State Commissioner Only Applicant So Far For Local Superintendent Job

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The state Department of Education commissioner is the only applicant so far for the open Fayetteville superintendent job, according to the Fayetteville School District.

The Fayetteville School Board interviewed department commissioner Tom Kimbrell on Thursday for the superintendent position that opened up with Supt. Vicki Thomas’ sudden announced resignation earlier this month.

Thomas said she is going back to her home state of Texas to take care of an ailing elderly family member. Her resignation is effective at the end of her contract period, June 30.

In Kimbrell’s application obtained by 5NEWS on Friday, the commissioner touts his achievements and “a proven record of leadership and capacity for managing people,” along with “strong influencing abilities.”

Before taking the reins as education commissioner for the state, he was the executive director of the Arkansas Association of Education Administrators. He was also the superintendent of the North Little Rock School District before his time as a state administrator, according to his application.

Tim Hudson, Fayetteville School Board president, said Kimbrell called him on Jan. 20, expressing an interest in the position that will become open this summer with the announced resignation of the current superintendent, Vickie Thomas. Thomas has said she is leaving the post to return to Texas to care for an ailing elderly family member.

Hudson said the school board is “pleased to have the opportunity to talk with (Kimbrell) to see if we have mutual goals.”

Kimbrell has served as the state department’s commissioner for the past 4 1/2 years.

Kimbrell holds a master’s degree in science and doctorate in education from Arkansas State University. He earned a bachelor of science in education degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, according to the news release.

Kimbrell lives in Cabot with his wife and two children.

Kimbrell’s salary as commissioner is $226,000 per year. Thomas makes $207,000 per year, records show.