District fires school chief and law firm
Guess had lost board’s confidence
The School Board for the Pulaski County Special School District terminated its superintendent and dismissed the Roberts law firm as its legal representative Tuesday.
The vote came one day after the superintendent, Jerry Guess, said that he “and my lawyers of choice” have “lost the confidence” of the district’s School Board and that he will leave if directed to do so by the board.
Earlier Tuesday, the board had called a special meeting. At that meeting, the members voted 6-1, with member Mike Kemp voting no and arguing against it, to dismiss the law firm. The board said the firm acted too independently.
Then the board went into executive session. When it emerged in public about an hour later, the board voted unanimously to terminate Guess, effective immediately.
Guess, 66, has been the district’s superintendent since 2011.
He was appointed after the state took over the district, removed its superintendent and eliminated its school board. The district now operates under local control.
Guess is from south Arkansas. He began his professional career in education in 1978, when he took a job as a language-arts teacher in the old Fairview School District. That district later consolidated with Camden’s public school system.
He later became an administrator for the Camden-Fairview district. Guess was coordinator for gifted and talented students; assistant principal and principal of Fairview Middle School; and assistant superintendent and associated superintendent.
In 1996, he became the district’s superintendent.
He graduated from Chidester High School, near Camden.
Guess’ contract with the Pulaski County Special district calls for him, if terminated, to be paid for six months.