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Deer/Mt. Judea looking for principal

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MT. JUDEA — The Deer/Mt. Judea School District Board of Education is searching for a principal to fill the vacancy at the Deer School campus. The board accepted the resignation of principal Bill Mizaur at its regular monthly meeting held Monday night, July 26. The board also accepted the resignation of Mt. Judea coach Calvis Casey.
The board went into executive session for over an hour to discuss personnel.
Upon returning to open session at 7:54 p.m. the resignations were accepted without comment.
The board then approved hiring Jessica Price, elementary teacher; Rebecca Nicks, elementary teacher; and Mikayla Dodson, elementary teacher. Superintendent Brenda Napier said their individual assignments will be determined.
Josiah Hunnicutt was hired to fill the coach’s position at Mt. Judea and Marsha Willis was hired as a reading interventionist at the Deer campus.
Napier said there will be a special school board meeting at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 2, at the Deer Campus to consider filling other vacant positions. According to the district’s website, positions include an administrative assistant, a K-12 licensed counselor for the Deer School, as well as the Deer K-12 licensed principal.
In an email to the Times on Tuesday, Mizaur wrote: “I am resigning my position to work closer to my home. I live in Atkins and have accepted a position there teaching 8th grade science and assistant boys basketball coach. My wife teaches at Atkins and I have a daughter and grandson going to school there next year.
“I have truly enjoyed my time at Deer as the high school principal. I will always be an Antler and I am proud to be able to have served this school and community.”
Staff will report to their schools Aug. 11 and 12 with classes scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 16. The school district will begin a four-day week class schedule with no classes held on Fridays.
The school board reorganized itself at the start of the meeting. Board officers are: Andrew Campbell, president; Clayton Heffley, vice president and Justin Gilmore, secretary.
The board approved expenditure of about $68,000 to purchase the Benchmark Curriculum for the school district. The curriculum consists of a package of literacy programs approved and endorsed by the state education department, Napier said. She said the curriculum addresses the learning loss that affected most schools in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health safety protocols by the CDC and state mandates required school districts to educate their students through a mixture of virtual and in-person classes during the school year.
The school board voted in favor of adopting Arkansas School Board Association policies and dovetailing them into the school district’s policies. The annual revision of policies meet new education legislation handed down from the General Assembly.
The board also approved the updated student handbook including a separate handbook for those students who take classes digitally.
The licensed personnel policies and those for classified personnel were also adopted for the coming school year. They had already met the approval of the staff Personnel and Policy Committee, Napier said.

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