Recognition of more than 30 students for academic achievements took the largest part of the Sept. 12 meeting of the Cabot School District Board of Directors. Setting of board elections, bond refunding, and other student matters were also considered.

Board members Brian Evans, Donna Nash, Mark Russell, Ricky Hill, Dean Martin, Sarah Owen and Corey Williams attended the meeting, along with superintendent Tony Thurman and other administration members.

Under Act 910 of 2017, school board members chose to move the annual school board election to coincide with the preferential primary. Act 910 allows for school board to choose between the general election and primary elections, rather than continuing with the separate school board election.

In other matters, Board members approved refunding of the July 1, 2012, $19.2 million bond. At a financial committee meeting, held prior to the school board meeting, Stephens Inc. senior vice president Jack Truemper explained the refunding would net nearly $1.3 million in savings for the school district.

Thurman added that the refunding does not extend the bond.

Contract disclosures were accepted from five CSD employees.

School Board members approved transfer of two students, one from Lonoke to Cabot and one from Cabot to Vilonia. Also approved was a one-year expulsion for an 18-year-old female.

The student had brought a box-cutter to school, and then threatened other students. The board was told of attendance issues, and of attempts to have conferences with the student’s parents, including an appeal prior to Tuesday’s board meeting, but the parents, despite agreeing to the meetings, failed to come to any of them.

As of Sept. 7, there were 10,355 students enrolled at Cabot schools.

Gifted/Talented program director Aaron Randolph introduced the six National Merit semi-finalists from Cabot High School, explaining that of about 1.5 million students who compete in the National Merit program each year only about 16,000 qualify as semi-finalists. This year in Arkansas, 137 students from 44 schools qualified as semi-finalists, with six from Cabot High School: Lauren Dieringer, David Nichols, Taryn Toles, Connor Pearson, Stephanie Taylor and James Thompson.

Advanced Placement Scholars

Randolph explained the Advanced Placement (AP) provides college-level work at the high school level. Students get college credit for the courses in the classroom and by exam scores. The three- to four-hour exams are “brutal,” Randolph said.

AP exam scores are 1 through 5; scores of 3, 4, or 5 qualify for college credit, and the student does not need to take that class in college, Randolph said. Cabot School District had 99 AP students, an increase of 16 from last year.

The College Board recognizes students who complete a minimum of three exams with scores of 3 or higher on three of those exams as AP Scholars, Randolph said.

Cabot High School students are Robert Bell, Gabriel Bernardo, Kyler Buckner, Dara Butcher, Garrett Clark, Madison Elliott, Gracie Fuhrman, Cameron Glenn, George Guzman, Sarah Hankerson, Jordan Johnson, Greyson Kaufman, Joseph Martin, Grayson Mixon, David Nichols, Christopher Rudy, Gage Scroggins, Aleigha Smith, Briana Student, Stephanie Taylor and Isaac Wolter.ˇ

Yet another award is AP Scholar with Honor, Randolph said. This is given to students who average at least 3.25 on all AP exams with scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams. The AP Scholars with Honor are: Jackson Ward, Connor Pearson, Britney McGloflin, and Kylie Smith.