Dr. Merle L. Dickerson became Superintendent of the Van Buren School District on June
7, 2001. He moved to Van Buren from Batesville, Arkansas, where he served as Superintendent
for two years. He has served in Arkansas public schools for 41 years as a teacher,
counselor, assistant principal, middle school principal, high school principal, assistant
superintendent and superintendent.
In Van Buren, Dr. Dickerson has facilitated a 10-year $48 million facilities plan, provided oversight in a four-year study and implementation of reorganized schools, and instituted a curriculum model based on professional learning of teachers in the context of the school day led by principals and specially-trained curriculum coaches.
Dr. Dickerson takes an active role in leadership across the state as the Executive
Director of the Arkansas Center for Executive Leadership, which trains practicing
principals and superintendents each year in seven weekend sessions. He serves as
an adjunct professor in the Center for Leadership a nd Learning at Arkansas Tech and
also serves in various roles as a member of the American Association of School Administrators,
the Arkansas Association of Education Administrators, and the Arkansas Association
of Supervision and Curriculum Development. He is on the board of the Van Buren Chamber
of Commerce and the Fort Smith Area United Way and is a member of the Heritage Methodist
Church in Van Buren.
As a graduate in music education at Arkansas Tech University, Dr. Dickerson received a Master of Education from Arkansas Tech, and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.