BY MELANIE BUCK –
The Mena School Board held their monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 22 at the Administration Building. First on the agenda was the announcement of this year’s public meeting for annual reports. On October 20th, there will be a facilities meeting at 5 p.m. where there will be discussion of the 10-year facilities plan. At 6 p.m. that night the annual report to the public will be given and the regular board meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
The federal, state, and special education budgets were approved by the board. This year’s budget includes a $650 bonus for all Mena School employees. Superintendent Benny Weston stressed that the $650 plus benefits was a gross amount and the net amount for each employee would depend on tax withholdings for each individual.
The ACT reports for the 2014-2015 school year were presented at the meeting. Last year, 117 students from Mena High School took the ACT test and the overall average was higher in all areas, including Math, Science, English, and Reading, than the state average and also scored higher in the overall composite score. Students from Mena scored an average composite score of 20.9 versus the state average of 20.4.
An increase in the original bid for the construction of the new visitor’s bleachers was also presented. Superintendent Weston explained that due to ADA compliance standards for handi-capable access to the bleachers, along with state standards that block fan access to the field, additional concrete pads and landings were poured costing an additional $8,900. The additional costs will be paid to Cossatot Builders, Inc. who built the entire assembly of the new bleachers.
There was also some discussion among board members on the subject of season passes for the school’s athletic events. After tossing around various ideas and issues, the subject was tabled until board members can do more research.
New school board officers were nominated and accepted at the meeting as well. Beginning with the October board meeting, Robbie Hines will serve as President of the Mena School Board, Ed Puckett will serve as Vice President, and Brian Kesterson will be Secretary.