Posted Date: 08/30/2017
With a radiant smile and star studded socks, Dr. Glen Fenter explained his goals for the year, while making sure to crack a few jokes in the process. He is more than excited to serve our community as he vows to do everything he can to bring a positive change to our school district for each and every student.
Dr. Fenter, Marion’s new superintendent, took the time out of his busy schedule to discuss his past and how his experience will help guide him as he gathers ideas for the future of Marion’s School District.
Dr. Fenter has been involved in the world of education for quite some time, serving as the principal of West Memphis High School in 1990 for two years before he dedicated 23 years to building ASU Mid-South into the strong program that is is today. After his retirement, he went on to work at Think Tank in Memphis, a program designed to strengthen the city’s workforce development.
When the position of superintendent opened, Dr. Fenter says he was encouraged by numerous members of his community, along with the fact that his grandchildren are a part of the district.
“Marion is one of the bright spots in the Arkansas Delta, and I felt that working with the community to have a great school was a worthwhile cause,” Dr. Fenter stated. “Truthfully, I prayed about it, and I felt like this is what God wanted me to do.”
In regards to the safety changes at the high school, such as the courtyard gates being locked, Dr. Fenter reiterated that one of his biggest concerns is the well- being of every student. He understands how the changes are a tough adjustment for students to make, however, he has to ensure that every student is correctly supervised and accounted for since “we live in crazy world.”
“We have had practices in the past of students leaving campus who were not authorized to leave campus.” Dr. Fenter explains.
“Some of the freedom to go in and out of certain locations on campus that were not always supervised correctly contributed to that problem. If we are locking something, it is designed to protect our students from the outside world, and to ensure that we are following the rules of who can and cannot leave campus because certain students have earned that privilege.”
As a message to the students, Dr. Fenter mentioned that our high school years are ones to cherish, because that they will be over before we know it.
“At the end of the day, no one is going to worry about what gate you went through; they are going to worry about whether or not you were safe,if you had fun,” he reminds. “There are so many things that are going to seem so important right now, but later on, they will seem so minute.”
Like any great leader, Dr. Fenter expressed that he was open to discussing “sensible questions” with students so that he can hear a student’s side of things and incorporate those ideas into the school.
“I’ll most certainly listen,” he states.
Although Dr. Fenter is all for supporting the Patriots at all sporting events against our rival team, West Memphis, he believes that we can still cooperate as citizens of the Crittenden County community.
“This idea that we are arch nemesis is not the reality.”
Dr. Fenter is all for working together with the West Memphis School District to achieve great communities through education.
“On Friday nights,” he asserts, “we are going to beat them as hard as we can, as many times as we can.”
All in all, Dr. Fenter has numerous aspirations for our district, including a ROTC program, more athletic and computer science programs, as well as a school-based health clinic for students to have access to more nurses and doctors.
Overall, Dr. Fenter’s main goal is making sure that every student is presented with equal and plentiful opportunities that will contribute to their success after high school.
“I want to prove that you can have a great school while having a diverse student body,” the superintendent affirms. “This is what the world looks like, and this is what is required of you to be successful in our world.”