Middle schools in Fayetteville Public Schools are a critical time period where students experience growth cognitively, developmentally, emotionally, and socially and experience new challenges and discoveries. Middle School is focused on providing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment by developing and maintaining relationships of respect and kindness with our students and families. Ensuring success for all students, the goal for each middle school strives to create a school culture that believes and demonstrates all students can obtain mastery of the school’s essential curriculum by creating authentic personalized learning experiences and environments that are evidence-based, innovative, and relevant to today’s global learner.

Our middle school courses are aligned to local, state, and national standards. They are relevant to student needs and of sufficient rigor to ensure career or post-secondary options upon graduation. We encourage you to sample the wealth of information available on this site.

Students also should begin to personalize their school experience by joining one of the many clubs, activities, and organizations that are offered in our schools.
Middle schools are organized into interdisciplinary teams in which teachers assume joint responsibility for the instructional program of a specific group of students through advisory. This structure offers advantages for students, teachers, and parents. As a team, teachers are better able to address students' needs, and parents will find communication with and among teachers to be easier. Advisors/Teacher teams prove invaluable in assisting students as they make the academic and social transition between elementary school and high school. 

We are proud to say that McNair Middle School, Holt Middle School, and Owl Creek Middle School have been designated as a Diamond Middle School To Watch as well as the National Middle Schools to Watch Designation that honors schools that are:  

  • Academically excellent — these schools challenge all students to use their minds well.

  • Developmentally responsive — these schools are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence.

  • Socially equitable — these schools are democratic and fair, providing every student with high-quality teachers, resources, and supports.

  • Organizational Structure-To achieve this level of performance, high-performing schools establish norms, structures, and organizational arrangements to support and sustain their trajectory toward excellence. They have a sense of purpose that drives every facet of practice and decision-making.

Dr. Tammy Tucker, Associate Superintendent of Administrative Services

Michelle Hayward

Executive Director of Elementary/Middle School


Michelle Hayward

Michelle 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. Ms. 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.