Manila School board thanks board member

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Manila School Board president Tracey Reinhart expressed his appreciation at the Aug. 17 meeting to Paul Wayne Hicks for stepping up and serving on the school board.

Hicks was selected to fill the vacant seat (Position 4) after Dean Tucker resigned in November 2016.

Monte Middleton has filed for Position 4 for the September school board election. Incumbent Johnny McCain filed for re-election for Position 6 and Reinhart filed for re-election for Position 2. Since there is no opposition for the board seats and the school is not seeking any millage changes, the Manila District will not hold an election in September. There will be only early voting and absentee voting and it will be held in Blytheville.

Hicks said he appreciated the confidence the board had in him and the opportunity to serve. Hicks had served on the school board in the 1970s.

“If you have ever sat in this chair, you have a love for this school from the youngest to the oldest,” Hicks said. “You feel responsible for them and their education. The decisions made here are important for the future of our young people.”

Hicks said he is also pleased to see the financial stability the school has achieved through the efforts of good administrators.

“Years ago on my first year on the school board we ended the year with less than $20,000,” Hicks said. “I have been blessed to see the changes. Thank you for the opportunity to be here and see first hand the good things taking place.”

The board worked through a short agenda voting to accept the state and federal minimum recommended cost for adult lunches at $3.55 and breakfast prices at $2.10.

Superintendent Pam Castor discussed purchasing bleachers that had once been at the fairgrounds in Jonesboro. She said the school has the opportunity to purchase 19 sections of bleachers for $10,000. She said between the school and the city, the bleachers can be utilized. She went on to say the bleachers are in very good shape. Principal Mark Manchester had pictures of the bleachers to show board members.

“I would suggest we go ahead and purchase the bleachers,” Castor said.

The board voted unanimously to purchase the bleachers from Russell Craig and Partners.

Castor informed board members bids for the gymnasium air conditioning would be opened on Aug. 29. The board will meet in a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. to review bids.

“We want to get the project going as soon as possible,” President Reinhart said.

Board member Jeremy Jackson announced the school will be hosting a cross country event on Aug. 29. It will begin at 4 p.m. at the country club.

Board member Johnny McCain discussed compensation to Darrell Birmingham for work he has done on the football field.

“He took it on himself to help us as a school,” McCain said. “He has a full time job with the city and worked after hours and on weekends helping to get the football field ready. He has mowed six times and fertilized four times. I think compensation for him would be fair.”

Castor said it takes three to four hours to mow the field. She suggested establishing a rate for the long haul or the board could do a part-time employment contract.

The board decided to put it on the agenda for the special Aug. 29 meeting.

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