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Posted Date: 06/28/2022


Hot Springs, AR - The Hot Springs School District Administration and School Board have named Mrs. Kristal Brandon as Principal at Park Magnet, an IB World School, starting July 1, 2022.  She has worked in the Hot Springs School District since 2006.


Brandon is a native Arkansan; she grew up and graduated high school from Malvern. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Henderson State University, and later a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University.  


Her tenure at the Hot Springs School District began 17 years ago as an intern at Park Magnet in 2005. She was hired as a kindergarten teacher in 2006 at Oaklawn Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School (OVPA) and transitioned back to Park Magnet as a kindergarten teacher in 2011. She added IB PYP Coordinator to her duties as an educator during this time period, which is a vital component of sustaining a successful IB School curriculum.  She was chosen by her peers as Teacher of the year twice, at OVPA in 2010 and at Park Magnet in 2018.  In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant Principal at OVPA. She then transitioned back to Park Magnet as Assistant Principal in 2019.


“I am so honored by this opportunity. I want to say thank you to Dr. Nehus, Mrs. Rosburg, Dr. Echols, and the Hot Springs School District School Board for allowing me to serve,” says Mrs. Brandon. “As an intern at Park, 17 years ago, I fell in love with inquiry-based instruction and since then, educating students using that strategy has been my passion.”


“Mrs. Brandon has deep roots at the Hot Springs School District, and she is highly experienced and knowledgeable of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme,” says Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Nehus. “We are excited about the continued growth of this award-winning and internationally recognized school under her leadership.”


Mrs. Brandon enjoys family time with her husband, a son who attends the Hot Springs Junior Academy, and a bonus daughter who lives in Michigan. As she plans for the future of Park Magnet, Mrs. Brandon says, “The mission of Park Magnet is to foster an engaged global learning community with high levels of learning for all students through inquiry and reflection and I truly believe in that. As a kindergarten teacher, I always told my students that my job was to make sure that they learned, they were safe, and that they had fun and as principal, that's still my job. I, personally, have incredible mentors and colleagues that I collaborate with and am supported by. The Park staff is ‘incredIBle’ and I absolutely love going to work everyday. We learn together, and now I am so excited about serving Park and the Hot Springs School District in this capacity.”


The mission of the Hot Springs School District is to educate and empower each student to graduate from high school college and/or career ready, respect diversity, and to be contributing members of a global society. Learn more at