Community outraged over superintendent hire

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 11:05 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 7:56 AM CST
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MAYNARD, Ark. (KAIT) - The community of Maynard gathered Monday night to voice their concerns about the hiring of a new school superintendent.

The Maynard School District offered a contract to Dr. Amy Jackson on Feb. 17.

That decision upset many in the community.

A special meeting was held on Monday, March 6, for people to voice their opinion.

“It was necessary that the community was heard, we have a local young man that has applied for this position, and we don’t feel like he was given a fair shot,” said Ligie Waddell.

The other candidate was Braden Watson, the principal at Bay Elementary School and a Maynard native.

Waddell felt that Watson wasn’t given a chance due to his inexperience.

He also felt Jackson wouldn’t stay at the district long enough.

Four of the five board members were present to address the community’s questions about the hiring process.

Residents also questioned the absence of board member Steve Bounds.

“To me, and I think from what I hear from the other people, that it feels like he’s not concerned with what the community thinks,” Waddell said.

The announcement of the hiring left many with concerns about the hiring process, with several saying the community was ignored.

“I think they just felt like they weren’t heard, I think they feel like the board has kinda lost sight of, that they’re representing the community, and they want their voices heard,” Waddell said. “They feel like the original vote that was cast was not done according to board policy, wasn’t done in open session, so they feel like the contract that was offered was not legal.”

Although the meeting was public, many didn’t get to voice their opinion as the school district requires anyone who wants to speak at meetings to call and get placed on the agenda.

A motion to rescind the contract was brought up and voted on, but it did not pass.

When Monday night’s meeting ended, many left unsatisfied.

“I heard from some others that they still feel like questions didn’t get answered and that they’re going to be at the next board meeting, asking those questions again,” he said.

Another meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 14.