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story.lead_photo.caption Mark Oesterle

FAYETTEVILLE -- Police are investigating a matter concerning a School District administrator who was placed on paid administrative leave last week, according to a Fayetteville police spokesman.

Sgt. Anthony Murphy declined to comment on the nature of the investigation involving Mark Oesterle, the district's director of secondary education.

"We have an open investigation concerning him," Murphy said. Murphy couldn't predict how long the investigation will take.

Alan Wilbourn, a spokesman for the district, said he was unable to provide any additional information regarding the reason for Oesterle being placed on leave Friday.

"We don't comment on personnel matters to protect the rights of everyone involved," Wilbourn said.

No one else with the district has been put on leave, he said.

Oesterle couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.

The district hired Oesterle in August 2016 as director of federal programs and programs for students who are English language learners. He became the district's director of secondary education for the 2017-18 school year.

Oesterle, before joining Fayetteville, was an administrator in the Springdale School District, first as an assistant principal at Har-Ber High School, then as an assistant principal at the Tyson School of Innovation.

He also has worked as a senior program specialist at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching in Santa Monica, Calif.; as an associate superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment in the Littleton School District in Avondale, Ariz.; and as a principal in the Deer Valley Unified School District in Phoenix.

He has a doctorate in philosophy in educational leadership and policy studies from Arizona State University, according to a news release announcing his hiring in 2016. His salary this school year is $123,000.

This is the second time in less than a year a district administrator has been placed on leave.

Former superintendent Matthew Wendt was put on leave in April before the School Board fired him in June. Susan Kendall, the board's legal counsel, said Wendt violated the district's sexual harassment policy in his communication with a female subordinate employee. Wendt filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in September still pending.

NW News on 01/11/2019

Print Headline: Fayetteville School District official placed on leave

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