Beebe School Board Says Goodbye to Two Members

Sep 12th, 2013 | By admin | Category: Top Story

Photos & Text By

Lee “Cat” McLane

Editor/Publisher

Outgoing board members Tommy Vanaman and Lucy Mahoney were presented with plaques of appreciation by school board president Harold Davis. Pictured above from left, Dr. Belinda Shook, Tommy Vanaman, Robert Jenkins, Harold Davis, Brenda McKown and Lucy Mahoney.

Outgoing board members Tommy Vanaman and Lucy Mahoney were presented with plaques of appreciation by school board president Harold Davis. Pictured above from left, Dr. Belinda Shook, Tommy Vanaman, Robert Jenkins, Harold Davis, Brenda McKown and Lucy Mahoney.

The Beebe School Board had the arduous task Monday night of saying goodbye to two of its members - Lucy Mahoney - who is retiring after 8 years - and Tommy Vanaman - who has completed two terms (10 years). Clay Goff will take his place at the next meeting as an unopposed candidate.

The board gave a reception for the two members before the regular monthly meeting Monday night.

Beebe School’s superintendent Dr. Belinda Shook praised the two members for their work on the board for the combined 18 years, saying, “Tommy was on the board one year before I became superintendent and Lucy came one year after, and I’ve enjoyed working with both of them. Being on the board you get lots of complaints and not much praise - but we really appreciate what they’ve done here.”

Tommy Vanaman said that the most memorable thing since he’s been on the board is the technical building since it is so unique in the state and gives the students an opportunity for vocational careers.

“We’ve gone through lots of construction and I’ve been really proud of all that has been accomplished.” Vanaman said that now he is looking at possibly running for political office - city council and maybe even mayor.  We wish him well in his endeavors.

Retiring board member, Lucy Mahoney, had this to say about her eight years on the Beebe School Board, “The year I was elected to serve as a Beebe school board member, that was the year we had the annexation with McRae and Beebe. I know it was a difficult  change for both of our schools. McRae coming to Beebe and Beebe having another campus. However, we came together as one and it went together smoothly. One of my most enjoyable times was when our students came to our school board meetings and presented their accomplishments and awards. They had so much pride and we were so proud of each of them. I will always and forever be proud of each of them and their accomplishments. Through the last several years Beebe Public School has offered many other extracurricular activities that have given students an opportunity to grow in self esteem and confidence. As we all know in our world today technology is here. Our schools have the latest and greatest. Starting from K-12. These students are amazing in the technology world utilizing it in all classes and  courses. I would like to thank Dr. Shook, the administrators, the certified, and the classified staff for making our school move forward daily. A quote for our students I want to share “GOALS are dreams we convert to plans and take action TO FULFILL”. As always ” Once A Badger Always A Badger””

Board president Harold Davis said that Monday night the board has 54 years of combined experience - but will now be losing 18 of those years. “We will miss them,” Davis said.

An interim board member will be appointed to serve in Lucy Mahoney’s place until the next regular school board election next year.

In the regular board meeting, the  board heard about a classroom breakfast program that is being tried in the Early Childhood building. There are about 45 students using the program where they pick up a bag with breakfast food in it and go to their classroom to eat before the official school day begins.  There has been a correlation between kids who eat breakfast close to class time and fewer visits to the nurse and higher test scores. The program was presented by Ms. Perry and Ms. Jenkins,

Since the big buzz in the education area has been the looming of apparently huge insurance rate hikes - the board heard from Jim Templeton from American Fidelity - a company who specializes in insurance for teachers. He explained some of the possible outcomes of solving the insurance problem including the possible rate increase of up to 400% for teachers and certified staff. Ms. Allgood and Mr. Stinnett attend the Joint Legislative Insurance and Commerce meeting at the state Capitol Monday and Ms. Allgood gave a report on the meeting.  She stated that the EBD board  (Employee Benefits Division of the Dept. of Finance & Administration) had known since April of four claims of one million dollars which had drained the catastrophic reserve which is now at “0.” She said the EBD did not tell the Legislative committee until August that this was the case.  She also said that teachers were treated as state employees but the insurance was not included in the state as with state employees.

Dr. Shook said that currently only 60% of the school employees take the school offered insurance which costs the district $131.00 per person who works over 20 hours. With the proposed increases the district will pay an additional $57,456 per year on health insurance.  Mr. Templeton talked about how the HSA’s (Health Savings Accounts) would be something that the teachers should use in the future to help allay the increases which are coming.  There will be many more changes made to the insurance program before a final draft is approved.

In personnel matters, the board approved:

•  Resignations - Kathy Byrd, teacher; Terri Vanderford, Grounds and Transportation; Heather Clemons, Cafeteria; Becky Neu, Early Childhood Secretary

•  Resignation of Board Member - Ms. Lucy Mahoney resigned from the Beebe School Board after 8 years of service. The remaining board members have 30 days to appoint a new member who will serve for one year and run for a one-year term, and then in 2015, the full term election will be held.

•  Employ New Staff - Shelly Owens, teacher; Jessica Bell, Paraprofessional; Emily Raney, teacher; Jennifer Totten, Paraprofessional; Tonya May, bus driver; Judy Harmon, bus driver and Danny Burnett, bus driver.

•   Contract Change - Dr. Kay Calvert will be paid the same rate for a doctoral degree as listed on the administrative salary schedule.

Other action taken by the board included approving Scott Embrey as PPC Administrator Representative, along with Mr. Ellis and Ms. Jenkins - for 2013-2014; and Scott Embrey was approved as 504 Dist. Coordinator and Dist. Equity Coordinator.

The board must approve each year the businesses which the district does business with and related people that may work for the school. Here is a list of the 1599 Resolution for Employees - Resolutions were approved for the following employees because of a personal interest with the company: Cyndi Matthews, CenterPoint Energy; Juli Hall, K Mart; Julie Henry, Don’s Auto Parts; Michelle Jenkins, Robert’s Garage Doors; Jackie Martin, DG Martin and Associates; Kimberly Wallace, Scott’s Lumber Co.; Remona Moore, Shred It; Amy Thomas, Energize Dance Studio; Tate Rector, Allen’s Appliances; Tammy Jackson, Wal Mart; Michelle Knab, Wal Mart; Paula Moore, UPS; David Payne, Arkansas Signs and Designs; Shelma Winningham, Wal Mart; Cari Rector, Allen’s Appliances; Regina Haynes, UPS; Dorene Mellon, Mellon’s BBQ; Cindy Jackson, Beebe Water and Sewer; Nikki Jolly, Bruce Oakley, Inc.

C.     1599 Resolution for Board Members - Resolutions were approved for the following: Robert Jenkins, Robert’s Garage Doors; Clay Goff, First Security Bank.

The board approved 9 legal transfer and denied 4 based on the district’s policy of no transfers approved after August.

The board approved one expenditure over $10,000 - which was  with Renaissance Learning - an accelerated math and reading program at $15,859.93.