WEST MEMPHIS, AR (abc24.com) - The West Memphis school board is searching for a Superintendent for the first time in more than 40 years. Superintendent Bill Kessinger submitted his resignation in a special called meeting Tuesday night. The move took many residents and even board members by surprise.
According to employees with West Memphis Schools, Kessinger is in Little Rock and will not comment at this time.
School Board Member Angela Eason says she was called a few days ago about a special board meeting Tuesday night but had no idea what it was about. "He never mentioned it," she says, "We had Christmas dinner, he never mentioned it, then all of a sudden this Tuesday night, it caught me by surprise."
Eason says Kessinger wasn't at the meeting. Another school employee broke the news. "I was really concerned about why and his reason for resigning," she says, "but they only said, 'due to his age,' that's all we were informed."
Eason questions the timing. She says recent financial debates and contention among select board members have been brewing. "That may be some of the reason, because it's very heated now," says Eason.
Regardless the reason, for the first time in 40 years West Memphis will begin a Superintendent search and Kessinger will begin a life without school.
The board will hold a special meeting Monday to discuss the new Superintendent search.