The Pulaski County Special School District named Ryan Burgess as principal of the 950-student Maumelle Middle School for the upcoming school year. He will begin his duties on Monday.

A Maumelle resident, Burgess was most recently an assistant principal at J.A. Fair High School in the Little Rock School District. He has served as director of education for the Arkansas Division of Youth Services in Little Rock and as a principal with the Alexander Youth Services Center in Alexander. He began his career as a secondary social studies teacher at Dunbar Middle School in the Little Rock School District, where he also was assistant principal.

Burgess, who is certified as a secondary principal and district administrator, has his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and his master’s degree in educational leadership/supervision from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Superintendent Jerry Guess called Burgess "an excellent fit" for the school. Leading a secondary school of this size involves motivating staff; providing exceptional educational opportunities and support for students; and ensuring that student safety and discipline is a priority. Mr. Burgess has experience in all three areas," Guess said.

Burgess said he is excited to take the reins at the school, which serves students from sixth to eighth grade. "I plan to be inclusive of all stakeholders to ensure their ideas are heard and so they know they are appreciated in the decision-making," he said.

"Communication with our parents and community partners is critical to the success of any school," he added.

To that end, Burgess said he is planning a summer meeting to introduce himself and visit with community stakeholders.

Charlotte Wallace, the school’s previous principal, will be the assistant principal of Sylvan Hills High School.