Area School Boards Hold Meetings

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Although classes have dismissed for the summer, area school board have been busy preparing for the next term.

Piggott Board

Personnel matters dominated a special meeting of the Piggott Schools Board of Education, held Friday, May 20, in the administration offices. During the meeting the board accepted several resignations, hired mentoring and Advanced Placement instructors and staffed the summer feeding program. They also addressed the contracts of two key administrators. Afterward, they voted to allow Superintendent Charlie Powell to proceed with seeking bids on the plan to build a new track at Parker Field, despite the fact the consultant hired to assist with the project resigned.

With all members in attendance the meeting was called to order by President Jeff Benbrook. The board members then voted to enter into an executive session, which lasted over 90 minutes. Afterward, they addressed a long list of personnel matters.

Three resignations were accepted without dissent, including seventh and eighth grade English teacher Liz Henfling. The board also accepted the retirement resignation of PES special education paraprofessional Marcia Coyle. And, Nikki Speer tendered her resignation as the Lady Mohawk softball coach, but will remain as the PES physical education instructor based on a 190 day contract. Earlier this year she also resigned from her duties as the Lady Mohawk head volleyball coach, leaving both positions vacant at the current time.

The board also voted 5-0 on the mentoring and AP instructors for the current school year. Those mentoring were--Laura Brantley, Nikki Cato, Karen Coomer, Raquel Crawford, Erica Harris, Vanessa Hartwell, ,Veleda Langley, Paul Seegraves, Penny Toombs, Heather Tullos and Sherri Wright. Those teaching AP were Jerri Tate, Penny Toombs and Jeremy Wortham.

The board members then turned their attention to the vacancy in the position of Piggott High School principal, which was created when they chose to re-assign Barry DeHart as vice-principal earlier this spring. The board reversed the earlier action, choosing to re-assign DeHart in his previous position at the same salary and schedule as before.

Board members also agreed to hire Shana Stone to conduct the summer feeding program, based on six hours a day at an hourly rate of $12.

Both those moves also passed on a vote of 5-0.

On a split vote, the board extended the contract of Superintendent Powell by an additional year. The motion was made by Benbrook, with members Hope Burns, Jennifer Rahn and Chris Roberts voting in favor of the extension while Bradley Dunlap voted no on the matter.

Powell was under contract through the 2016-2017 school year prior to the action, and the extension was for the 2017-2018 year. Earlier this year the extension had been considered by the board, but at that time the matter died for lack of a motion.

The board then turned their attention to the track project at Parker Field, which had been approved at a special meeting the previous Monday. Following the meeting the firm hired to assist with planning the project, Athletic Projects Consultants, informed the district they would not be participating in the compromise plan. In light of this, Powell asked the board to rescind the bids they had approved at the earlier meeting, and the measure passed without dissent.

Board members then voted to allow Powell to begin the process of bidding the dirt work, and construction, of the track and related features. They also instructed her to begin the process of working with the state to renovate and improve the bleachers, concession stand, restrooms and press box at the current field. The vote on allowing the effort to continue was 5-0.

Afterward, the board voted to adjourn.

Rector Board

The Rector School Board held a special meeting Wednesday, May 18 to hire an agriculture teacher and discuss the special education budget.

Michael Hollis was hired as the district's new agriculture teacher and the board approved a special education application. The application requires the board to approve a budget before June 1.

Board members Jody Simmons, Tony Lockhart, Kim Isom, Kirk Ford and Mike Trail attended the meeting.

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