Farmington Hires Fayetteville Teacher As Assistant Principal
FARMINGTON — Two educators from Fayetteville School District will work together as the administrative team at Farmington Junior High School next school year.
Farmington School Board last week hired Leonard Ogden, 32, as junior high assistant principal. Ogden has been with Woodland Junior High School and Fayetteville High School for seven years.
He will join Joe McClung, currently assistant principal at Woodland Junior High. The School Board approved a recommendation in April to hire McClung as the first principal for Farmington Junior High.
The contracts for both men are effective July 1, though McClung already has been involved in making decisions as Farmington turns the old high school building into a junior high for seventh-ninth-graders.
Ogden earned his master’s degree in mathematics and science education from University of Arkansas and his school leadership management administration degree from University of Central Arkansas.
He taught math at Woodland Junior High School for four years and algebra at Fayetteville High School for three years. Ogden also coached football for three years at Fayetteville.
Ogden, who attended last week’s School Board meeting, said he applied for administrative positions at several districts within 20 miles of Fayetteville.
Farmington was his first interview and his first callback, Ogden said, and the question is always “do I wait to see what else is out there?”
However, he said he remembered advice from his mother: “My mom always told me a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Ogden worked as a classroom teacher with McClung and after he applied for the Farmington job, he said McClung called to see if he would be interested in being his “wing man.”
Farmington’s demographics are similar to the school he grew up in and Ogden said he believes that will be an asset in coming to Farmington School District.
He considers discipline, having a good grasp of the curriculum and being approachable as strengths that will help him as an assistant principal.
McClung said Farmington received more than 50 applications for the assistant principal position. McClung, Assistant Superintendent Stephanie Pinkerson and science teacher Laurie Voss served on the search committee and interviewed five candidates.
McClung said the first thing that stood out to the committee about Ogden was how approachable he was. He had a calm demeanor and handled himself well, McClung said.
McClung said the new junior high is working on its organizational chart on responsibilities but some of Ogden’s duties will include traditional assistant principal jobs, such as discipline and teacher evaluations.
“I’m glad to have him,” McClung said. “He’s a hard worker. I’ve seen him mature in his role as an educator. I think he’ll be a good addition to our team in Farmington.”