State Representative Marvin Childers presented the Manila School District with a $5,000 check at the regular September school board meeting.
Rep. Childers worked with Manila Superintendent Charolette Wagner to obtain funds from TECO Entergy for an easement on school property for the Dell Power Plant.
Rep. Childers is serving his first term in the House of Representatives.
"It is my privilege to be here," Rep. Childers said.
Childers was elected and has been serving the Blytheville area. He explained that with the redistricting, as of Jan. 1, the new district number will be 77 and will include Manila. He said he is very pleased to represent Manila.
Childers talked briefly about the power plant at Dell that will market throughout the United States. He said that the pipe for the water discharge from the new power plant was allowed to go across school property at the end of the line to Big Lake relief ditch.
"The pipe will be four feet underground and will discharge nothing but water," Childers said. "Thank you for the easement."
Wagner said the money will be used to build an outside basketball court on the elementary playground.
"This project will benefit many students now and for years to come," Wagner said.
Wagner and board members thanked Childers and TECO for the gift.
Following a discussion, board members voted unanimously to approve the 2002-2003 proposed budget including federal programs.
Principals' reports were presented.
Diane Baugher, lower elementary principal, said the year is off to a good start. She said the kindergarten numbers are up 18 over last year's enrollment.
Pam Castor, elementary principal, presented the year's schedule and handbook. She reported that the September enrollment has a total of 549 students.
She informed the board she has not received the results of the Benchmark testing for the fourth and sixth grade this year.
"The state would like to see a 10 percent increase each year but we did so well last year that will be difficult for us," Caster said.
"We have come a long way since 1998," Board President Jimmy Davis said.
Junior High Principal Diane Wagner said the year was off to a good start with 94 students in the seventh grade and 81 students in the eighth grade. She said Debra Lee, school librarian, also certified in social studies, will teach a class relieving the overcrowding in that class. She explained there is still overcrowding in the English and science classes. She said the special education numbers are close with 22.
"We have stretched all we can. We will be making a recommendation for some help," Principal Wagner said.
High School Principal Happy Grayson said the school year started on a sad note with one of the seniors still hospitalized in Memphis following a car accident.
The high school had an enrollment of 283 as of Monday, Sept. 9, with 72 ninth graders, 73 10th graders, 80 11th graders and 58 seniors.
"We are in compliance everywhere," Grayson said. "We are stretched in special education, but for now we are in compliance."
Board member Jackie Hill said he wanted to express his appreciation to all of the principals for the "fine job" they are doing.
Superintendent Wagner presented George Flagg, who chose not to seek re-election to the board, with a plaque of appreciation for his five years of service to the district.
Following a lengthy executive session, the superintendent made several recommendations that all passed unanimously.
--Randy Burnett was hired as Custodian 1.
--Shawn Presson was hired as special education instructional aide, retroactive to Aug. 26, with salary prorated.
--Dana Ferguson was hired as part-time elementary study hall keeper, retroactive to Aug. 26.
--Carrie Mays was hired as part-time elementary study hall keeper, retroactive to Aug. 19.
--A special education bus aide position with a salary of $15 a trip was approved.
--Jona Minton was hired as special education bus aide.
--Summer Field Hammons was moved from elementary physical education to kindergarten, continuing as a probationary teacher.
--Kesha Wagner was hired as a part-time probationary, secondary teacher with the salary prorated as to the salary schedule. She will teach one section of science and one section of English. Evidence of making satisfactory progress toward certification in English should be reported periodically.
In other business:
--Superintendent Wagner said that Dr. E.A. Shaneyfelt has offered to give the school the property known as "the big house," located behind the Methodist Church building.
--Wagner reminded school board members that the School Master meeting will be held in Manila on Sept. 19 at the school cafeteria.
--Wagner said the Lions Club had made a request to meet at the school. No action was taken. Several board members commented that they didn't mind the Lions Club being there, but the students had to come first and there is a problem getting all of the students through the lunch line.