Carter returns to Fort Smith as Northside High School principal

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 2,450 views 

Chris Carter, a Fort Smith native and Northside High School graduate, has been named as the next Northside High School principal, Fort Smith Public Schools announced Thursday (May 26).

Carter has been the principal at Magnolia High School in Magnolia since 2016, but grew up in Fort Smith, where he attended Sunnymede Elementary and Kimmons Junior High School. He graduated from Northside High School in 1990 and has master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Henderson State University.

Prior to becoming principal of Magnolia High School, Carter was the assistant principal at Northside High School. He also served as teacher, coach and assistant principal at Kimmons Junior High, now Kimmons Middle School.

“We are excited to welcome Chris back to our district to assume this very important role. Northside High School has a long history of providing excellent opportunities for its students. In discussions with Mr. Carter, I believe he shares the district vision for high expectations for student success, building quality relationships with students and families, and a safe culture where students feel they belong and are supported,” said Dr. Terry Morawski, FSPS superintendent.

Chris Carter

Carter succeeds Dr. Keri Rathbun, who was recently named Arkansas Secondary School Principal of the Year by the Arkansas Association of Secondary School Principals and the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators. The award recognizes outstanding secondary school leaders who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students.

“Dr. Rathbun is a great administrator. She serves her students and staff well and has been an excellent mentor for new administrators entering the field,” said Dr. Mike Hernandez, executive director of Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators

Rathbun, who became Northside High School principal in 2017, was named the new FSPS director of Coordinated School Health and Career Counseling in April. An FSPS news release said she will be responsible for establishing a comprehensive initiative to address the components of coordinated school health, as well as providing instructional and leadership services to prepare students with the related academic critical thinking, workplace readiness, and technical skills essential in pursuing career pathways.

Dr. Keri Rathbun, FSPS director of Coordinated School Health and Career Counseling

In April, Dr. Michael Farrell was named executive director of Student Services. Farrell has served as supervisor of student services since 2013.

“I am extremely humbled to follow the path set by Brenda Sellers, Randy Bridges and Darian Layes. It is an honor for me to follow their path and to work with an administration I deeply respect and who are committed to building relationships,” Farrell said.

Farrell has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Houston and a doctorate in education administration from the University of Arkansas.

Terresa Dewey was named assistant director of Student Services in April. She has served the district as the coordinator of Student Services since 2014. Dewey has a bachelor’s degree in education from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan., a master’s degree in education from the University of Arkansas and an educational specialist degree from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.

Christina Williams, coordinator of public information for FSPS, said there are no other administrative positions for the district posted.