Here’s an update on my earlier unconfirmed report circulating on Facebook and elsewhere of the resignation this week of a long-time Little Rock school principal.
New Superintendent Michael Poore said the situation is this:
Dr. Dexter Booth, an administrator at Parkview Magnet High School for 22 years and principal the last five, told faculty Monday he intended to resign. He did not give a date and he has not submitted a resignation letter to the district. He remains at work. Poore met with Booth today. “I told him I hope you stay and continue to be a part of the district. He is an important person for Parkview.”
Poore said the situation was still in flux. He said Booth still indicated an inclination to resign, but also said he was still thinking about it. Poore acknowledged it was an unusual situation and a bump in a generally smooth week for the district. But he said Booth was important enough to provide some leeway in resolving the issue. “You don’t want to lose a talented person,” he said.
Poore said he’d talked with Booth about the reasons for his feelings, but there was nothing he could share publicly.
I’ve tried to reach Booth, but been unsuccessful so far.
UPDATE II: After my earlier revision, a well-placed district source said Booth’s unhappiness was related to Parkview football coach William Hardiman. I have no independent confirmation of that, but this late-afternoon district news release suggests that my source was on the right track. Hardiman has been placed on leave for investigation of a personnel matter:
Statement from LRSD Regarding Coaching Administration at Parkview
August 17, 2016
The Little Rock School District announced today the appointment of Kenny Stephens as interim football coach at Parkview Magnet High School. In addition to his duties as social studies teacher at Parkview, Stephens most recently served as offensive coach at Little Rock Central High School, and had previous stints in various assistant coach roles at Parkview.
Stephens will serve in zthe absence of current head coach William Hardiman who has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation of a personnel matter.
Parkview Athletic Director and Assistant Principal John Kelley met with football players and coaching staff today to inform them of the news. A parent meeting is also planned to provide details about the transition. Notification regarding that meeting will be shared with parents.
I put some questions to Poore. He said the ongoing investigation prevented comment.
But subsequent reporting by several media, including KATV, said that Booth reported to Little Rock police last year an anonymous letter alleging an inappropriate relationship between a student and Hardiman. That matter remains under investigation, the police told KATV.