Dr. Karla Neathery was hired by the APSD Board of Education as the District's next Superintendent. Neathery has served as Assistant Superintendent in the Benton School District since 2012.

The Arkadelphia Public School District Board of Education unanimously named Dr. Karla Neathery as the district’s next Superintendent at a special called meeting Thursday night.

Neathery comes to APSD from the Benton School District where she has served in the administration office since 2004 and as Assistant Superintendent since 2012. In her duties in the central Arkansas district as assistant Superintendent, Neathery has overseen curriculum, professional development, Federal programs and human resources. Neathery also served as the interim Superintendent for a brief stint at Benton in 2016.

Neathery has a 26-year career in education serving in a variety of roles. Prior to serving as the Director of Curriculum at Benton, Neathery served as a Principal, Assistant Principal and classroom teacher in both the Benton and Bryant School Districts. 

Neathery is no stranger to Arkadelphia as she graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1992. Neathery earned her Master of Science in Education degree from Henderson State University in 1994 and her Education Specialist degree from HSU in 2006. Neathery recently earned her Doctor of Education degree from Arkansas Tech University.

Dr. Casey Motl, APSD Board of Education President says the board looks forward to the future of the district under Neathery’s leadership.

“The APSD Board of Directors is delighted to welcome Dr. Karla Neathery to Arkadelphia as our new Superintendent of schools,” Motl said. “As a veteran administrator from a consistently high-performing district, Dr. Neathery brings the experience, the energy and the vision that can lead Arkadelphia Public Schools to new pinnacles of success in academic achievement while building on our strong traditions of excellence in athletics and the arts.

“We believe that, in cooperation and collaboration with our many stakeholders, she will position our district to confront and meet the challenges of the 21st century and enable our students to succeed.”

Neathery has been a member and President of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Association of Curriculum and Instruction Administrators and was named the Arkansas Curriculum and Instruction Administrator of the Year for the 2013-14 school year.

Not only is Neathery’s professional experience in public education, but education runs in her family. Her father, Frank Chenault, was a long-time Superintendent for the Benton School District. Neathery is looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead with the Arkadelphia Public School District.

“I am excited and thankful to the Arkadelphia School Board for the opportunity to serve as the superintendent," Neathery said. "I am looking forward to being a part of the community and getting to know staff, students, and parents. I am honored to be selected."

Neathery’s husband, Scott, is the Athletic Director for the Benton School District. The couple has two children: a daughter, Morgan, who is an Education major at the University of Arkansas; and a son, Ty, who is a 2019 graduate of Benton High School.

Neathery will officially begin her duties in Arkadelphia on July 1. 

The Arkadelphia Public School District serves almost 2,000 students from pre-K through 12th grade in the Clark County town in southwest Arkansas. Arkadelphia is a class 4A member of the Arkansas Activities Association and fielded state championship teams in academics, athletics and the arts in the 2018-19 school year. 

The AHS Quiz Bowl team won the Class 4A State Championship, the Badger football team won its second straight 4A State Football Championship and the Badger Pride Marching Band won its third straight ASBOA State Marching Championship in the fall. Arkadelphia High School students also won individual state championships in wrestling and diving.

Arkadelphia is home to the Arkadelphia Promise scholarship program, which has awarded millions of dollars in scholarships since its inception almost 10 years ago through the generosity of the Ross Foundation and Southern Bancorp, both headquartered in Arkadelphia.