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Atwill tapped to head West Memphis School District


GREC head will take the reins from outgoing Collins

[email protected] The West Memphis School Board has found their man to serve at the helm of the county’s largest school district.

Last week, the board voted to appoint Richard Atwill to the position just weeks after former Superintendent Jon Collins resigned.

Prior to Atwill’s hiring, a handful of parents balked at the quick move to appoint a new superintendent so close to the upcoming School Board elections on May 24, going so far as to stage a protest at the WMSD central office as interviews were being conducted with the three finalists.

Others arrived at Monday’s board meeting to watch the vote only to find out they would not be allowed to enter the district’s administration building before the vote, citing security reasons.

School board president Gary Masner says those parents were not let in to the building before that session because of a previous privacy issue.

“We had the same situation earlier and they eavesdropped on an executive session and published the information that was supposed to be kept private so we had to maintain the privacy of the executive session,” said Masner.

Parents were allowed to enter the building after the board finished their closeddoor session. As for Atwill, he previously served as superintendent of schools for the Batesville School District and as hed of the Great Rivers Educational Services Cooperative in

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Richard Atwill ATWILL (cont.)

Helena-West Helena before accepting the West Memphis superintendent position.

Atwill’s departure garnered well-wishes and high praise from his coworkers.

“He’ll be great for West Memphis,” said Jay Southard, CTE Coordinator at Great Rivers, “but we’re losing a fantastic education leader at the Great Rivers Education Service Cooperative.”

Atwill will officially take over as superintendent in July.

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