Piggott Board Refinances Bonds, Re-Hires Staff at Meeting

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Marshall Hughes addressed the regular meeting of the Piggott School Board Monday evening, considering the school's bonds. He explained there are occasionally opportunities to refinance a bond, which decreases the interest, and one such opportunity had come up. If members chose to refinance, the first year it would save $92,112, for a grand total of $147,135.

However, Hughes noted this number is not fixed and is subject to change. He indicated when the money amounts were fixed, he would alert Superintendent Barry DeHart to tell him what the final amount would be. In turn, if the board decided it was not something they would want to proceed with at that point, they could back out of it at no cost or harm to anyone involved. After a brief discussion, the board unanimously agreed to move forward with refinancing the bond. Furthermore, the board unanimously agreed to enter into another three-year contract with First Security Beardsley, the fiscal agency they have used for a number of years.

Members discussed the purchase of Promethean boards for both campuses. Ten boards with mobile stands and warranties would cost $41,440 from CDWG. The bulk of the expense would be paid out of the NSLA fund, with the remaining cost out of the Title IV fund. Five boards would be placed in high school classrooms and the other five in elementary classrooms. The board unanimously approved this purchase.

Also, the board discussed bids for the keyboarding lab used by the seventh and eighth grade. The computers in the lab are unable to be upgraded to Windows 10, which will be required by the middle of next year. The bid came in at $15,048 from CDWG for the equipment for the lab. The board approved this purchase as well.

After almost two hours in executive session, the board reconvened. The board unanimously approved the hire of the following classified staff (those with an asterisk indicate jobs that are subject to the approval of Federal Funding).

District office personnel: Joseph Crittenden, Chris Thompson, Shane Holcomb, Miles McCluskey, Johnny Gardner, Shelia Mayberry, Sarah Reagan and Sherry Taylor*.

PHS: Jean Baber*, Theresa Besserman, Stephanie Blackmon*, Will Daffron*, Crystal Hearn, Angie Mauldin, Shamala McCluskey, Shawna Stone, Darline Taylor and Mia Boren.

PES: Elisha Brown*, Shannon Click, Jerica Heath*, Darla Kilbreath*, Tishana Laxton*, Diane Mauldin, Jourdan Moore*, Lynn Poole*, Ashley Riddle*, Tara Rigdon, Karen Seal*, Nancy Seal*, Stephanie Threatt, Diana Vanderkooi, Erica Wicker and Katina Wilson.

Transportation Staff: Deborah Chase, Fred Hicks, David Lyman, Steve Lyman, Kevin Murray, Debra Redford, Sherry Stinebrook, Billy Veal and Jon Wellman.

Food services staff: Debra Burgess, Laura Chandler, Tammy Gibson, Shirley Grissom, Melissa Moore, Doris Parker, Linda Ray and Lynda Smith.

Moreover, the board unanimously approved to hire Bobby Coyle as the band instructor for the 2019-2020 school year. A PHS and ASU grad, Coyle has recently served as the junior high band director at Blytheville.

They also unanimously agreed to hire Jon Wellman as the summer school teacher.

Members unanimously approved the licensed and classified salary schedules for the 2019-2020 school year. They also unanimously approved the license and classified bereavement policy. They had previously approved the salary schedules and the bereavement policy and sent both to the personnel policy committee for further approval. After the committee approved them both, they returned to the school board for final approval.

Furthermore, the board discussed their 2017-18 budget very briefly, and unanimously approved it.

During his update, DeHart commented that Junior/Senior prom went smoothly, he also reminded the board that the donkey basketball game is Thursday, April 18, and stated that high school would finish testing this week and elementary would begin next week and informed the board that they received a grant for the green house. In addition, he applauded FBLA and FCCLA on qualifying in multiple areas for the nationals. Finally, DeHart mentioned he would meet with the architect for the safe room to discuss what color to paint the walls, among other details. He commented that the safe room is bigger than the band room was, and the bathrooms are also very nicely sized.

Additionally, the board unanimously approved the reading of the minutes from the previous meeting, the financial reports, five school choice applications and the 2019-2020 school calendar. They also accepted the resignations of Donald Garner and Megan Ruhmann, and the retirement of Debra Scott and Bobby Featherston.

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