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The Marion School Board approved two key staffing changes Thursday night, both designed to strengthen the district’s ability to provide first-class services to its students.

Chrisy Young, currently the Special Services Director at the Van Buren School District, was hired to become Director of Special Education for the Marion School District. Gregory Hodges, meanwhile, who has served as Marion’s Special Education Director since 2021, will become a district-wide School Improvement Specialist. Both moves will become official on April 3.

“We think this move will be an incredible opportunity for our school district,” said Hugh Inman, the district’s Deputy Superintendent. “In Chrisy, we are bringing in one of the top educators in the state when it comes to providing special services for students. And with Greg, we have an administrator with an amazing skillset, which we will be able to continue to utilize in different ways. I think these moves will be a tremendous way for our district to accomplish some excellent things.”

A native of northeast Arkansas, Young brings a wide range of experience to Marion. Prior to her current position at Van Buren, she held posts at Buffalo Island, Brookland, Corning, and the Crowley’s Ridge Educational Cooperative. She holds degrees from both Arkansas State University and Henderson State University and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in school psychology from the University of Arkansas.

“I have always wanted to be able to help kids learn and grow and reach their great potential,” Young said. “Our biggest challenge will be continuing to increase student success for our students, seeing them succeed, and ensuring they have the support needed to reach their goals. I know that Marion is on the cutting edge of a lot of different things and has made tremendous progress as a school district. I look forward to seeing what kinds of things we can do for our kids.”

For Hodges, the shift to School Improvement Specialist will be a chance to utilize his broad skillset to tackle a number of ongoing challenges facing the district. Hodges has a wealth of educational experience, including stints as assistant superintendent at Jacksonville, principal and assistant principal at Greenbriar, and assistant principal at Stuttgart. Prior to those roles, he was a teacher and a coach at Marion. He holds degrees from the University of Mississippi, the University of Memphis, and the University of Central Arkansas.

“I’m incredibly excited to be stepping into this new role with the district,” Hodges said. “I’m looking forward to plugging in however I can to help our students, staff, and schools overcome the various challenges ahead of us. I’m also very proud of the things our special services team has accomplished over the past two years, and I am looking forward to handing the reins to Ms. Young and seeing what she does with the program.”

Inman said he is looking forward to seeing the staffing changes take effect in April. He described the situation as a “win-win” for the district.

“I have nothing but respect for both of these individuals,” Inman said. “Chrisy is someone we’ve wanted to hire before, and we are thrilled that we finally have the chance to get her on our team. And Greg is someone who has always stepped up for us when we needed him, and I know he will continue to do so. I look forward to watching how these individuals thrive in their new roles.”

The Marion School District is an innovative and growing district committed to helping every student find their unique path to success in school and in life. With more than 150 years of experience serving families in Crittenden County, the district offers a high school, a junior high, and three award-winning magnet schools. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit or call 870-739-5100.