The Watson Chapel School Board of Directors voted 6-0 to give $1,500 bonuses to each district employee who was employed with the district as of Nov. 1. Superintendent Connie Hathorn made this recommendation at a regular board meeting Monday night. Board members Ronnie Reynolds, Alan Frazier, Goldie Whitaker, Sandra Boone, Kevin Moore and Mack Milner approved it.
Watson Chapel High School teacher and Personnel Policies Committee Chairperson Frankie Hemphill thanked board members for awarding the bonus money. She had earlier asked for $500 bonuses on behalf of all employees in April 2017 and the board granted them in June 2017 to all contracted Watson Chapel employees who completed the 2016-2017 school year.
On the subject of preparing high school seniors for college, Watson Chapel School District Career Coach Carl Whimper said that Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson designated October as Arkansas College Application month to encourage high school students to use resources to prepare for college.
Whimper said that Watson Chapel High School enrolls 204 seniors and that 182 have applied to colleges. Whimper said that he will drive students to Stant Manufacturing to offer them a glimpse into manufacturing jobs. Hathorn said that career coaches are helping students to prepare for college.
In other news, Watson Chapel Junior High School Principal Henry Webb discussed hosting a family fall festival and chili supper at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14. He invited people to come to the event featuring basketball games, food, drinks and prizes. On the subject of holding an annual school board election in November, the board tabled this item.
Hathorn asked school improvement specialist Kerri Williams to share a recognition of district employees who served in the armed forces. Williams said they were honored with a meal and she read the names of veterans Michael Allen, Harold Branson, Cozetta Fuller, Anthony Graham, Jimmy Harris, James Henry, Jeffery Howard, Gerald Jeffers, Paul Jones, Janice Jones, Clifton Lewis, Jerry Mack, Roderick Monk, Steve Monk, Angela Prather, Ora Reynolds, Bruce Rollins, Jimmy Stocker, Robert Tate, Zachary Taylor, Jessie Toston, Sam Wamble, Stanley Warrick, Michael Whitworth, Kerri Williams, Ladray Johnson, and Officer Linda Yancy.
In personnel news, the board voted to hire the following people:Zach Taylor as dean of students;Aisha Denton as a paraprofessional;Sharon Jackson as a paraprofessional;LaKeshia Pea as a paraprofessional;Geneva Buckhanan as a cafeteria substitute;Norma Porter as a cafeteria substitute;Donna Taylor as a cafeteria worker;Willie Edwards as a security guard.
In disciplinary news, the board expelled a Watson Chapel High School student for physically attaching another student and drawing a lewd picture. This decision comes after the board expelled three other students in September for physically attacking other students.
On the subject of the student handbook, Watson Chapel High School Principal Kristy Sanders said educators waste time enforcing certain provisions of the dress code policy. The board voted to revise the code to read “coats, jackets, hoodies, and sweaters may be worn over the uniforms. The uniform shirt collar must be visible and school identification must be worn on top of the outer garment.”
Students cannot wear a head covering except for religious or medical reasons. Board member Donnie Hartsfield was absent.