Sammy Ussery resigned as Carlisle High School principal for the upcoming school year. Ussery was hired as principal during the April 8 board meeting to replace Scott Waymire.

According to Superintendent Jason Clark, Ussery is resigning as principal, prior to his start date due to health problems and mental issues following the passing of his father in January.

Clark said he has known Ussery for many years and found him to be a fine young administrator, with lots of potential.

“I feel for Mr. Ussery and his family,” Clark said. “It’s unfortunate.”

Clark said he would like the public to know that Ussery has done nothing to hurt the students of Carlisle and at this point, he has just been a name.

“It’s not what is best for our kids,” Clark said. “So I need to go in another direction.”

In a letter to the Carlisle High School staff, Ussery said “I regret to inform you that I will not be assuming the position of high school principal. I am sure that you were aware of some of the conditions that led me to resigning as the leader of Russellville High School. I greatly anticipated a new start and new-found health at Carlisle, but things have simply not gone according to plan. The ongoing health and emotional issues that I have experienced this past year due to illness and the death of my father have not been remedied, leaving me unable to take on a new challenge. Mr. Clark and I both agreed that coming to Carlisle in my current condition is not best for the faculty, staff and students of Carlisle High. It is clear to me that you need someone who can begin the work immediately and be their best by July 1.”

The letter continued to say “As I have stated earlier in the press, at some point, I do believe that I will be able to return to school administration, but the healing process is taking much longer that I or my doctors anticipated. Know that Mr. Clark truly does have the school’s best interest in mind and I am sure will work to find you an excellent principal. It seems like you have a wonderful school and best of luck with the next school year.”

According to the Russellville Courier, Ussery was on paid administrative leave from Russellville High School since March, when he submitted his resignation effective June 30. He cited infirmity as the reason for his resignation and was then hired as principal at Carlisle High School in April.

The Carlisle School Board accepted Ussery’s resignation on Monday night during the school board meeting. Brad Horn of Cabot was then hired to fill the position.

Ussery is also facing legal issues. According to the Courier, he was arrested following a traffic stop by the Arkansas State Police near Russellville. He was charged with possession of an instrument of crime, a Class A misdemeanor, and failing to provide right-of-way to a law enforcement vehicle that lights flashing March 25. Ussery pleaded not guilty in Pope County District Court on April 30.