Manila School Board members met Thursday for the regularly scheduled meeting. Among the topics the board heard a report from the exploratory committee on extracurricular activity committee, hired a custodian, reviewed the 1986 consolidation agreement, discussed teacher and staff raises, accepted a transfer request, increased the superintendent's salary, and heard a report on the recent consolidation meeting held in Caraway. During the financial review, it was noted the December gas bill for the district was approximately $8,000 more this year than last year. This year's bill was $18,295.95.
Board President Scott Misner said the exploratory committee, Rachel Gifford, Danny Robbins, Junior Wise, and Fred Fleeman had met. A meeting has been set up to meet with the Cave City district who stated a football program this year. They also plan to take a survey of the citizens to see if interest is there. Board member Tony Crowell said one of the committee members had declined to serve. "I told Fred they could make a recommendation to Scott," Crowell said. Crowell also emphasized the committee is looking into other activities in addition to football. The board went into a lengthy executive session reconvening the meeting at 9 p.m. The Board voted 7-0 to hire Vicky Hamilton as custodian. Board member Johnny McCain asked the council to review the 1986 consolidation agreement with Missco and Manila. McCain said people had talked to him about making the 6 and 7 spot at large for the whole district. Board member Rob Veach asked McCain if he wants to go back and change it (the agreement). "We can," McCain said. The 1986 consolidation agreement allows for two school board seats from the former Missco School District. Board member Steve Metheny (who holds one of the seats) commented that if it is changed, the oard would be taking away everyone's voice from that area. "Eventually we will get challenged," McCain said. "I think it is a fair agreement to the people," Veach said. "Manila didn't change in the consolidation, they still have five board members. We can vote to do anything, but I'm against it (changing the agreement)." "Actually, you only have one person on this board that lives in the city limits," Board member Jackie Hill said. "We are all Manila as far as I'm concerned. We are one District." "We are one school but we have two communities," Metheny said. "It is our school, too. If you change the agreement, you take away our voice of representation. It (the consolidation) has been good for us (Missco) and Manila. I don't understand where this is coming from." "Be prepared, it will eventually be challenged," McCain said again. "I don't think there is a reason for changing it," Veach said. "If there comes a time when no one from the area runs, then it would be a problem but I'm not for changing it." McCain said he thought it will become an issue. Crowell asked what the agreement on the elementary school was and when did it close and come to Manila. "The agreement was to keep the elementary open as long as it was feasible," Metheny said. "It was about two years after the consolidation. No one fussed when we moved the elementary. It was time." The board accepted the recommendation by Superintendent Pam Castor to send the proposed teacher salary increase to the Personnel Policy Committee for review and recommendation. The board accepted a transfer request from Tiffany Woodall, a 10th grade student, from Buffalo Island Central High School to Manila. Superintendent Castor informed the board the rental property on Lake Street is vacant. She explained the process if the board wants to sell the property. Board members asked her to take the first step by establishing a fair market value. Castor presented the board with a NEA Report from North Central "The elementary received North Central accreditation," Castor said. "We were only one point off on the Reubic scale of a perfect score." The board voted unanimously to increase the Superintendent's salary by 5 percent. Crowell gave a report on the area consolidation meeting held in Caraway. Three Manila board members attended, along with board members from Riverside and Buffalo Island Central. "I feel like the meeting went well," Crowell said. "We all agreed to bring it back to our boards and see what you all wanted to do, if anything." "Everyone wants to keep our options open in case the state comes in and forces us to do something," McCain said. Veach said board members should always be willing to listen. "I'll call and tell them we are not prepared to do anything now but keep the lines of communication open," Crowell said.