Unico Bank makes donation to Riverside Athletic Department

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Riverside Superintendent Jeff Priest accepts a donation from Allyson Anderson, vice president and branch manager of Unico Bank. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Riverside School Board was presented a donation, accepted a proposed budget, discussed student transfers, accepted a resignation, and discussed a student issue at the regular meeting held Monday, Sept. 11.

Allyson Anderson, vice president and Lake City branch manager of Unico Bank, addressed the board thanking the school district for their business. Anderson presented the school with a $5,000 check for the Riverside Athletic Department.

Superintendent Jeff Priest and board members present expressed their appreciation for the gift.

School board members present included president Greg Douglas, Greg Smith, Len B. Nall and Ricky Austin. Mike Brickell was absent.

Following the presentation, Superintendent Priest and board members reviewed the finances.

“It is better this year than the same time last year,” Priest said. “The district has $1.3 million in the operating fund. The same time last year we had $537,000.

The board voted unanimously to accept the proposed budget for the upcoming year as presented by Priest.

The board gave Priest the authority to sign final papers on the sale of school property on Catfish Drive.

Priest informed the board the final signing has been set for Monday, Sept. 18.

Following an executive session, the board voted to suspend/expel two students, one for the remainder of the semester and one for the school year. The students will go to Success.

Several student transfer requests were reviewed and voted on.

*Tristen Smithee, who presently attends Riverside, has moved to the Nettleton School District. Priest said the Nettleton District has agreed to allow the student to remain at Riverside. The board voted 4-0 in favor.

*The board voted to allow the legal transfer of Whitley Austin from East Poinsett County to Riverside.

*Wesley and Lexie Kelems have always attended Westside and have requested through a legal transfer to continue attending Westside. The board voted unanimously to grant the transfer request.

*Priest recommended, due to circumstances, to allow the transfer of Gabe Garner, a seventh grade student from Riverside to Brookland. The board voted to grant the request.

*Priest recommended not accepting the transfer request of three students, Michael, Dawson, and Michelle Cassey, from Riverside to Brookland. The board voted 4-0 to reject the transfer request.

*Priest recommended not accepting the transfer of Ambria Curtis to Buffalo Island Central. She presently attends Riverside. The deadline for a legal transfer was missed. The board voted unanimously to deny the request.

The board voted to purchase 65 Chrome books for the third grades at the west campus and east campus at a cost of $18,195. Mr. Priest said this will give one on one computers in grades 3-12. This will allow the teachers to work with the students in the classrooms and not have to go to lab.

Priest gave an update on enrollment with 804 students the day after Labor Day. The district ended last year with 798 students.

“We are up a little,” Priest said. “With the new housing I think enrollment will continue to go up.”

In other business:

*Priest informed the board the new bus has been delivered. He commented it is very nice with storage compartments underneath. The final payment of $23,000 from grant money has been sent in. He said there is one more payment on one bus and then all of the buses will be paid for.

*The board accepted the resignation of Stella Harris, high school cafeteria worker. Mr. Priest said they are in the process of taking applications for the position.

*Priest announced the 2018 graduation date will be at 2:30 p.m. May 6. It will be the same date as last year, the week before Mother's Day. Priest said he had received a lot of good comments about the Sunday afternoon graduation. In many cases it allowed out of town family and friends to attend.

The board will meet at 5 p.m. Oct. 2 before the regular meeting for training hours.

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