WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — The West Memphis School District named a new superintendent Tuesday, more than a month after the previous superintendent was let go. 

At an special school board meeting, board members made the unanimous decision to vote Dr. Terrence Brown in as the new superintendent. Brown spent this past school year as a deputy superintendent at the Forrest City School District. 

“When Dr. Brown entered the room, he commanded respect, and that’s one of the things a leader has to be able to do — command respect of this district, the teachers, the employees, and the board,” said Joann Faulkner, president of the West Memphis school board.

Faulkner says she’s not sure how many people applied for the position, but says four finalists were interviewed last week. 

“He came in with a plan, a 100-day plan,” she said. “He’s already got that in place if we selected him. And he’s willing to work with the board to see where we go going forward.” 

The decision comes just over a month after former superintendent Richard Atwell was fired. The board did not comment on why Atwell was let go. 

Some community members at the meeting said they wished the board was more transparent about Atwell’s dismissal, and the process for hiring his replacement. 

“The board did the interviews and the board made the selection. That’s what we’re here to do — to pick the best person for the job,” Faulkner responded.

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Faulkner says the interim superintendent, Willie Rhodes, will continue until June 19 when Brown will take over. Details of the contract are still pending negotiations.