Manila School Board President Johnny McCain announced Thursday night that as of noon Wednesday, the district no longer had a superintendent.
The board voted in January 2003 not to renew Superintendent Charlotte Wagner's contract. Due to an injunction that was granted by Judge Victor Hill, the board was unable to hire a superintendent while Wagner's wrongful dismissal suit was pending. The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled last week that the injunction should be lifted.
"I know why everybody is here," McCain said. "The laws of this state say we have to have a superintendent, a chief disbursing officer to run the school, and I feel that we should go into executive session at this time."
Following a hour and a half executive session, the board voted 5-2 to approve Elementary Principal Pam Castor as interim superintendent and ex officio disbursing officer until June 30. Board members Jackie Hill and Johnny McCain cast the no votes.
The board agreed to accept resumes until the position is filled permanently.
The board voted 7-0 to renew all principal contracts.
After a short discussion, the board tabled raises until the next meeting.
Board member Rob Veach said a special board meeting might be needed after spring break to consider raises.
Castor said the district should have more information from the state by that time.
Castor recommended acting on the certified personnel contracts at the next meeting. Steve Metheny made the motion to accept the recommendation. It passed 7-0.
The board voted on the 2004-05 calendar recommended by the Personnel Policy Committee.
Veach noted that the calendar did not have any snow days.
Castor said she did not have any administrative reports at this time but expressed her desire to work with the board members.
"My desire is to work with this board and go forward in making all the preparation necessary to move us through this season of change brought by the legislative session. What we hope to do is pull everyone together and develop some cohesiveness and be able to move forward and provide the students with the best education that is possible here or anywhere."
The approximate 40 people in attendance applauded following Castor's statement.