Interim leader named for new Jacksonville district

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JACKSONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A former superintendent of the Pulaski County Special School District will be the temporary head of a breakaway district.

Voters in Jacksonville this year approved the creation of the Jacksonville-North Pulaski School District and the new district's board on Wednesday named Bobby Lester as its interim superintendent. Outstanding tasks include setting millage rates, dividing assets between the old and the new districts and finding a permanent leader.

"We have a lot of work to do, but I think it'll go smooth," Lester said.

Lester, 70, was the superintendent of the Pulaski County district for 15 years. School Board President Daniel Gray told Little Rock television station KATV ( ) that Lester has long supported separating schools in the far northeast part of Pulaski County.

"Mr. Lester has been helping us for several years during the process. He's a tremendous asset across the state. He has tons of knowledge," Gray said.

Because Jacksonville-North Pulaski is being carved out of a district involved in a long-running desegregation lawsuit involving Little Rock-area schools, a federal judge will need to review the actions next week. The state school board will look at the changes this week.

"We're approving a legal document that the attorneys from the Jacksonville and PCSSD have been working on as far as the relationship between the two districts and how it's going to operate during the transition time, how the new superintendent will be hired," Gray said after Wednesday's meeting.


Information from: KATV-TV,

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