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Marvin Burton, a deputy superintendent of the Little Rock School District, is the choice of Superintendent Mike Poore to be the principal of the district's new Southwest High School, the district announced late Friday afternoon.

The appointment is subject to the approval of Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key, who acts as the school board in the state-controlled school district.

The new school at Richsmith Lane and Mabelvale Pike will open to ninth-through-12th-grade students in a little over a year from now, in August 2020 for the 2020-21 school year.

Burton, 54, is a longtime district teacher and administrator, and has been the lead administrator in the day-to-day planning and oversight of the 400,000-square-foot high school project that is south of the Home Depot store in southwest Little Rock.

The new school -- home of the Gryphons -- is to replace both McClellan and J.A. Fair high schools. It is being built to hold as many as 2,250 students.

"Mr. Burton is an exceptional leader who is committed to ensuring the success of the school and the academic performance of students, so this is a win-win for the District," Poore said in a prepared statement. "We couldn't be more thrilled to have him at the helm."

Burton, who will continue as deputy superintendent until the end of June, called the transition a natural fit because of his experiences as a middle and high school principal as well as a districtwide administrator.

A district employee since 1989, Burton has been a science teacher at both Hall and J.A. Fair high schools, and served as a principal at both Henderson Middle School and McClellan High before his work as a deputy superintendent for secondary schools.

In 2013, Burton served as the district's interim superintendent after the resignation of Superintendent Morris Holmes and before the arrival of Dexter Suggs, who had been selected for the chief executive's job. In 2015, Burton was called on again to be the district's interim superintendent, when Suggs resigned suddenly as part of a settlement and severance agreement. Baker Kurrus was appointed in May that year to be the superintendent.

Burton, who grew up in West Memphis, has an annual salary of $146,682 plus a $2,000 stipend for his educational level and a $1,200 car allowance.

He is one of two deputy superintendents in the Little Rock district. Sadie Mitchell is the deputy superintendent for elementary education.

It was not known Friday evening whether Burton's current position would be filled. Pamela Smith, a spokesman for the district, referred the question to Poore, who had left his office for the day. The district's offices and schools will be closed next week for spring break.

Metro on 03/16/2019

Print Headline: Principal chosen for Little Rock School District's new high school

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