BALD KNOB — When the next school year rolls around, students at Bald Knob High School won’t see the familiar face of Brad Roberts when they walk into the building.
He’s been a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent at various schools across the state, and now he’s getting his own place in the administration office as superintendent of the Bald Knob School District.
Roberts will replace Kieth Williams, who will retire at the end of June after serving as superintendent for three years. Roberts was named superintendent of the Bald Knob School District on Jan. 21 and will start in the position July 1.
“On [Jan. 20], the president of the board came in and talked to me about a contract,” Roberts said.
“He said I was their choice, and they had to schedule a board meeting to do an official vote on [Jan. 21].”
Roberts said he looks forward to his new duties as superintendent of the district.
“We’re going to sit down and create all of the visions [for the district],” Roberts said. “We’re going to work on fiscal management and a budget to make sure that we don’t go back into fiscal distress. We’re not anywhere close to that, but you’ve got to make sure that’s a priority.”
He has spent most of his career in the Bald Knob School District.
“I spent about 23 years working for the school and the community. I just wanted to serve in this capacity for them,” Roberts said.
He received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Roberts’ first years of teaching were at Augusta High School as a math teacher from 1981 to 1983; then he came back to his birthplace to teach at Bald Knob High School in 1983.
“My mother taught for 40 years, and she had a great influence on my life,” he said. “I was going to be a coach and never got the opportunity to coach, and I went straight into math teaching and just loved working with kids.”
He spent 19 years at Bald Knob High School as a math teacher.
Roberts received a master’s degree in educational leadership from Arkansas State University-Jonesboro in 2001, then moved into the assistant superintendent position with the Midland School District.
After working at Midland until 2005, he worked as a state math specialist for the Arkansas Center for Mathematics and Science Education for a year.
He moved on to the Bradford School District to serve as its high school principal, and after just two years, he came back to Bald Knob to try to help make a difference in his hometown.
“I came back as principal of Bald Knob [Middle School] shortly after [the district] went on fiscal distress. The desire was to come back and give it my best shot,” Roberts said.
He was principal of Bald Knob Middle School from 2008 to 2010, then became the high school’s principal in 2010.
“In high school, you’re trying to guide and steer the students in the direction of graduating, becoming successful and making a difference in society,” Roberts said.
Roberts said one of his goals as superintendent will be to work on the curriculum of the school district, along with the methods teachers use to make students successful.
“I love the students. [As a teacher], you are trying to find the magical piece for each child to do the best they can do to become the most successful they can become,” Roberts said. “Every one of them is so different.”
Though he’s excited about his new job, Roberts said, he’ll miss the student interaction he has each day at the high school.
“I think I’ll miss that more than anything else — that one-on-one time,” he said.
The amount of support Roberts has received in his new appointment has been overwhelming, he said.
“I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to try to be the example I need to be to lead students into the global society.”
Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or firstname.lastname@example.org.