Drew Central board fires high school principal


During a single-item special board meeting Tuesday night, the Drew Central School Board unanimously agreed to terminate the school district’s contract with Steven Noble, the high school principal.

Noble was arrested in early December following allegations of sexual indecency with a child that stemmed from an Internet sting operation in which an Arizona police detective posed as a 14-year-old girl in an online chat room.

Noble has been principal at Drew Central High School since 2010.

Though he had prior notification, as required by the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act, Noble was not represented at the special board meeting Tuesday night when the board accepted Superintendent Wayne Fawcett’s recommendation that the district terminate Noble’s contract. Under the Teacher Fair Dismissal Act, the superintendent must notify the teacher (in this case, principal) of the termination recommendation and cite the grounds for which the termination is recommended.

According to an affidavit for the 57-year-old principal’s December arrest, a person using an internet chat room screen name “knob 71859″ on November 30 invited an undercover Arizona police detective posing as 14-year-old girl to view his web cam. After accepting the invitation, the detective said he saw web cam images of a white male, nude from the waist down, engaging in self sexual gratification.

An investigation by Arizona authorities and Arkansas State Police led to Noble who was arrested at his home on Dec. 8.

At Noble’s his first appearance hearing before Circuit Judge Bynum Gibson, Gibson set Noble’s bond at $10,000 and issued a no contact order. He was ordered not to have contact with any children, pending a charging decision by 10th Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen and Phoenix authorities which could take some time because of charging procedures (grand jury) in Arizona.

If the Phoenix authorities file charges Deen said he will defer to them.

Melissia Vincent, a Drew Central High School staff member in the career technology department, was named interim principal.