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Antony Hobbs Jr. is Little Rock Superintendent Mike Poore's choice for the job of principal at McClellan High.

Poore has recommended Hobbs, a former assistant principal at Little Rock Central High, for the position to Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key, who acts in place of a school board in the state-controlled Little Rock district. Key approved the appointment Tuesday evening.

Poore has also recommended to Key a reorganization of the district's administrative staff, brought on by budget-cutting staff reductions and the recent retirement of Associate Superintendent Daniel Whitehorn. Key also approved those recommendations as well.

Hobbs, 61, has most recently worked in east Arkansas as principal of Marvell-Elaine High in 2016-17 and as superintendent/superintendent of discipline in 2017-18 in the Marianna-based Lee County School District.

Hobbs would succeed Patricia Ellis-Brunston as McClellan High principal.

Ellis-Brunston's annual contract with the district was not renewed for this coming school, district documents show. She had been placed on leave by the district leaders in October for reasons not disclosed other than it was for a reason not related to the school district.

Emma Nowden, an assistant principal at McClellan, served the remainder of the past year as the school's interim principal.

Hobbs worked at Central from 2006 to 2016 as assistant principal, athletic director and special education supervisor, according to his resume provided by the school district. He was a special education teacher and coach at the district's Henderson Middle School from 2000 to 2004 and director of school-based day treatment program at Romine Elementary in 2004-05. Hobbs' experience also includes principal and teacher at Rivendell Behavioral Health Services and counselor/supervisor at Youth Home Inc.

He holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from Philander Smith College and a master's degree in special education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he also earned a specialist credential in educational administration.

In January 2008, while Hobbs was a Central High administrator, his son Antony Hobbs III, a Parkview High School student, collapsed and died while playing in a school basketball game. Medical officials determined that the teenager died because of a previously undiagnosed heart condition. His death led to his father's advocacy for the Antony Hobbs III Act, a state law that resulted in the widespread placement of automated external defibrillators at schools along with staff training for their use.

Antony Hobbs Jr.'s total annual salary in the McClellan job, including car allowance and education stipend, is set to be $115,134.

As for the restructuring of the top administrative staff in the district, Poore has proposed not filling the associate superintendent's job vacated by Whitehorn.

Poore is instead recommending a portion of the savings from that be earmarked to promote Sadie Mitchell, 61, a longtime associate superintendent for elementary education, to a deputy superintendent slot. Mitchell would become one of two deputy superintendents, the other being Marvin Burton. Mitchell's salary, including car allowance and doctorate stipend, would be $150,882.

Additionally, Poore is recommending that Robert Robinson, 62, longtime coordinator of classified staff recruitment, be interim human resources director for the 2018-19 school year. His total salary would be $110,262.

Metro on 07/25/2018

Print Headline: Principal selected to lead LR's McClellan High

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