The Springdale School District hires Dr. Michael Shepherd to be the new principal of the city’s third junior high, which is being constructed to ease overcrowding.
“It’s the chance of a lifetime, not many people get to do that,” Shepherd said.
The new building is close to 200,000 square feet and it’s scheduled to open this fall.
Shepherd is currently the assistant principal of Har-Ber High School.
“We’ll get a chance from the very front end to have a conversation with every single person that goes into the building,” Shepherd said. “We can really talk about culture and vision and what we want to do for our students.”
Shepherd said it’s exciting to see the school come to life from the ground up.
“You can see the shape of where things will be, where people will be, that’s a lot of fun,” Shepherd said.
There is still a lot of work to be done such as picking out a name and a mascot.
“I want to get our students, our community, our parents and everyone involved in the selection process so that everyone has a voice because that’s a big deal,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd said the search has begun for his new team.
“We’ll hire around 65-70 staff members that we have to put in place between now and May 1,” Shepherd said. “So it’s going to be a busy few months.”
Shepherd said he envisions what it will be like to enter a brand new building.
“There’s a lot of work to get there but I know when the first day of school comes there’s going to be a lot of people that know that all their work has come together,” Shepherd said.
The first day of classes will be this fall with around 800 students. The new junior high school cost the district about $30 million.