While classes start next Monday at Maumelle High School, administrators and teachers are already hard at work getting ready and among the new faces is Dr. Nick Farr, the school’s new principal.
Farr, above, is a familiar face to some, at least those familiar with the local theater scene, and brings a wide-range of experience to the job. He was most recently the principal at Marianna before accepting this job last spring.
Below is a Q&A with Farr and it has lightly edited and formatted for publication.
» What drew you to work in education?
It was a combination of people who helped me to realize that education was my thing. My teachers Kay Richards, Kris Smith, Michael Johnson, Dr. Houston, and Prentice Dupins all helped to shape me at a young age. There were mentors and showed me that helping others is what gives you the most fulfillment in life.
» Your academics has been remarkably varied -- football coach to choir teacher, etc. -- doesn't seem typical, how will those range of experiences help you as principal?
I believe it’s our past experiences that helped to shape us as people. It’s those experiences that give us the insight to help others. I know the things our teachers go through; I understand the importance of athletics to our scholars; I know that the arts are needed to not only uplift spirits, but to impact education across the board. I’m about diversity, and with my diverse background, I can offer a range of support to continue to impact those areas while being open to learn about others. Education is not one sided, it needs a balance of many things to develop the whole child. I believe I have the background knowledge to help with that.
» Speaking of choir/drama, Maumelle has an incredible auditorium but things have been limited there because of COVID. Do you have plans to bring back performances and such?
As a performer in the Little Rock Theatre Community, I think that I can assist our Fine Arts Department Chair by first supporting the needs of his department, and secondly supporting the talent that all wish to display. I want to see our choir, band, dance, and theatre departments fill the stage each year with performances that showcase diversity, embrace community, and simply get kids excited about coming to school! I want to see our choir, band, dance, and visual arts department in local competitions. I want to see a community of arts as we do in surrounding areas that offer a full season of activities with our supporters purchasing season passes. There is no limit and it is necessary for the advancement of our school.
» What's the thing you most look forward to as being principal?
I look forward to embracing the old and new, to bring our community together like never before. From the green and gold to the red and black, I want to see Maumelle develop a sense of community that is unmatched! I look forward to learning more about our Oak Grove Community and starting more traditions as one. I think this is just a start to the greater goal and mission, which is making Maumelle High School the school of choice for all in Maumelle! That starts with higher achievement, community support, transparency, a shift in culture, and involvement of all stakeholders. The time is now!
» Go-to lunch for a high school principal on the go?
My go-to lunch is probably a meal prepped and sitting in a refrigerator in my office. If not, I’ll take any fruit I can get my hands on! The less salt and sugar I intake, the more energy I can extend, and you can bet that I’ll bring the energy each day!
» Anything else you'd like to add?
I love the job I do. It’s not always pretty and it’s not always fun, but it is always fulfilling! I’m a lifelong learner and I always seek an opportunity to grow and learn more. Mediocrity is not an option for me. Being comfortable is not an option for me. It is in the time that we are uncomfortable, that we truly grow and learn…that’s where I plan to be!
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