Paragould School District employees have bonuses coming their way.

According to Superintendent Debbie Smith, the district board voted last week to give a $500 one-time bonus to each of the 446 certified or classified employees of the district. The money for the bonuses, Smith said, came from the funds from which each department paid the given employee.

“The purpose of the bonus, which was budgeted, is to show appreciation to all contracted employees,” Smith explained in an e-mail. “PSD employees continue to work diligently during the pandemic to provide a quality education in a safe environment.”

She said the district’s certified staff members “are doing an incredible job of providing instruction and support to students who have chosen onsite, virtual, or blended learning.”

Smith acknowledged the challenges of adjusting to the various options for learning to be very time consuming, and noted certified staff members “are working many nights and weekends preparing lessons, answering emails, and grading papers.”

Classified staff members “have been amazing” in their efforts of providing additional instructional and technical support to students, preparing meals for onsite as well as virtual learning students, building structures to create safer environments for students, and frequently sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces.

Total cost of the bonuses comes to $223,000. Smith said they would be paid before Christmas.

The board also heard from Danny McDaniels of Ramson’s Construction of progress on the three high school buildings his company is building, the Agriscience building, the Junior ROTC building and the Band building. According to information Smith provided:

In the Agriscience building, interior painting is ongoing, as is installation of interior doors, hardware, and ceiling grids. Exterior wall siding is being hung, and the greenhouse is framed. The greenhouse should be completed within the next two weeks.

In the Junior ROTC building, the ceiling is being painted, and sheetrock is expected to be completed in two to three weeks. Wall siding and trim is expected to start this week.

Roof panels are going onto the Band building, in which the safe room blocks and steel walls have been completed. The concrete slab over the safe room is expected to be poured this week.

The board reviewed the 2021 Master Facilities Plan. “We have three committed projects,” Smith said, “the Agri [-culture], JROTC, and Band buildings.” She added that two other projects are planned: renovation of the High School Tennis Court and the High School Gymnasium. Smith likened the planned projects to a “wish-list.”

The board also approved the following personnel actions:


Roy Reeves, as bus driver, effective Sept. 2

Jordan Sisco, as food service worker, effective Sept. 28

Jessica Wright, as food service worker, effective Oct. 2

Thomas Myatt, as Oak Grove Elementary School custodian, effective Oct. 6

Sarah Ellis, as Paragould High School teacher, effective Sept. 24

Natalie Harrell, as Paragould High School teacher and from TV media duties, effective Oct. 30


Kiana Cole, for 3rd and 4th-grade girls basketball coaching duties, effective July 1

Sierra McHenry, Jessica Berry, Amber Buckio and Kimberly Shaw, as food service workers, effective Oct. 13

Courtney Hays, as Oak Grove Elementary School secretary, effective Oct. 13

Patrick Barger, as bus mechanic, effective Oct. 13

Jessica Wright, as Baldwin Elementary School special education paraprofessional, effective Oct. 5

John Carter, as Paragould High School teacher, effective July 1


Trish Gargus, from Woodrow Wilson Elementary School secretary to School of the 21st Century classroom aide, effective Sept. 21

Marty Williams, from 3rd and 4th grade girls basketball to 3rd and 4th grade boys basketball, effective July 1

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