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Rathbun Named Arkansas Secondary School Principal of the Year

Dr. Keri Rathbun, principal of Northside High School in Fort Smith, Arkansas, has been 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. 

"I am so honored to be named the Arkansas Secondary School Principal of the Year out of all the outstanding secondary principals in our state. This award belongs to Northside High School, and I am so happy to represent Northside," said Dr. Keri Rathbun, principal, Northside High School.

Keri Rathbun

Pictured from left to right: Davy King, Rison High School principal; Brian Kirkendoll, Alma High School principal; Dr. Keri Rathbun, Arkansas Secondary School Principal of the Year and Northside High School principal; Dr. Mike Hernandez, Executive Director, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators; and Dr. Terry Morawski, Superintendent, Fort Smith Public Schools.

“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, Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators

“Dr. Rathbun cares about the future of each of her students. She has been instrumental in ensuring students have a plan when they enter high school and supports students in achieving their goals. Northside High School has experienced an abundance of success over the previous five years thanks to Dr. Rathbun’s leadership,” said Dr. Tony Jones, Director of Secondary Education, Fort Smith Public Schools.

Dr. Rathbun was selected as the principal of Northside High School in 2017. She was named in April 2022 the FSPS Director of Coordinated School Health and Career Counseling. 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.

Prior to her role as Northside principal, Dr. Rathbun was the principal of Kimmons Junior High where she was also an assistant principal for five years. Her background also includes three years of service as a counselor at Northside High School as well as counseling and teaching experience at other FSPS campuses. Dr. Rathbun completed a Doctor of Education degree from Arkansas Tech University. She also has Educational Specialist and Master of Education degrees from Arkansas Tech and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Central Arkansas.

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