In just over a week, Fort Smith Public Schools filled several key administrative positions for the upcoming school year.
On June 28, FSPS accepted the resignation of Dr. Lisa Miller, Principal of Southside High School. Miller was the school’s senior administrator for three years, succeeding longtime principal Wayne Haver. Miller’s resignation came following various retirements and promotions that left vacancies in several key positions across the district. On Thursday, July 9, the district announced that many of these positions were now filled.
Dr Tony Jones will assume the post of Director of Secondary Education for Fort Smith Public Schools, a position left vacant when Dr Ginni McDonald, former Director of Secondary Education, was selected as Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and professional learning. Jones has been Principal of the Belle Point Center since 2018. Prior to his appointment to Belle Point, he was Deputy Principal at Northside High School and Deputy Principal at Kimmons Junior High School. He began his career as an educator at Northside High School, according to a press release from the district.
Jones, a graduate of Northside High School, holds a Doctorate in Education in Instructional Leadership and an M.A. in Instructional Leadership from Arkansas Tech University and a BA in Sociology from Berea College in Kentucky.
“I am honored to serve as the Director of Secondary Education. I look forward to helping every high school campus achieve higher levels of excellence, ”Jones said.
Jennifer Steele has been appointed Deputy Director of Sports and Activities, working under the direction of Michael Beaumont, Director of Sports and Student Activities. Steele has been the vice-principal of Northside High School since 2013. Prior to her appointment to Northside, she was the director of musical groups at Chaffin Junior High School, the statement said. Steele holds a BA in Music Education from Georgia Southern University, an MA in Educational Administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and an Education Specialist Diploma in Educational Leadership from the ‘Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.
The district also has three new elementary school principals. Laura Gladden will be the principal of Ballman Elementary School. Former Principal Lori Griffin was recently appointed Director of Elementary Education, filling a vacancy when Dr. Mary Ann Johns retired at the end of the 2020-21 school year. Gladden served as Deputy Principal of Ballman and Bonneville Elementary School from 2018.
Prior to her appointment to Ballman and Bonneville, she was a district education animator, an elementary and middle school teacher in Van Buren, and an elementary and middle school teacher in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Diploma in Education from AU.
“I am honored to transition to this new role at Ballman and continue my service within the district,” Gladden said.
Ami Griggs will be the principal of Fairview Elementary School. She has been Deputy Principal of Fairview since 2019. Prior to her appointment to Fairview, she was a Literacy Facilitator at Ballman, Bonneville, Fairview and Morrison Elementary School and a teacher at Euper Lane Elementary School. Griggs holds an MA in Educational Leadership from the AU, an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Arkansas Tech, and a BA in Education from the University of Central Arkansas. at Conway.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the students and families of Fairview in this leadership role,” she said.
Nicole Shaffer will be the principal of Cook Elementary School. Shaffer has been Director of Fairview since 2019.
“I enjoyed my time at Fairview Elementary School very much and look forward to continuing to serve the district at Cook Elementary School,” she said.
Prior to her appointment to Fairview, she was vice-principal at Cook, Woods Elementary School and Barling Elementary School and district supervisor of elementary music education. She taught at Sunnymede Primary School as well as Lavaca and Panama, Okla. Prior to his educational career, Shaffer was a senior Air Force executive with the 188th Fighter Wing Maintenance Group. Shaffer holds an Education Specialist Diploma in Instructional Leadership, a Masters in Instructional Leadership, and a Bachelor of Education degree, all from Arkansas Tech. She also holds a master’s degree in physical education from AU.
The district announced Wednesday (July 7) that Dr. Christopher Davis will take on the position of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Campus Support. Davis will fill the vacant position when Sherri Penix, assistant superintendent of human resources and campus support, retires on July 31. Davis has been the District Human Resources Supervisor since 2019. With his new assignment, he will oversee all aspects of Human Resources. for the district, including athletics and activities functions, according to a press release from the FSPS.