Manila School board hires principal and assistant superintendent
Manila School board members hired an elementary principal and assistant superintendent following an executive session at the regular April meeting held Thursday.
Board members are President Danny Robbins, Vice President Brandon Veach, Secretary Jeremy Jackson, Tracey Reinhart, Johnny McCain, Tony Crowell and Tommy Wagner.
Superintendent Pam Castor recommended hiring Chris Ferrell as assistant superintendent as of July 1. The board voted in favor of hiring Ferrell 7-0.
The board voted 7-0 to hire Jason Evers as elementary principal. Evers is presently an elementary teacher. He will be filling the position left by Principal Dale Case who submitted his resignation at Manila and will be taking a position in the Jonesboro district.
The board also voted to accept the resignation of Christy Duffell, high school teacher, at the end of the school year. They voted to grant a leave of absence for Misty Humway, choir director.
Classified contracts as presented by Ms. Castor were approved.
Architect John Mixon of Cromwell and Associates in Jonesboro addressed the council on the cost and options on construction of a concession/restroom facility on the football field.
Board member Wagner asked if the facility could be attached to the back of the gymnasium.
"Regardless if a decision is made to move the high school to another location, these facilities will be used," Wagner said. "If a weight room and the concession area could be located at the back of the gym we could use the existing dressing rooms and the rest rooms."
The board asked Mixon to prepare an estimate for an expansion of the gymnasium to accommodate the additions.
The board heard from Coach Bill Taylor, athletic director, on ways to generate more interest in the football program. He suggested double blocking the junior and senior high first and second periods and seventh and eighth periods. He said this would take care of the kids who ride the bus.
"Double blocking would help all sports but I think football will benefit the most," Coach Taylor said.
Castor said there is possible legislation there for middle levels.
"We anticipate some mandated requirements," she said. "We will watch for that."
Manila will host a football camp Aug. 1-2 for grades 3-11.
Coach Taylor talked about season tickets for the football program, creating a tailgate area on the northwest side of the football field and working on improving the atmosphere. He also requested more availability for the brown gym for football.
"We need it open first and eighth periods," he said. "He (Coach Castor) can't get a team ready when it is raining or cold with nowhere for the boys to go."
Coach Castor spoke to the board presenting a schedule and roster.
"We are dressing out almost 50 kids with 22 lockers," he said. "Anything you can do we appreciate it. These kids are deserving. If we can get double blocking it would be helpful."
Coach Castor reviewed the summer schedule with board members and camp dates.
Following the approval of minutes and review of financial reports, the board voted to approve expenditures for Technology Title I equipment including a reading program and Netbooks.
In other business:
*The Board voted to use Cromwell and Associates as the district architect service.
*Castor asked the board to consider a construction management company at the next meeting and millage increase in association with construction. She said they will need to look it over and it can be changed.
*The board approved Castor's request to get legal advice in relation to the new building construction possibilities. The board approved Don Mixon of Jonesboro, longtime school attorney.
*The board voted to change the date for the year's staff development hours to June 1.
*The board voted to accept the mandated teacher/administrator evaluation process by the Arkansas Department of Education starting in the 2013-2014 school year.
*The board discussed the School Choice Policy. Board member Wagner asked if the district should benefit from the policy can the district accommodate the additional students. Castor said the board will need to be ready to act on this as she has had three requests and they will be analyzing the numbers.
*Among the policies reviewed by the board were recommendations from the Personnel Policy Committee including allowing three bereavement days for the loss of immediate family members, and if reduction in force is necessary, residency in the district should give extra points in the decision. They also discussed the number of days for family medical leave in conjunction with adoption. They adopted the federally defined policy on obtaining and releasing information on students. They also added a statement to the vacation policy stating if one is not granted vacation and takes it anyway, it could result in termination. Weapons on campus, with the exception of law enforcement officers, will be excluded even if a person has a concealed to carry permit, and the removal of kids from the classroom based on new rules of student disciplinary policy.
*Castor distributed proposed policies and asked the board to review them before the next meeting. One will deal with participation in extracurricular activities by home-schooled students and student acceleration.