Little Rock's school superintendent is out of a job at the end of this coming school year. The Little Rock School Board voted not to extend Dr. Linda Watson's contract.
For the second time in three years, the Little Rock School District needs a new superintendent. It was a 4-3 vote to not extend Doctor Linda Watson's contract beyond 2011. She took over as superintendent in 2008
after serving as interim superintendent after the board fired Roy Brooks
in 2007. Thursday, the board voted for change again, but taxpayers won't have to pay for a buyout.
"I think it is a great loss to the school district. I think it is a great loss to our children because the caring that she puts in is tremendous," says Dr. Will Acklin, Watson's friend.
After the three hour meeting, Dr. Watson spoke out about the board's decision. Dr. Watson said that there were some board members that just didn't like her. She also says she's helped boost test scores and build the new elementary school, but the board still voted to get rid of her.
"I'm going to work this year and earn my pay and hopefully working with the team again. Our test scores are going to go even higher. I'm not sitting down and if my team thinks I'm going to be lamed up and not hands on like I have been, I'm still hands on, I'm still going to be working."
When Dr. Watson's contract ends June 30, 2011, she says she will find something else to do when God closes one door, he opens another. When asked if the vote surprised her, she said, "Not Really, not really. I have not had some support of some of the board members over the years when I was issued a three year contract so it doesn't surprise me."
At four years, Dr. Watson says she will be the longest serving school superintendent since 86 or 87. Watson has more than 30 years of experience in education. The majority of it is in leadership roles in Little Rock.