Manila school board recognizes teachers and students

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Manila students, parents, and teachers were recognized by board members at the regular October meeting held on Thursday.

Board President Johnny McCain praised the school band on their improvement from the first to the last home football games. McCain said he had heard good reports from the band booster parents who took care of the concession stand.

"The band and the flag team are all doing a great job," McCain said.

"We had hoped football would create more activity for students in addition to the players," Board member Tracey Reinhart said.

Superintendent Pam Castor also recognized high school teacher LeeAnn Helms for receiving the state Besse Moore Award.

Also recognized were the high school golf team for finishing fourth in the state and team member Michael Shedd who finished fifth. McCain said the elementary sixth grade football team tied for first in the league and is in the playoffs.

Superintendent Castor said Manila students will be participating in the Odyssey of the Mind program.

"This will be a good program for our students," Castor said.

Board member Tony Crowell, also a Manila Lion member, expressed his appreciation to the student teams who participated in the chili cook-off as well as the choir and band.

"We appreciate the students and faculty for their support," Crowell said. "They all did an excellent job."

Board members passed several resolutions to conduct business with companies where school staff members and board members have financial interests in or have relatives with financial interest in the businesses. The board voted unanimously to approve the resolutions to conduct business with Chris Gipson Construction, Coastal Construction (Josh Chipman), Jackson Photography, Image Gallery, D&K Hardware, Benny Bob Barbecue, Tifco Industries, Carl's Welding, Graphic Advertising, Sonic Drive-In, Douglas Electric, Heath Donner Farms, Tom Jaco Barbecue, Spain Concrete Finisher, and Frank Hamilton Construction.

Board member Steve Metheny left the room before the board discussed and approved doing business with Steve Metheney Farms, followed by Tony Crowell leaving the room before the board approved conducting business with Lifetime Medical. Board member Tracey Reinhart left the room before the board approved the resolution to conduct business with Farmers Market. Board member Danny Robbins left the room before the board voted on the resolution to conduct business with First National Bank.

Superintendent Pam Castor disclosed she is the niece of Charles Perry of Perry Farms who rents land from South Mississippi County Schools with the Manila District receiving a portion of the rent.

Superintendent Castor updated the board on the building project.

"I've asked Mrs. Castor to give us a timeline at each meeting to keep the people informed every step of the way on our building project," McCain said.

Castor said there will be a bid opening for the bonds on Oct. 28 at Scotts Beardly's office in Little Rock. Board members are invited to be present. The estimated initial rates may be higher due to the economy.

"We are watching it day to day," Castor said. "There will be a closing on the bids and the board will need to sign off on it at the November meeting. Several things are in process including approving the plans and moving forward with partnership funds. It will be May before the partnership funds are finalized but we may have preliminary information as soon as November."

She said a decision will have to be made on one of two methods of construction, general contractors or construction management.

Castor reported the school is meeting all standards. The high school offers 38 units and meets the graduation requirements, class offerings and class sizes. She said they are in the process of getting NCA accreditation for the middle school.

"The middle level is a new school and we had to submit for accreditation," she said. "Because our other grade levels are accredited we hope it will be a short time frame for the process. It is good to have the NCA accreditation.

In other business:

*The Board approved the ACSIP and Frameworks.

*The Board agreed to participate in the accident trip insurance covering teachers and board members.

*Board members accepted the resignation of Dixie Crabb, paraprofessional.

*Sonja Bennett was hired as part-time custodian and Robin Daniels part-time cafeteria worker for the 2008-09 school year.

*They reviewed the financials with Board Member Tracey Reinhart noting the energy bill for the new middle school is lower than the older buildings.

*The board elected President McCain as the ASBA delegate for the annual meeting scheduled for Dec. 3-5.

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