Three Arkansas educators make finalist list for Bald Knob superintendent

Three education administrators, all from Arkansas, have reached the finalist stage in the search for a new Bald Knob School District superintendent.

The finalists for the top job at the 1,071-student district in White County are:

Jed G. Davis, 42, principal of 595-student Prairie Grove High School in the Prairie Grove School District since 2020. He was the district's junior high principal from 2019-2020 and the middle school assistant principal from 2018-2019. Davis has been a football coach in several Arkansas cities. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 2004 from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; a Master of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 2005; and a doctorate from Texarkana A&M University in Texarkana, Texas, in 2023.

Travis R. Fletcher, 41, superintendent of the Concord School District, which has an enrollment of 375 students and is based in Cleburne County. The district includes Concord, Drasco, Wilburn and part of Tumbling Shoals. Fletcher, who was born in Memphis and who is a native of Paragould, was an elementary school principal in the Bald Knob district from 2019-2021 and a teacher in the Farmington School District from 2006-2019. He earned a bachelor's degree in social sciences and secondary education from Harding University in 2005 and a Master of Science degree from Arkansas State University in 2013.

Jeffrey L. Graham, 45, Sidney Deener Elementary School principal in the Searcy School District. He has worked in the district since 2005, first as a classroom teacher for five years and then, from 2010-2020, as an assistant principal. Sidney Deener Elementary has an enrollment of 390 students. Graham earned a bachelor's degree in mid-level education from Arkansas State University-Beebe in 2005 and a Master of Science degree from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro in 2009. He is a lifelong resident of Searcy.

Overall, 18 people applied through the McPherson-Jacobson recruiting firm. The Bald Knob School Board is looking for someone to replace Melissa Gipson, whom the school board placed on leave in October. The board and Gipson reached a $150,000 separation agreement in December. Her salary was $117,816.48 a year.

David Bangs, a retired chairman of Graduate Studies in Education at Harding University, is working as interim superintendent.

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