The Carlisle school board approved the hiring of six new teachers and a new high school counselor Monday night during a board meeting.

Unlike most school board meeting nights, a crowd gathered as the meeting began. After accepting the previous board minutes and financial statements, the board went into executive session in order to discuss the hiring of prospective employees, who filled the board room.

Returning from executive session, the board voted to hire each prospective employee as recommended by the building principals.

Among those hired were elementary teachers Jodi Martin as a first-grade teacher and Megan Aukes as a fifth-grade teacher as well as high school teachers Laura Widner as business teacher, Deborah Edwards as math teacher, Doug Edwards as English teacher and Michael Smith as history teacher and coach. Deborah Retting also was hired as a high school counselor.

Superintendent Jason Clark said the district continues to look for applicants to fill the position for an elementary school special education teacher.

In other business, Clark said in order to keep the process competitive, he had some of the district’s services rebid.

Dustbusters of Lonoke is the district’s current professional building cleaning service. Dustbusters came in with the highest bid at $226,000 for one year of service, including materials and supplies except toilet paper, paper towels and soap.

The lowest bid was $210,000 from Tucker Janitorial of Carlisle. Clark said both companies bid on the same specifications. He said the only concern he has with accepting Tucker Janitorial’s bid is they are a new company, so they have no references. Clark said he has been very pleased with Dustbuster’s service. He questioned how easily the district would be able to find a replacement if Tucker Janitorial was to work for a few months and then pull out or run into problems typical with a new business.

Board President Terry McCallie said maybe next year Tucker Janitorial will have references and more experience the district can compare it to. The board voted to accept the bid from Dustbusters.

In other bids, the board accepted the bread bid from Interstate Hostess Brands for bread services and Coleman Dairy for the milk services.

Clark said he has been inquiring on prices for having the high school parking lot paved. He said he has received a $222,000 bid to asphalt the lot and a $120,000 bid to have it chip sealed. Although the bid for the chip seal is lower, it would be a year before it could be done, he said.

"So far it’s pretty steep when you go to black topping," Clark said.

He said he will continue to solicit bids for the parking lot, looking for a lower price.

This year, the State Championship Baseball game fell on the same day as graduation, causing a handful of seniors to have to choose between graduating with their class or playing in the State Baseball Championship.

Although the May 19 was scheduled by the board to avoid the problem again, it has been said if the team was to make it to the State Championship and the game is rained out, the team may possible play on the May 19, Clark said.

The State Championship Games will be held May 17-18 this year. Clark said the only other option he has come up with would be to move graduation to the previous Sunday. Putting it there at May 11 on the calendar would have the graduation fall on Mother’s Day.

The board voted to table any action on moving graduation. No action was taken by the board at this time.

School board elections will be held this coming September. Board member Eddy Kelly will not seek re-election after serving 16 years on the board. Two prospective board members for his position, Adam Ellis and Carla Nichols, introduced themselves during the meeting. Deadline for filing was Tuesday.

Also during the meeting, the board voted to:

• Approve the A+ software upgrade purchase of $7,000;

• Accept Megan Stock, Kayla Prince and Clayton Stalk into the Carlisle School District under the school of choice provision as applicable;

• Accept the elementary and high school handbook changes as presented;

• Accept the resignation for William Lewis as high school teacher and coach;

• Accept the resignation for Wendy Lewis as first grade teacher;

• Accept the resignation for Nancy Morey as fifth grade teacher;

• Accept the resignation for Nikki Pearce as high school counselor;

• Accept the resignation for Janet Cagle as elementary special education teacher;

• Reject all bids for copier maintenance as presented.

Eddy Kelly and Jeff Daniels were absent from the meeting.

The next school board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13 in the board room of the superintendent’s office.