The Lonoke School District hired Merle Dickerson as district superintendent during a special school board meeting June 21. Darrell Park, Angela Sumner, Anne Swint, Ross Moore and Mike Brown were present at the meeting. Tony Kelleybrew and Charles Hunter were absent.


By unanimous vote, Dickerson was hired to fill the position vacated by superintendent Suzanne Bailey, who submitted her resignation May 29.


Following an 18 minute executive session, the board reconvened in an open meeting and accepted the retirements of Julius Woolfolk and Billie Jean Armstrong. They also accepted the resignations Suzanne Bailey, Tracy Samples, Chris Bailey, Jacob Clanton, Lesley Daver, David Landers, Jennifer Powers, Kelly Rogers, Andrea Westmoreland, Brittney Ellis, Rhina Odom and Lauren Landers.


Following resignations and retirements, the board then voted to hire Dickerson as superintendent.


Dickerson was previously the superintendent of the Van Buren School District for 13 years, retiring after the 2013-14 school year. He graduated from Russellville High School in 1968. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville and his doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2000.


His replacement at Van Buren was former Cabot School District assistant superintendent Harold Jeffcoat.


During his 43-year education career, Dickerson has served as a band director, school counselor, middle school principal, high school assistant principal and high school principal.


Bailey’s resignation is to take effect June 30. She has accepted a job at the Arkansas State University in Beebe as an academic dean. Her position at ASU-Beebe is effective July 1.