Piggott School Board Accepts VB Coach Resignation

Thursday, July 18, 2013
With the start of school just weeks away work continues at both Piggott campuses. Monday morning Brent Sanders, with CenturyLink, was busy preparing to install the new phone system at the elementary campus. A new system is being installed throughout both campuses by Centurylink, and work was completed recently at PHS.

The Piggott School District is without a volleyball coach, following action by both the Piggott and Paragould School Boards in the past week. Last Tuesday, July 9 the Piggott School Board acted on the recommendation of Superintendent Charlie Powell, and reluctantly accepted the resignation of longtime coach Melissa Williams. Monday night the Paragould School Board voted to hire the former Lady Mohawk standout as a seventh and eighth grade math instructor, head volleyball coach for the seventh grade program and assistant volleyball coach for the senior high program.

The resignation comes as a blow to the local program, which has come to be a fixture at the state 3A volleyball tournament. The volleyball program has also been the most prolific of the athletic programs at PHS in generating scholarship opportunities for its players.

But, the new job will allow Williams, who has led the Lady Mohawks to great success over the course of a 12 season span, the opportunity to coach with her mentor--Angie Donner. Another former Lady Mohawk standout, Donner has been guiding the Lady Rams program for a number of years with the assistance of another former PHS star player, Nikki Pounds. The athletic staff also includes another former Lady Mohawk standout, Angie (Beck) Burnside, who is an assistant coach for both volleyball and basketball.

"This is just a great opportunity for me," Williams said of the Paragould job. "This gives me the chance to coach with my mentor, and it's something I've wanted to do for a long time. It's really hard to do, and I have no problem with the current situation here at Piggott--it was just a chance I could not pass up."

Earlier in the spring the board had accepted the resignation of assistant volleyball coach Mandy Dodd, another former Lady Mohawk standout, as she left to move to Florida to be near her husband who is in the military. As a result, there is currently no volleyball coach on staff at PHS with practice set to begin Aug. 1.

During last week's meeting the board also accepted the resignation of Natalie Stricklin, science teacher at PHS and the current girl's track coach. Stricklin, a product of the Lafe District, first came to Piggott several years ago as girl's basketball coach but later relinquished those duties in favor of the classroom. She has reportedly taken a teaching position at BIC.

The board also voted to request the county clerk open no polling places for this year's school election, as the lone race is un-contested and there is no request for a millage increase. All voting will be conducted by early and absentee ballot.

During the business meeting the board also--

* Approved the bid on milk products by Prairie Farms.

* Accepted the low bid on bread products from Bimbo Bread Co.

* Transferred $325,800 from the general fund to the building fund in order to maintain a proper end of year balance.

* Voted to allow the purchase of the Buckledown Book supplies and curriculum for $8,600 with federal Title I funds.

* Decided to set a meeting for Monday, July 22 to take care of any last minute items prior to the start of the new school year in August.

Following a lengthy executive session the board re-convened and voted on the personnel matters. Along with accepting the resignations of Williams and Stricklin, the board also accepted the resignation of Julie Howell as ISS supervisor as she is being re-assigned. A family medical leave was also granted Sara McGuire from July 1 to Sept. 30. The board also voted to hire Kaley Brewer of Jonesboro as high school math instructor and Amanda Sanders was hired as the school's new Registered Nurse. Her contract was set at a rate of pay of $15 per hour, and stipulates she work no more than eight hours per week.

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