The Lonoke School Board unanimously voted to hire a new elementary and primary School principal Monday night during the board meeting at the LHS library.
Jennifer Barbaree is the new Lonoke Elementary School principal. Barbaree replaces Holly Dewey, who will become the new primary school media specialist next year.
According to Lonoke Superintendent Suzanne Bailey, Dewey requested the transfer.
"She wanted a new challenge," Bailey said. "We are all really excited about her new adventure."
The board approved Dewey’s transfer to primary school media specialist during the meeting.
Barbaree is currently an administrator at Edgewood Elementary School in the Watson Chapel School District. She has been in education for 10 years. Her husband Brandon is the new football coach at Carlisle High School. They have three children.
The school board also hired a new primary school principal. Rebecca Reed, a kindergarten teacher in the Des Arc School District, was hired to replace Ross Moore, who is retiring at the end of the school year. Reed received her Education Leadership degree from Arkansas State University in December. She is married to Sgt. 1st Class John Reed of Hazen. They have four children, all of which will attend the district this fall. Reed has been in education for seven years.
High school employees and students of the month were recognized my high school principal Phynaus Wilson. Licensed staff member of the month was Tonya Beeler, 11th and 12th grade English teacher. Classified staff member of the month was secretary Barbara Evans, who was not present during the meeting.
Male student of the month was senior Dustyn Perkins and the female student of the month was junior Grace Lassett.
Student leadership presentations were made to the board. According to Bailey, this leadership team consists of 24 students in fourth through 12th grade who were selected through interviews and select criteria requirements. Students participating are required to attend a monthly meeting. Bailey said these students are the "voice" for their peers. She added that the presentations given are just proposals and nothing has been implemented at this time.
The first presentation was given by Jamie Bryant. Bryant’s vision was to have an emergency team, which would offer a familiar face to students or faculty members during their time of need. This team would offer support to them in the event of an illness, death or catastrophic event. She suggested member of the team consist of those on the leadership team. Bryant said students would contribute $5 per month, or what they can afford to give. This money would go toward the purchase of items such as cards. Bryant said she would oversee the team until she graduates, at that time the president of the leadership team would be appointed to her position.
Kyra Ellison and John Tyler Lloyd presented their idea of a fitness day. The suggested time, location and date of the event would be from 5:30 a.m. until noon on Sept. 7 or 14 on the football field. Activities such as a 5K run, jazzercise, face painting, Zumba, bounce houses and field activities would be available to the public for a small fee. The event would be open to the community and students to participate in an effort to raise money for projects in the community.
Tory Potter and Shakey Gomillion presented their idea for a interaction care group to help students in making decisions on what they would like to do in the future. The group would hold meetings for students so that guest speakers with similar interests or career fields could talk with students. It would also help keep more young adults off of the streets and help them in choosing a career.
Theresa Greer suggested the school start a clothes closet. She said the closet would be a place to store food, supplies, clothes, toiletries and other items for low income students to offer them a better chance to excel in school. Fundraiser and drives would be held to stock the closet. Greer said at the end of the year, a yard sale would be held to clean out the closet and raise money for next year.
Chandler Elmore presented his idea of having AP and ACT test practices. Elmore said although students know the information for the tests, they are often set up for failure because of the tests time limit and format. He said he believes repetition is key to helping students excel at these tests and by having practice AP and ACT testing in the classroom, the district would see an increase in scores. Elmore said students would have to buy into the program, but believes the program is "a gateway to their success."
Olivia Dodson suggested having a free throw contest. She said this would get implemented after semester testing, to give students something fun to do after their hard work. Dodson said the event would also be open for anyone in the public to participate. The free throw contest would cost $2 for admission and $5. Winners in each category would receive a cash prize of $25 for first place, $10 for second place and $5 for third place.
Tonya Weaver, Paula Russell, Tim Scarborough and Doug Bost updated the board on their recent out of state professional development.
A new HVAC upgrade is scheduled to be completed at the primary school by the summer of 2014. The board approved to enter into and proceed with the agreement between the Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation. The $2 million project will cost the district $810,504.28.
Students will see an increase in breakfast and lunch prices this fall. Current breakfast rates are $0.75 for primary and elementary students, $1 for middle and high school students and $1.25 for adults. Lunch rates are $1.60 for primary and elementary students, $1.85 for middle and high school students and $3 for adults. Two options were presented to the board, one being a small increase to the rates and the second a slightly higher increase which would make the prices uniform among each school. The board unanimously approved the second option, which will be $1.25 for student breakfast and $2 for an adult breakfast. New lunch rates will be $2 for students and $3 for adults. The district’s for service budget deficit at the end of April was $71,783.75.
After retunring to the regular meeting at 9:13 p.m. following executive session, four retirements were approved by the board. Linda Browning will be retiring as Elementary Computer Lab teacher. She has been with the district 17 years. Kindergarten teacher Phyllis Munnerlyn retires after 30 years in district. Susan Howell is retiring as the Elementary Media Specialist. She has been with the district 19 years. Primary Media Specialist Becky Perkins is retiring after 12 years in district.
Also during the meeting, the board unanimously voted to:
-Accept the resignation of Keith Lynn Holt as bus driver and Audrey Mitchell as preschool teacher.
-Extend the contracts of licensed staff as presented
-Extend the contracts of classified staff as presented.
-Partially non-renew Sandra Stout contract from 205 days, equivalent to 10 months and reduce it to 190 days, equivalent to nine months
-Not hire any additional dual employees to not create any additional overtime unless an emergency
-Continue with Thomas Bowden for school photography services
-Stay with OrthoSurgeons for an athletic trainer for students
-Approve the licensed indexes and other duty stipends, which will remain the same.
-Approve the classified personnel salary schedule as presented.
The next regular scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. June 24 in the administration building.