Farm­ing­ton Hires Fayet­teville Teacher As Assistant Principal

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - NEWS - By Lynn Kutter

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.”


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