Hayward selected as new principal at high school

It didn’t take long for a new principal to be selected for Eureka Springs High School.

The Eureka Springs School Board approved the recommendation of a hiring committee to select Dr. Jacob Hayward to replace outgoing principal David Gilmore, who has accepted the superintendent’s position in Green Forest.

Hayward, currently principal at Siloam Springs Middle School, was selected from 11 applicants, of whom five were interviewed, according to Eureka Springs School District superintendent Bryan Pruitt.

“I think he’s going to be a great fit,” Pruitt said of the hire. “He’s very academic-minded and he’s kid-focused, kid-centered. He wants all kinds of career opportunities for students and has high expectations in academics. That’s what we need.

“Replacing a successful principal that had an ‘A’ school is a bit daunting, but I think he’s ready for the challenge.”

Hayward’s past jobs have included an assistant principal stop at a Springdale junior high and assistant high school principal at Springdale Har-Ber High School, Pruitt said.

“He has completed the Master Principal Program, a three-year program offered through the department of education and was formerly a science specialist at the Northwest Arkansas Co-op in Farmington,” Pruitt said. “He has a strong academic background and a good motivator who will inspire our students and staff. He wants to be a part of the team, a team leader. He wants to take ideas and see what he we can do to expand on those.

“He doesn’t have to come in and re-invent the wheel, but we need to maintain the excellence we’ve had with what Mr. Gilmore has done and keep improving. There’s always room for improvement.”

Pruitt said he led a hiring committee that included elementary school principal Clare Haozous, middle school principal Caen Dowell and two high school teachers.

“We did go fast,” Pruitt said of the hiring timeline. “We were blessed we had so many quality applicants. Out of the five we interviewed, any could have come in and taken this job and done it well. We just felt Dr. Hayward came out a little bit on top because of all of his experience, background and training.”


The board approved a classified salary schedule and athletic stipends that included adding an archery program coach and coaches for the return of a baseball program.

In personnel action, the board OK’d the hiring of second-grade teacher Ashley Silzell, fourth-grade teacher Brandie Taylor, fifth- and sixth-grade science teacher Cody Taylor and former agri teacher Jason McAfee as a district bus driver.