The Watson Chapel School Board has hired an assistant superintendent in William Tietz, a veteran educator who has worked in several positions in this district. A former principal at Coleman Intermediate School and a former facilities director in the Watson Chapel District, Tietz will earn a salary of $103,405 per year as assistant superintendent.

He also used to be a principal in the Pine Bluff School District. Three people applied for this position, which was vacant in the 2016-2017 academic year. Julie Sheppard was the most recent Watson Chapel assistant superintendent in 2015-2016.

In other news, Superintendent Connie Hathorn recommended the board approve a $500 bonus to all contracted Watson Chapel employees who completed the 2016-2017 school year. This does not include new employees who were hired for the 2017-2018 school year. This bonus will be paid from reserve funds and distributed by June 30.

Board members Ronnie Reynolds, Alan Frazier, Goldie Whitaker, Sandra Boone, Mack Milner and Donnie Hartsfield voted to approve it at their meeting last week. Board member Kevin Moore was absent.

“I asked for this bonus because our teachers are working hard,” Hathorn, who has a doctorate degree in education, said. “It has been such a great year. We came out of academic distress and it is a way to say thank you for your hard work. We do not have the money to give raises. We have 300 such employees.”

In other news, Hathorn recommended the board create three intervention behavior specialists. The district currently employs one person in this position. Hathorn is still interviewing people for these positions.

“We are going to put one in four of the five schools,” Hathorn said. “We have a full-time person dealing with student behavior to keep those kids in school.”

In other news, Hathorn assigns a paraprofessional to classrooms to assist struggling students. He is also providing training to new teachers to help them.

In personnel news, Hathorn recommended the board hire the following teachers. The board approved their hirings.

Tyler Biddle as an assistant junior high football coach; Mary Brantley as an elementary art teacher; Jennifer Brooks as an elementary teacher; Elizabeth Denney as a family consumer science teacher; Jamie Gordon as a secondary teacher; Garry Henson as an assistant band director; Ashley McDonald as an elementary art teacher; Anna Miller as an elementary teacher; Sherri Robinson as a family consumer science teacher; Alicia Whiteside as an elementary teacher; Regina Allen as a school nurse; Brittanee Buggs as a paraprofessional; Amanda Moring as a paraprofessional; Geneva Azeez as a bus driver; Kameron Wright as a bus driver; Carla Davis as a substitute cafeteria worker.

The board voted to accept these retirements:

Harold Branson, John Good, Charles Harrison, Elaina Ballard, Alyssa Brewer, John Clift, Marchello Eans, Sarah Eastwood, Matthew Gonzales, Amanda Johnson, Lisa Kelley, John Koonce, and Jennifer McAfee.