School Board holds reception for city officials, gets construction update

By Jamie Miller

The Bryant School Board started their night on Monday, Dec. 20, by holding a brief reception for the Mayor-Elect Jill Dabbs and Aldermen Scott Curtis, Danny Steele, Chris Tipton, Steve Gladden, Adrian Henley, Brenda Miller and Aldermen-Elect Mike Chandler and Rob Roedel.

After School Board President Sandra Porter called the regularly-scheduled meeting to order,[more] she greeted Dabbs and the City Council by saying, “We are looking forward to working with the city council and the new Mayor.” Dabbs followed up with, “We need to operate in a way that protects our school district.”

Both parties said they are looking forward to working together in the coming months to better the city and the district.

Communications Director, Jessica Bollen, recognized the Bryant High School Dance Team for their 7A State Championship, which they recently received. In February of next year, the team will travel to Orlando, Fla., to compete in the Universal Dance Association National Competition.

The Arkansas School Board association recently recognized the Bryant School Board as Master Board status, which is earned when all members of the board have achieved the individual Master Board Member award indicating at least 50 hours board training has been completed. The board was officially recognized for this accomplishment during the ASBA Annual State Conference luncheon on Dec. 9.

Construction on the high school campus is coming along as planned with phase one of the Fiber Loop project starting over Christmas break. A new HVAC system is also in the process of being installed at the high school. Bob Padgett, Maintenance Supervisor, has traveled to Watson Chapel High School and Arkansas Baptist University to observe their HVAC systems. According to Padgett, ”instillation of the system is critical as well as maintenance and preventative maintenance.”

Katie Thomas, Collegeville Elementary principal and Tammie Reitenger, Hurricane Creek Elementary principal, were present to give the board updates about their campuses. Thomas presented a slide show of all the events that have taken place recently at Collegeville and Reitenger informed the board of the PTO happenings at Hurricane Creek. The playground was updated with the help of $6,000 from the PTO and they also put on the Holliday at Hurricane event, raising $5,000 for the PTO with 54 vendors present. Hurricane has also been recently awarded with the “National Walk to School Award,” with 250 walking to school with new backpacks now due to receiving the award.

The board also voted to start a subscription to Information Solutions, LLC for background searches on potential employees. The reports that the system will produce will inform the district of any criminal activity in the United States. The reports will also give full details of what the person was charged with and/or convicted of.

The annual audit report of the district was also presented with no indications of problems, issues or material findings. The board voted to approve the audit as well as a $1,450 one-time bonus for all contracted employees of the district. There is no specific time when the bonus will be distributed, according to Richard Stipe, Business Manager. It is hoped that it will be disbursed no later than the end of January 2011.

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