PINE BLUFF, AR – The Pine Bluff School Board had its first meeting with Dr. Linda Watson in her position as the Interim Superintendent. Watson took over the job when the board fired Jerry Payne last week.
The meeting was short, about 10 minutes, and was sparsely attended. Afterward, Watson talked a little bit about what she’s been doing with the district.
“Gaining a lot of information about this school district, meeting a lot of the wonderful people we have here,” said Watson. “So, I’ve been in meetings trying to meet the staff, having one-on-ones with board members because I want to understand their concerns.”
Watson previously served as superintendent of the Little Rock School District. There, the school board voted not to extend her contract
beyond the 2010-2011 school year.
Now, she replaces the recently departed Payne
. Watson says she doesn’t yet have a contract with the Pine Bluff School District and she was reticent to get into details about the direction she plans to go with the district.
“We’re negotiating that contact and that’s why I’ve really held off talking to a lot of press, because I want to dot I’s and cross T’s and go from there,” said Watson.
The move didn’t sit well with at least on Pine Bluff parent, who asked to remain anonymous for the interview.
“I’m sick and tired of them selecting Little Rock’s rejects,” said the parent. “I think the school board needs to be done away with. We need a whole new school board.”
School Board President Herman Horace say the district is looking forward to the future and putting negative issues of the past behind them to regain focus on educating students.
“This school district is trying to bring students back to Pine Bluff,” said Horace.