Carthage High School Principal Matt Huntley said 31 people applied for the position, and the district has chosen former Rogers, Ark., Activities Director Mark Holderbaum to take over the position.

With the retirement of long-time Carthage Activities Director Andy Youngworth, the search has been on for a new Activities Director in the Carthage School District.

Carthage High School Principal Matt Huntley said 31 people applied for the position, and the district has chosen former Rogers, Ark., Activities Director Mark Holderbaum to take over the position.

The Carthage Board of Education announced Holderbaum' hiring on Thursday, saying he will officially take the job on July 1.

Holderbaum said he was in Carthage on Friday meeting with Huntley and Youngworth and getting started on the transition process.

“I visited with Mr. Huntley for a little bit, then Andy got done with class and we ran some errands together and visited and started that process of orientation/transition,” Holderbaum said. “I'm looking to come back after Spring break and put in some days. That's still in the works with Dr. Baker and fine-tuning that. It'll help with transition to start meeting with the head coaches and the directors and eventually all the coaches and directors and just getting to know everybody and all the programs.”

In a written release, the Board of Education said Holderbaum holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physical education from Harding University, Searcy, Arkansas, and received his specialist degree in secondary administration from Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri.

Holderbaum has 27 years of experience as a teacher, coach, administrator and activities director.

He served five of those years as the activities director at Willard High School, three years at Liberty High School, one year in the Oklahoma City Public Schools, and ten years as district director of athletics for Rogers Public Schools, Rogers, Arkansas.

Holderbaum said he's been taking the past year off from school administration and teaching at the university level.

“I'm an adjunct instructor, I've worked with the University of Arkansas in the fall in their graduate school, all these are grad classes, in sports management,” Holderbaum said. “I've been working with William Woods University in Fulton for their athletic and activities administration program a masters program, and also Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, in their athletic administration program.”

He said he's very familiar with Carthage from his time at Willard and as a coach and teacher at Mount Vernon.

“In high school we played Carthage in baseball and some other sports, so I'm real familiar with Carthage,” Holderbaum said. “It just worked out where the position opened up and I've been looking to return to Missouri. It's where I grew up and it's coming back home in a way.”

Holderbaum said Carthage offers a variety of successful programs and quality new facilities, such as the new David Haffner Stadium, as a foundation for future growth in the activities department.

“It's exciting, there's a lot of fun stuff going on with Carthage schools,” Holderbaum said. “I saw and heard about the renovation for the vacant middle school that they'll redo for the junior high, and the tennis courts being built this summer. And of course the stadium just opening this year. I've been in Carthage's gym when I was the AD ad Rogers, we had both boys basketball teams up and we played in the tournament and so I've been here for some of those teams. It's good stuff, I'm excited, so far everyone I've met has been welcoming and excited to have me, so the feeling is mutual, I'm looking forward to it.”