PG principal finalist for Bald Knob job

Former Farmington teacher on the list

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. Fletcher 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. 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.

Overall, 18 people applied through the McPherson-Jacobson recruiting firm, according to Mitchell Walton with the firm. Walton on Monday said the firm recommended six candidates that met the board's criteria for a superintendent during a March 12 board meeting. The board met in executive session, came out and said it would bring in the three top candidates for all-day interviews.

Walton said interviews would be conducted this week and each candidate would meet with students, teachers, administrators and classified staff during the day and with the board during the evening.

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.

Lynn Kutter with the Enterprise-Leader contributed to this report.