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story.lead_photo.caption Dr. Bobby Hart, Hope superintendent, is taking the same job at Searcy, a larger school district 50 miles northeast of Little Rock. (Photo by HPS/Ken McLemore)

HOPE, Ark. — Hope Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart announced today he will leave the district effective July 1 to become superintendent of the Searcy, Arkansas, Public School District.

Hart was offered the position in a meeting with the Searcy Public Schools Board of Education on April 2 after a day-long series of interviews, meetings with community leaders and campus visits. He will formally tell the HPS Board of Education of his decision at a special Thursday meeting.

"I would like to thank the students, families, faculty, board and community for their trust and support over the last five years," Hart said in a prepared statement. "I have had wonderful board members to work for and terrific teachers and staff to work with."

Hope School Board President Linda Haynes said the district will miss Hart's leadership.

"We are sad to see Dr. Hart leave Hope Public Schools," she said. "We appreciate all the ways he has served this town and the district these past nine years We wish him nothing but the best in Searcy."

Hart was chosen from among four finalist including, Dr. Rick Gales, superintendent at Stuttgart; Dr. Nathan Morris, superintendent at Cross County; and Jerrod Williams, superintendent at Sheridan. The finalists were brought to the Searcy board by McPherson and Jacobson Executive Recruitment and Development.

Hart has directed the district since 2012, managing an enrollment of more than 2,200 students. His new district will have 3,960 students, six general campuses and a budget of $44 million.

Here are some of this accomplishments as outlined by school officials:

— He led the development of the Hope Academy of Public Service through the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service to become the first of its kind campus in the nation.

— He led the district through the rebirth of Beryl Henry Elementary School that doubled the size of the standing campus and eliminated metal buildings used on the campus for three decades.

— He oversaw the grant development and creation of the Bobcat Clinic campus-based health clinic that was among the first of its kind in Arkansas.

Hart came to Hope in 2012 after eight years as Genoa Central High School principal. The district is just east of Texarkana. He began his career in public education at Clarendon High School as a teacher/coach in 1994, before becoming a graduate assistant in the athletics department at Henderson State.

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