Local School Board Meet, Principal Contracts Extended

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Piggott School Board met Monday evening to discuss a variety of business. During the meeting, the board addressed the matter of contracts for the two principals, and voted to re-hire both for the coming year.

In addressing old business, members of the board discussed re-wiring internet service to the elementary school. This project was approved last year, and the school now has the funding to complete it. This project consists of rewiring the network lines in the ceiling and classrooms at PES. After this is completed, the school should not have to do it again for 15 to 20 years. Superintendent Barry DeHart suggested the board approve Bluesky for this project, and the board unanimously agreed.

In addition, board members discussed moving fibers in two rooms at the elementary. These fibers exude very loud noises, which distract both the teacher and students in the classroom, as well as the teacher and students in classrooms sharing the same wall. It was noted, the fibers would be moved to a different location, one that is not a classroom, to get rid of the distractions. While two bids came in for this project, Bluesky, who is already undertaking the re-wiring project, was a marginally cheaper. DeHart suggested approving Bluesky's bid, and the board unanimously agreed.

Also, members discussed the wireless access points in the high school. The project would include replacing the existing points and extending the coverage over the entire PHS campus. Elementary overtook this project last year.

Superintendent DeHart suggested approving this project, and the board agreed.

Board member Hope Burns was called away from the discussion, and did not vote. The remaining members voted unanimously.

After an almost two hour executive session, the board unanimously approved the addition of two items to the agenda-- contract assistant girl's basketball coach and accept resignations. Members unanimously approved the re-hiring of Brock Swann as elementary principal and Paul Seagraves as high school principal. They also agreed to contract Madison Carr as the assistant girl's softball and basketball coach. Trina Hackworth, who worked in the cafeteria, submitted a letter of resignation, which the board unanimously accepted.

The board also discussed making payment on the installation of the new LED lights.DeHart explained that a little over $70,000 would come out of the general facility fund, and the remainder would be taken from the bond funds. Members unanimously agreed with the proposal.

Furthermore, the board discussed the diesel bid. Two bids came in, but Watson Oil was the lowest bid. DeHart recommended the board accept the low bid, and the members concurred.

Superintendent DeHart updated the board on several other issues. He noted the LED light work was completed this past Sunday, but the contractor will be back to fix or change a couple of lights not currently working. Workers replaced lights in the old band room with LED lights, but assured DeHart they are easy to take down, store, and put back up once the safe room has been erected. The elementary roof pre-bid was set for Tuesday, Feb. 13, allowing bidders to see the roof. Bids received will be opened at 2 p.m. on Feb. 20. After a bid is approved, the company will have one week to start the work.

Regarding the safe room, the soil check was also set for Tuesday, with workers drilling three holes to check the soil by the building. Additionally, the elementary sign is updated to be ready in about a week. The Special Olympics will occur Feb. 23, at PHS. Piggott school has been hosting the Senior District Basketball Tournament, and DeHart mentioned they may have to make decisions regarding parking as Friday nears depending on the teams which advance.

Rector Board

The principals at both campuses were re-hired for another year at Monday night's regular meeting of the Rector Schools Board of Education.

During the gathering, held at the administration building, superintendent Johnny Fowler also recognized board member Tony Lockhart for earning 50 hours of school board development training. Fowler added the entire board has earned the required 25 hours which allows the body to be recognized with the Outstanding Board Award for 2017-2018.

Personnel issues dominated the agenda. By unanimous vote of the board, elementary principal Anthony Dowdyís contract was renewed as was high school principal Nate Hendersonís contract. In addition, the board hired Coach Chris Richardson as assistant baseball coach and hired Karen Price as elementary aide. This move was made after they accepted the resignation of Brianna LaCaze from the position.

Discussion was held regarding three bids presented to Michael Hollis for the FFA barn, which were opened by superintendent Fowler. He indicated to the board the Rector School Board and City of Rector lease agreement for land near the city shop had been approved and signed by appropriate parties.

After perusal of the three bids, president Jody Simmons recommended that Fowler and Hollis meet and establish specific criteria for the proposed barn.

Based on their groundwork, bids could then be sought based on the same criteria.

The board concurred that the size of the barn would need to be specified, accommodating current and future needs for animals and show teams. In addition, the board recommended that Hollis and the superintendent check on cost of materials for finishing-out the interior and follow up with the city on water and sewer accessibility.

The superintendentís financial report showed an operating balance of $2,017,433.62. The building fund stands at $1,090,000. With federal funds and school lunch funds, the total funds amount is $3,032,438.67.

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