feb school board

The Mena School Board met on Tuesday night for their February meeting. This meeting was originally scheduled for February 16th but was postponed due to weather.


It was a short agenda & as usual the meeting began with the Mr. Benny Weston’s superintendents report. He updated the board on the current legislative session, today’s covid vaccine clinic & a small amount of damage that happened during the recent winter weather event.


In new business Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lee Smith addressed the board on the latest info on ESSER 2 funds, including ideas on how those funds will be spent & the approval process. ESSER funds are to be used to close the achievement gap & engage virtual students. The Mena Public Schools currently has a total of 166 students taking advantage of the blended/virtual option. Including 26 at Louise Durham, 19 at Holly Harshman, 28 at Mena Middle School & 93 at Mena High School. Plus 44 that are enrolled in the Polk County Virtual Academy.


Next on the agenda was the board candidate filing period. Those board members seeking re-election will have till noon on March 1st to file. The election will be held on May 18th.


Weston then updated the board on the updated quarantine guidelines. Most of which dealt with new procedures after vaccination has been completed. Covid numbers in the district have been dropping & following the nationwide trend.


Personnel was the final item to be discussed & there were a number of moves made. Those employees submitting their retirement plan included Lori Goodner, Leslie Daniel, Emma Lott, Vicki Maye, Patricia Self, Kathy Smallwood, Joe Bunch & Elizabeth Cox. All were accepted.


Next was the renewal of administrative contracts & restructuring. The contracts of principals David Maxwell, Tamara Smart & Jimma Holder were renewed. Those changing positions include Bridget Buckley to assistant superintendent &Todd Coogan to Mena Middle School Principal. Also Shane Torix will have additional duties as administrator of student support services & HHE building manager. Torix will retain his duties as director of safety and security as well as athletic administrator. Those changes were approved.