Palestine schools are still shuffling personnel during the first week of school.
The Unit 3 school board approved several personnel changes to start the new year. The board approved the resignation of Miranda Waddell as a classroom aide because she is moving on to a full-time teaching position. Resignations also approved were those of Jamie Lowe as substitute bus driver, Carol Watts as personal and bus aide, and Matt Turner as a volunteer football coach.
The board approved hiring Ruth Ann Meskimen as speech pathologist, Dessie Carr as the Title I administrator and librarian and Brian Allensworth as assistant principal at the grade school. Also approved were Lisa Beabout and Shantel Short as volunteer grade-school cheerleader co-sponsors, Jamie Cutright as high-school year book co-sponsor, Kris Monan as volunteer football coach, Stacie Ogle as volunteer high-school track coach, and Caleb Will as student senate co-sponsor.
The board approved making the band/music position full-time with the district paying half the salary and donations paying the other half.
The board decreased Lisa Hyde's custodial position to half-time and increased Dot Lowes custodial position from half-time to full time. The position of bus aide/personal aide was also posted.
Also at the meeting, board member learned the Pioneer football team will have a new scoreboard to start the season.
Allensworth reported the purchase of a new scoreboard for the football field. The money for scoreboard came from a long-held grant of $10,000 for that purpose. Allensworth said the total cost was just over $12,000, and the Junior Football League donated $2,000 towards the purchase, leaving the football activity fund paying for the shipping.
The scoreboard will feature wireless controls, LED lighting and two 25-second clocks. A work day is scheduled for Saturday to install the new clock. Volunteers are needed.
Parents should be aware that the front doors of the grade school will now be locked at 8 a.m. and visitors will have to be buzzed in. Principal Sheila Mikeworth said this is a new security measure. Additional security will include eight new cameras inside and outside of the school, and Palestine Police Chief Jeff Bessing will also be patrolling the halls from time to time.
Interim Superintendent Chris Long reminded the board the district will be running three bus routes in the morning and two in the afternoon. He asks that parents be patient as they work the bugs out of the system, and to call and report problems.
In other business, the board approved opening several closed session minutes and the destruction of closed session recordings.
Authorised the superintendent to take bids on the sale of a school bus, and approved the use of a bus during the Labor Day celebration by the Palestine Chamber of Commerce, provided a licensed district employee drives the bus.
Approved the Title I plan and appointed Jim Bush as SESE representative.
Sept. 22, at 5:50 p.m., was set as the date and time for the budget hearing.
The district is also looking to purchase a new tractor/mower/ with a snow blade to replace the old Kubota tractor. The board authorized the superintendent to negotiate a purchase and financing up to $18,500 for the tractor.
The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 22, at 6 p.m.