Manila School Board hires new staff members

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Following an executive session, Manila School Board accepted the resignation of several staff members, hired new personnel and made reassignments at the Tuesday, June 10, meeting.

Staff submitting their resignations included teachers Cristeen Sullivan and Matthew Collier and secretary Fay Davis.

The board accepted the resignations.

Castor expressed her appreciation for Mrs. Davis' 36 years of service to the district.

President Dan Robbins added the board's appreciation for all she has done.

"She has been a blessing to her co-workers and the students," he said.

The board unanimously voted on the recommendations of Superintendent Castor to hire Brooke Dunigan, middle school teacher; Courtney Hill, middle school teacher; Amanda Bundren to special education; hire Patty Misner, middle school teacher; and Mandy DeLong as secretary. Teacher Jordan Wise was assigned assistant junior girls coach and elementary basketball coach. High School Counselor Angie Gipson's contract was expanded to 12 months.

Castor asked the board to allow her to assign extra workdays for classified personnel when needed. She said there would be training days for secretaries in new software.

The board accepted Castor's request.

Castor talked about a meeting she attended on the facilities review of the buildings.

"We know Tipton Hall is not in good shape," she said. "At the meeting concern was expressed about our failure to pass a millage."

She said the district has until 2016 to address the issues. Tipton Hall was looked at last week and Caster said from the verbal input it was their opinion it needs to be replaced.

Castor said the decision on partnership money will be made in May.

She suggested to start in July looking at all of the options.

"We have a new plan submitted," she said. "The state enrollment projection only came up with moderate growth for Manila. I explained about the economic gain, building our infrastructure, and new jobs coming to the area. We have to keep our eye on it."

She said the legislators are under the gun with funding cuts to resolve the recent problems with teacher insurance.

"Unless the legislature comes up with additional funds, the schools will be looking at less money to be distributed," Castor said. "We will look at options and move forward."

Board member Tracey Reinhart asked when the district could go to the community for a vote on the increase.

It cannot be voted on until January 2015.

"After the partnership funding is announced in May might be a better time," Castor said.

"There are changes in the county and in the district," Reinhart said. "We have looked at four and five years ahead and now is that day."

Board member Tommy Wagner asked about requesting a waiver on the timeline for millage to give the district every possibility.

Castor and the board were in agreement to explore the possibility of a waiver.

In other business:

*The board approved metal lockers for the senior football players. The lockers will be made by the Arkansas Correctional Industries.

*New led light fixtures will be placed in the gymnasium.

*The board approved a policy change to meet the requirements of the law. Castor explained the policy had been rewritten.

* President Robbins said he and Board member Jeremy Jackson had the privilege of giving out kindergarten diplomas. He said it impressed on him the board needed to work together to look at every option for their future of these students.

*The board approved renewing the migrant program.

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