School district board hears construction update

Members of Ramson’s Construction work to install roof panels on the Paragould High School’s new Ag building.

Construction of three new buildings at the Paragould High School campus is proceeding apace.

The board of the Paragould School District received an update on the progress of construction recently.

“We had Danny McDaniels of Ramson’s Construction give us an update,” said Paragould Schools Superintendent Debbie Smith. “And he said it’s going very well.”

Work is proceeding to prepare the ground for the pouring of a concrete slab for the band building, while site superintendent Terry Bailey said Friday the slab should be poured this week. “And the beams are going in for the Ag building,” Smith said.

The slab for the Band building will be 23,946 square feet. As previously reported, the building will have two band rooms, a percussion room, practice rooms, a guard room, and several storage rooms for instruments and uniforms. It will also have a large storage area above the first level.

Smith added the methodology is for construction of a given portion of a given building to be completed, followed immediately by subcontractors building their portion moving to the next building to accomplish the same tasks, and then the last. In other words, work will always be going on for all the buildings instead of everything being finished for one building before any work starts on the next. “So when the people doing the beams finish the Ag building,” she said, they’ll move on to the Junior ROTC building, and then the Band building.”

As previously reported, the agriculture building will have two sections. One totals 5,829 square feet while the other totals 11,987 square feet, for a total of 17,276 square feet. The Ag building is to include an aquaculture lab, biological lab, animal science lab, agri mechanics lab, outdoor covered work area, and classroom space.

The Junior ROTC building will total 10,450 square feet. It is to include a supply room, an ROTC lab, weight room, classrooms, and additional storage above the first level.

Total cost of the three-building project comes to about $10.5 million.

The district also renewed its contract with Life Strategies Counseling for the 2020-2021 school year. The funding for Life Strategies comes from Medicaid.

In addition, the board voted to renew its contracts with GoGuardian and Imagine Learning for the use of their software for the upcoming school year. Smith said GoGuardian provides software to the district’s ChromeBooks, to prevent access to inappropriate/harmful content or websites. She said the district has maintained the contract with GoGuardian for at least five years, and that the cost for the upcoming year is $22,715.

Imagine Learning, she said, provides language, literary and mathematics software, at an annual cost of $81,951.25.

The district renewed its contract with Eureka Math for use of its curriculum for the new school year. Cost of the use of the curriculum is $88,998.

The district renewed its contract with Prairie Farms for dairy products, and accepted the bid of Bryant Bread to provide bread products. Smith said there is no set cost of the total contract, but that the bids are costs per individual items purchased, like a pint of milk or loaf of bread. According to information Smith made available, the total amount of money the district spent on dairy products last school year was $162,550.84, while for bread products it totaled $23,470.61.

Smith said the board also adopted updated policies, which may be viewed at the district’s website.

The board also undertook the following personnel actions, with effective dates as indicated:


Shannon Curtis, Paragould High School counselor, effective June 30, 2020

Adren Kent, Maintenance, effective August 31, 2020

Carl McKinney, Paragould Primary School custodian, effective July 3, 2020

Kelsey Edwards, Oak Grove Middle School teacher, effective June 15, 2020

Jennifer Gray, Paragould Primary School assistant principal, effective June 30, 2020

Sarah Friedel, Paragould High School English teacher and tennis coach, effective June 30, 2020

Ronald Shoupe, Paragould Junior High School custodian/buildings and grounds worker, effective July 9, 2020


Elizabeth Yawson, Paragould High School counselor, effective July 1, 2020

Esperanza Perez, Migrant student paraprofessional, effective July 10, 2020

Taylor Tribble, special education paraprofessional, effective July 10, 2020

Jillian Sollars, special education paraprofessional, effective July 10, 2020

Charlie Jones, additional stipend for overseeing custodial duties for the district, effective July 1, 2020

Thomas Myatt, Oak Grove Elementary School custodial/buildings and grounds worker, effective July 10, 2020

Emily Johnson, School of the 21st Century secretary, effective July 10, 2020

Clint Weaver, maintenance worker, effective July 10, 2020

Logan Keener, tennis coaching duties, effective July 1, 2020

Resolution / contract disclosure

The Paragould School Board approved resolution/contract disclosure forms for the following people at its July meeting. The forms are required by state law when district employees seek to do business with the district. Unless otherwise noted, all named individuals are employees of Paragould School District:

Amy Glenn, photographer

Sheila Wicker, seamstress

Mitchell Weber, husband of district employee Chandler Gill Weber, athletic official/announcer

Josh Agee, husband of district employee Christen Agee, doing business as Agee Distributing, Inc.

Clint Beliew, husband of district employee Melanie Beliew, doing business as Cabinets By Design

Frieda DaVault doing business as DaVault Photography

Marylu J. Massey-Asher, wife of district employee Rob Asher, doing business as Deep Woods Creations

Doug Swindle Trucking & Excavating, Inc., owned by Doug Swindle, father-in-law of Paragould School District board member Jeremy Hancock

Matthew Fisher, husband of district employee Mackenzie Fisher, doing business as Allen’s Septic Tank & Grease and an athletic official

Gary Gossett, husband of district employee Tammy Gossett, athletic official

Larry Davis, Jr. doing business as Davis Design Group, LLC

Raymie Rennels, dance choreographer

Shannon Freeman, husband of district employee Jaime Freeman, an athletic announcer

Alan Riggins, husband of district employee Tammy Riggins, painter

Henry Nicley, husband of district employee Tammy Nicley, Nicley Construction

Tim Huffstutler Catering, parent of district employee Tyler Huffstutler

Justin Moore, husband of district employee Andrea Moore, doing business as Moore’s AG Repair

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