Money was the focus of Greene County Tech School District’s February board meeting.

The board approved the purchase of a 2021 Ram 2500 Crew Cab 4x4 3/4-ton truck for the Agri Department, which proved to be a bargain for the department. According to information made available by superintendent Gene Weeks, the bid price of the vehicle, $36,827 from Bayird Dodge Chrysler Jeep in Paragould, was less than the state bid price of $37,109 from Bayird Dodge Chrysler Jeep.

“School Districts can buy local if the local dealership will match or beat the state bid,” Weeks noted.

The board also approved purchase of 300 student laptops and 85 teacher laptops from Vernon Hills, Ill.-based CDW-G at a cost not to exceed $300,000 (including tax). Weeks said the purchase will be through the TIPS/TAPS cooperative purchasing contract, using funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“These need to be ordered now,” Weeks said, “so we can have them for the 2021-22 school year.”

The school board also approved renewal of the district’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance through the Arkansas School Board Association. The premium for the current calendar year is $122,444. Weeks acknowledged the premium is up 25 percent from last year’s $97,774.

“We had a lot of knee injuries,” Weeks acknowledged. “We currently conduct monthly safety meetings to try and prevent accidents that cause injuries and lost work time for our employees.”

Conditions that lower and raise the premium are the number of claims, number of employees and lost work time.

The board also undertook the following personnel actions:

Resignations

Larissa Newman from her Jr. High Dance Team Sponsor position (only), effective at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Madison Tedder from her Jr. High Assistant Dance Team Sponsor position (only), effective at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Christina Fry, from her Custodial position at Jr. High School, effective March 1, 2021.

Bradley Andrews, from his 1st Grade Teaching position at Primary School, effective at the end of the 2020-2021 school year, for retirement.

Leaves of Absence

Miranda Smith, medical, effective Jan. 22, 2021 lasting 6 weeks.

Debra Whitaker, to extend current medical leave of absence, effective Feb. 15-March 29, 2021.

Kathy Vowell, medical, effective Feb. 8-March 22, 2021.

Patricia Pitman, medical, effective Feb. 1, 2021 lasting 6 weeks.

Change of Assignment

Terry Kelley, from ISS Paraprofessional at Intermediate School to Library Paraprofessional at Intermediate School, effective Feb. 11, 2021.

Contract Adjustments

Charles Nelson, High School Assistant Principal/AP Coordinator position to Jr. High School Principal, effective for the 2021-2022 school year.

Bo Carter, from Custodial position at High School to a Maintenance position, effective Feb. 11, 2021.

Mary Jo Foster, from Assistant Kitchen Manager position at Primary School to Regular Child Nutrition Employee at Primary School, effective Feb. 11, 2021.

Classified Employment

Krystal Vanhorn, as ISS Paraprofessional at Intermediate School, effective Feb. 11, 2021.

Contract Extensions

Amy Lucius and Scott Gerrish (each), existing contract extended one year through the 2023-2024 school year (2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023 school years are already on existing contract.)

Re-Employment of Administrators/Directors

Tammy Birmingham

Ryan Carpenter

Letha Clark

Amie Cole

Jerry Dickson

Kem Drake

Amanda Finch

Chad Jordan

Shane Jordan

Keith Metheny

Charles Nelson

Mike Nunnally

Kodie Potter

Caroline Schenk

Dale Schenk

Mary Stormes

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