Superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt has recommended the promotions of Michelle Hayward, current principal of McNair Middle School, and Dr. Mark Oesterle, current Director of Professional Development and Federal & ESL Programs, to the recently announced administrative Executive Director positions.
“These individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their new roles,” said Dr. Wendt. “Ms. Hayward has been an important leader within our school district for 12 years and has proven to be outstanding at the middle school level, facilitating growth and inspiring and motivating her students and staff to success. Michelle Hayward has brought national recognition to our district and is well-respected throughout our state for her expertise.”
Ms. Hayward will become the Director of Elementary/Middle Education, which will include pre-K, elementary schools, and middle schools.
"I am honored and excited at the opportunity to serve alongside committed and dedicated professionals and community members in Fayetteville Public Schools, where we have such a rich history of excellence in education,” said Hayward. “I look forward to working collaboratively with each school to shape both this and future generations of learners in Fayetteville."
Dr. Oesterle will assume the role of Executive Director of Secondary Education, which will include the junior high schools, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville Virtual Academy, the Agee Lierly Life Preparation Services Campus (ALLPS), Adult Education, and concurrent credit.
“In his first year with our district, Dr. Oesterle has had the opportunity to lead and serve in a variety of settings,” said Dr. Wendt. “He has collaborated with state, university, district, and campus leaders to build highly effective learning systems designed to impact all learners within the organization. His leadership experience, coupled with his knowledge of curriculum design and implementation, will serve us well.”
“I am thrilled to be able to serve the students and staff of the Fayetteville Public Schools,” said Oesterle. “Fayetteville’s dedication to excellence is noted in every area from academics to athletics. Fayetteville is the leader in every facet in Arkansas, and I am humbled to work alongside these amazing educators.”
Reporting to the Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, both Executive Directors will support, supervise, and evaluate principals. They will provide leadership for the district’s program directors as well as the curriculum design, review, and implementation cycle.
“Both leaders have made significant contributions to the field of K-12 education and will support the goals of Fayetteville Public Schools,” said Dr. Steven Weber, Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. “I am excited about working with both leaders to support teaching and learning.”
Hayward joined Fayetteville Public Schools in 2005 as the principal of McNair Middle School, where she has led the school to national recognition as a National Middle School to Watch in 2009, 2012, and 2015, as well as being the recipient of the Shannon Wright Award as the Arkansas Middle School of the Year. Under her leadership McNair Middle School has consistently been recognized for excellence by the Arkansas Department of Education’s performance rewards, the NCEA/ACT High Performance Awards, and the University of Arkansas Office of Educational Policy awards, being named first in the state in English Language Arts scores.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in science from Arkansas Tech University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Central Arkansas, and received her educational specialist’s degree in central office administration from Arkansas State University. Hayward is currently pursuing her doctorate.
Prior to joining Fayetteville Public Schools, Hayward served as an elementary principal in school districts in Prairie Grove, Danville, Belleville, and Briggsville, Arkansas, and has nine years of experience as a classroom teacher.
Oesterle served as an administrator for the Don Tyson School of Innovation in the Springdale School District, a position he held from 2014 to 2016. He earned a bachelor’s degree in art from the University of California, a master’s degree in education from Arizona State University, and a doctor of philosophy in educational leadership and policy studies from Arizona State University.
Prior to serving at the School of Innovation, Oesterle served as a senior program specialist at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching in Santa Monica, California, associate superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the Littleton School District in Avondale, Arizona, and as a principal for thirteen years in the Deer Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Arizona State University, as well as a classroom teacher at both the elementary and secondary level.