Superintendent Resignation Prompts Leadership Transition at Harrisburg School District

HARRISBURG, Ark. – In a statement sent to faculty tonight, the Harrisburg School District confirmed the resignation of Chris Ferrell from the position of superintendent.

Acknowledging the existing curiosity surrounding this development, the district expressed gratitude for the dedicated efforts of all teachers and staff members who have persevered amid uncertainty, putting students first.

The decision to keep details limited until now was deemed necessary given the circumstances, the school district’s statement said. However, the district now aims to convey appreciation for the resilience displayed by its educators and staff during uncertain times.

Submitted to NEA Report anonymously.

The district leadership expressed confidence in the caliber of its personnel and stressed the commitment to fostering a positive atmosphere.

To facilitate a smooth transition, Julie Isbell has been appointed as the interim superintendent. Julie’s work as assistant superintendent and in ensuring uninterrupted district operations over the past few weeks has earned her this interim role, the school board’s statement said. The district expressed confidence in her ability to sustain this momentum as they navigate the path forward and determine the next steps.

The Jonesboro Sun reported on November 7 that the now-former superintendent was not on school grounds for weeks pending an investigation into a personal matters. A statement from the attorney for the school district to the Sun said the board had asked him not to perform services for the district pending the investigation.

On Tuesday afternoon, the school district released a statement:

The Harrisburg School Board accepted the resignation of Superintendent Chris Ferrell at a special meeting held on November 13, 2023. Ferrell’s resignation is effective December 31, 2023, and he will provide information and assistance to the District as may be requested during this transition period. Julie Isbell was appointed to serve as Interim Superintendent. The Board appreciates the patience of students, staff, and the Harrisburg community while it determines the future of the District’s leadership. 

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