LINCOLN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD Ruston, Louisiana
LINCOLN PARISH SCHOOL BOARD
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 6:00 p.m.
The Lincoln Parish School Board met in Regular Session on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room of the Lincoln Parish School Board Office, 410 South Farmerville Street, Ruston, Louisiana. Members present were Ms. Debbie Abrahm, Mr. Otha Anders, Mr. Michael Barmore, Ms. Lisa Best, Mr. Curtis Dowling, Mr. Danny Hancock, Ms. Mattie Harrison, Ms. Lynda Henderson, Mr. Trott Hunt, Mr. Eddie Jones, Mr. George Mack, Jr., and Mr. Joe Mitcham. No board member was absent. President Anders called the meeting to order, and the invocation was given by Mr. Jones. Ms. Abrahm led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. Mr. Anders welcomed board members and visitors to the meeting. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Mr. Hancock, the Board unanimously voted to adopt the agenda as printed.
Upon a motion by Ms. Henderson, seconded by Ms. Best, the Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes of the Regular Session held on February 5, 2013, as distributed. Paula Pardue, Secondary Curriculum Coordinator, was delighted to inform the Board that three students from Ruston High School had been selected as National Merit Finalists. She summarized what the students had gone through before making it to the top .5% of seniors in the nation. Ms. Pardue introduced the following seniors: John Steven Herren, John David Moore, and Samuel Evan Phillips. She presented plaques to them in recognition of being selected as National Merit Finalists and had them introduce their guests. Ms. Pardue also communicated that two RHS seniors were named National Achievement Scholarship finalists. Out of 1,600 black semifinalists in the program, 1,300 finalists were named. Those included Christan Qalhata Dillard and Brian Jheffery Findley. In the absence of Mr. Findley, Ms. Pardue presented a plaque to Christan and asked her to introduce her guests. President Anders congratulated the academic champions, expressed pride in them, and wished them well in the future. Superintendent Danny Bell was pleased to recognize and present a marble-framed certificate to an employee who contributes so much in support of the teachers, school staffs, and the central office. He said Kim Shackelford has been instrumental in moving Lincoln Parish forward and is a true district leader. For her work, the Cross-State Learning Collaborative team has awarded her the District Leadership Award for central office personnel leading the charge on Literacy Design Collaboration/Math Design Collaboration and educator evaluation, integration, and implementation. Mr. Bell thanked her for her commitment, diligence, and hard work. Upon the recommendation of Forethought Consulting, the last five policies needing revision following the 2012 session of the Louisiana Legislature had been studied. From the February meeting until the March meeting, Ms. Null asked board members to peruse: Sale of Surplus Equipment and Supplies (DFM), Naming of Facilities (FDC), Class Size (IEC), Homeless Children and Youth (JBCBB), and Administration of Medication (JGCD). Upon a motion by Mr. Hancock, seconded by Ms. Abrahm, the Board unanimously voted to approve the revised Sale of Surplus Equipment and Supplies, Naming of Facilities, Class Size, Homeless Children and Youth, and Administration of Medication policies. Bond attorney, Grant Schlueter, announced that Regions Banks submitted the best proposals to refinance $6.6 million in Ruston District and $4.5 million in Simsboro District general obligation bonds issued in 2005. Reduced rates, 2.58% for Ruston and 2.2% for Simsboro bonds, amount to a significant reduction well in excess of state Bond Commission requirements. Ruston taxpayers would save $202,795, and Simsboro taxpayers would save $296,537 over the remaining lifetime. Upon a motion by Mr. Barmore, seconded by Ms. Harrison, the Board unanimously voted to approve the Regions Bank bid of refunding $6,605,000 of the Ruston District Series 2005 Bonds. Upon a motion by Mr. Dowling, seconded by Mr. Hunt, the Board unanimously voted to approve the Regions Bank bid of refunding $4,500,000 of the Simsboro District Series 2005 Bonds. The following personnel items were reported by Mary Null, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Programs:
1. Retirement of: Yolanda Dade, teacher at Cypress Springs, effective May 25, 2013; and Deborah Davis Brann, itinerant special services coordinator, effective June 8, 2013.
2. Resignation of Arlene Jones, librarian at Ruston Elementary, effective February 11, 2013.
3. Employment of Brad Laird as head football coach at Ruston High, effective March 4, 2013, replacing Billy Laird who was reassigned.
4. Resignation of Diane Richards, bus driver in the Ruston area, effective February 14, 2013.
Shavonne Price, principal of Ruston Elementary, and Sonja Fuller, principal of I. A. Lewis will be switching places for the start of the 2013-2014 school year according to Danny Bell. He decided to make that change in order to utilize the talents the school leaders possess. In addition, after seven years at Ruston High School, Principal Mike Milstead will be joining the central office staff in a new position as the district's chief academic officer. He understands the vision for the parish and the components needed to move the school district forward to achieve greater success. Superintendent Bell will present a timeline to advertise for the RHS principal position at the April board meeting. The principals thanked the board and administration for their past and continued support and pledged to work hard to continue moving the school system forward and toward that “A” designation that everyone wants. George Murphy, Business Manager, reported that $1,014,686 was collected in sales taxes during the month of February 2013. This was a 6.41% increase for the month and a 2.19% increase year-to-date. Recoveries through audits were $1,352 which was down 28% year-to-date. In the 1967 and 1979 sales tax funds, $461,221 was collected. Deposits in the 1993 and 2000 sales tax funds were $553,464. Moving on to the January 2013 financial report, Mr. Murphy called attention to the total fund balance, $42,195,182, on the bottom right corner. He attributed the increase from the previous month to the receipt of property tax revenue from the sheriff. Those figures were included in “Revenues” in the ad valorem tax funds. The figures were much like last month's except the sales tax funds were a little higher than expected. In his update on the Health Plan for January 2013, George Murphy said the fund was up $95,782. for the first month of the calendar year. A construction update was next on the agenda. Director of Auxiliary Services, Charles Owens, was pleased to announce that the new ag building at Ruston High School was completed on time and within the allotted budget. He noted that Mike Walpole, architect, and Barron Construction did an excellent job! Pictures of the ag building and New Tech construction were shown on the screen. Mr. Owens opined that the New Tech construction would be finished in the next two to three weeks.
In a Report of the Superintendent, Mr. Bell said that:
1. Willie Washington, Federal Program Supervisor, was in attendance to show his support for Kim Shackelford. He is very thankful that Mr. Washington is almost back to full steam and glad that he was present for the meeting.
2. A Regional Summit has been scheduled by the LSBA for Friday, March 15, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church. He invited everyone to attend.
3. A Flag Ceremony has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. at Choudrant High School. He issued an invitation to that function as well.
Following brief comments from Mr. Anders and a motion by Ms. Best, the meeting adjourned at 6:53 p.m.
Danny L. Bell, Secretary
Otha L. Anders, President
1td: March 22, 2013