Manila School Board fills positions

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Manila School Board met Thursday night accepting minutes and reviewing the financial report before interviewing two candidates for the high school boys' coaching position. The position has been held by Coach Anthony Brewington who has accepted a position at Pocahontas.

The board met in special session Tuesday evening to review applications. Three, Tony Davis, Johnny Taylor and Jeral Hudspeth, were asked to interview on Thursday.

Taylor had accepted a position at another school and Hudspeth and Davis were interviewed.

Coach Hudspeth was the first to meet with the board. Hudspeth has been coaching for 29 years and coached Manila junior and senior high school boys from 1981-1985. Other places he has coached include Williford, Rector, Lead Hill, Green County Tech, Arkansas College, Jonesboro Westside (14 years), and the last five years Benton Harmony Grove.

Davis is a 1991 graduate of Delaplaine High School and Arkansas State University. He has served as assistant coach at Hoxie, Clay County Central, and is presently at DeQueen.

Both applicants talked about their philosophy and what they wanted from a team.

Each answered questions from the board members and talked about their coaching philosophy, what they wanted out of a team, and their future goals.

Hudspeth said he had fond memories of the time he was in Manila.

"I like the values here," Hudspeth said. It is down to earth, I like the school and I like the town."

Both candidates said they would have no problem working with other sports if football or girls' volley ball were started.

"Every sport a school offers is for the kids," Hudspeth said. "I want to be part of the school. Without spirit you have nothing."

Hudspeth said he likes to work with players individually so all players feel important. He expressed the importance of getting a team to play together as one.

Following the interviews, the board accepted resignations from Matt Sheets, choral director; Elizabeth Craft, high school English teacher; Anthony Brewington, coach and dean of students; Monica Brewington, sixth grade; Ann Miles Wells, fourth grade; and Tara Winberry, bus driver.

Following an hour and half executive session, the board voted unanimously to hire Hudspeth as high school boys' basketball coach; Jimmie Puckett, high school science teacher; Misty Humway, high school choir; Justin Vinson, high school English; Rodney Cooper, elementary music teacher; Brooke Polston, elementary teacher; and Jamie Murray, elementary teacher. Melissa Baker and Judy Shelton were hired as pre-kindergarten teachers contingent on the school district receiving a grant to start the pre kindergarten program.

The board also voted unanimously to hire Robert Herrera as custodian.

In other business:

*The board voted unanimously to adopt the Arkansas School Board Model policies.

*Voted 7-0 to pursue an ABC Pre School Grant. The grant is a 60/40 matching grant.

*Superintendent Castor said BrackettKrennerichCooper will re-bid the gymnasium air conditioning project with an alternate plan. Board members rejected all bids at a special school board meeting earlier in the month.

*The board adopted the school calendar for the 2005-06 school year.

*The board took no action on the request from two juniors requesting early graduation.

*The board talked on the status of the pending lawsuit filed by former superintendent Charolette Wagner. They discussed the pros and cons of making a second settlement offer but took no action.

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