New Principal, New Status, Come To A3 Following Scandal

Jun 13, 2018

The Academy of Arts and Academics in Springfield has a new principal, and will also lose its charter status later this month.

The Academy of Arts and Academics (A3) in downtown Springfield.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Ame Beard succeeds Mike Fisher, who was caught in a sexual abuse scandal and killed himself earlier this year.

Ame Beard, A3's new principal who'll start in July.
Credit LinkedIn.com

Beard starts July 1st. She says she’ll listen to students, staff, and families, as they heal from the incident…and as A3 becomes an alternative school under the jurisdiction of the Springfield School District.

“Helping people to understand what that change will look like, and then help them through managing that change," she tells KLCC.

"Also engage in excellent communication, so everyone knows what’s going on and being as transparent as possible.”

Principal Beard says she doesn’t expect any great changes to A3 after it loses its charter status.  She says she’s looking forward to deepening community partnerships, like with the neighboring Wildish Theater.

Former A3 student, Ezra Brothers.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Ezra Brothers is an A3 alum who graduated in 2015. He’s still coping with the recent events, and the school’s transition.

“I think this is the best possible route, with the time that they gave," says Brothers.

"On the other hand, they should have given at least a year to think about it. Because no one was allowed to heal, and no one was allowed to think rationally.”

The Springfield School District and board will have oversight over A3. Many students, parents, and alumni are concerned over the change.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.