came to an agreement that it would be best for both parties that we go in a different direction," Highland School Board President Dr. George Jackson said.
The board agreed to buy Webb out of her contract, which was a $153,000 plus the vacation and sick days Webb had left.
This action has now left the school board with the duty of finding a new superintendent.
"We have embarked on a process of finding a new one," Jackson said. "We have a big job in front of us."
Jackson said the board will start work on finding a new superintendent immediately.
He said a nationwide search group called McPherson and Jacobson will help find someone to fill the position.
The board will work with Dr. Keith Williams out of Searcy from the company.
Until the position is officially filled the board will appoint an interim superintendent to keep things on track.
"We will have an interim at least through the search period which certainly can take a variable amount of time, but Dr. Williams said it would most likely be between two or three months," Jackson said.
Jackson said during the search process the company will also host public forums for parents and community members to give input on what type of person they would like to see in the position.
"All so they know they have everyone on board with the eventual people who they recommend to the school board to hire as the next superintendent," Jackson said.
Jackson said, for now, he wants parents and students to know the school will continue to put them first.
"The Highland School District's primary motivation has always been the pursuit of excellence in education, and that has been our goal since the inception of the school back in 1964," Jackson said.
He said although they do not have a superintendent right now, the school year will still go on as planned.
"Yes it is new, we don't have our leader, we don't have our superintendent, and that is going to be a big loss but the people who make a school district run they are still here, our teacher and staff they are still here," Jackson said. "They are still getting ready for school to start in three weeks, and we are going to be ready."
Jackson also told Region 8 News that Webb's leaving was a mutual decision between her and the board.
"It was not a firing, it was not a dismissal or anything like that," Jackson said.
He said it came down to different opinions that were not working for the school.
"There were different philosophies, and some of those philosophies were just the basic nuts and bolts but some of them involved truly ill personal feelings, so when we came to an agreement that those could not be resolved we agreed it was best to go in a different direction," Jackson said.
He said the board and Webb put the school first, so this decision was ultimately best for Highland schools.
"We are on the job, and we have the students interest at heart, and that is always where Mrs. Webb came from, that is where the school board came from, and that is where we are going," Jackson said.
Although school is only three weeks away, Jackson wants parents to know this vacant position will not affect the upcoming school year.
"The people of the Highland School District, I want to assure them that this year of school is going to be great for their kids, and again we are going to be pushing them to be the best that they can," Jackson said.
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