The Vilonia School District is implementing a new plan for concession operations including the selling of official logo T-shirts, caps and other clothing on the Internet.
Dr. Frank Mitchell, superintendent, presented the proposal for the new concession operations to the Board of Education on Monday night, saying "there’s not a problem with the athletic booster club. There’s not really one (a booster club)." Instead, he said, there is basically one person who has been shouldering the responsibility and doing a good job. The change, he proposed will allow for adding safeguards as well as to establish and spell out procedures. There was discussion of hiring a district employee to just be responsible for the concessions. However, Mitchell said, that would not be feasible for the district. The majority of the intake, he said, would go toward a salary. It was said that Cheryl Theall, who has operated the concession on behalf of the booster club, will continue to handle the concessions. A part-time substitute teacher now, she will be offered employment on a full-time basis with her duties to include handling concessions. Also, an assistant to the program supervisor will be employed on an hourly, as-needed basis.
Safety checks include central office accounting for general athletics, and the athletic director will have the primary responsibility of distribution of funds. Also, account transactions will be audited by a legislative audit. While no time frame was given on the online store, Mitchell said he would like to see it up and running soon.
• Announced the school had received a $5,000 grant from Lowe’s. Mitchell said the business is a big supporter of the school. The money, he said, will go toward work to be done on the north side of the stadium — replacing a wall of crossties with a block retaining wall and replace some plants.
• Approved the renewal of an insurance policy with Bancorp South Insurance Services at a policy premium of $6,575 plus $750 for general liability. The company, Mitchell said, is endorsed by the Arkansas School Boards Association. The policy is for out-of-state coverage, and Mitchell said there are several trips out-of-state each year. Arkansas, he added, has a maximum liability amount for school districts unlike other states. The insurance, he said, provides an additional $1 million in coverage.
• Board members termed the death of senior Amanda Allison, who was fatally shot Saturday night, as "traumatic for the school district" as well as her immediate family. Andy Ashley, high school principal, addressed the board updating them on the handling of the situation in regard to students. A moment of silence was to be observed Tuesday morning with the announcement on an intercom. Ashley said the staff has been responsive and stepped to the plate to cover classes that are normally taught by the teenager’s father, John Allison, who is a math teacher at the high school. Ashley said he had been in touch with John Allison and that he plans to return to work as soon as possible. Also, he would like to hold his daughter’s memorial at a time allowing teachers and students to be in attendance, Ashley said. While it is a great gesture, Ashley said he told John Allison to do what is best for the family regarding the memorial arrangements. In turn, Ashley said John Allison referred to those in the school district as his extended family.
• There was a brief discussion concerning 150 to 200 brown spots that have appeared on the track. Mitchell said representatives from the track installation company have said it was fertilizer. The school district, Mitchell said, has paid about $850 to have samples tested and it is "pretty safe to say it is not fertilizer." Mitchell said he is concerned the spots may start to disintegrate the track. He said he hopes to resolve the issue before paying the final payment for the installation.
• Discussed graffiti recently found on the old gymnasium. The placing of the graffiti, Mitchell said, may not have had anything to do with the school but instead about non-payment of a debt. It was said graffiti was also found prior to the incident at a carwash and the sheriff’s office substation. Representatives with the ATF have been in the area, it was said, investigating the incident. A video tape, Mitchell said, shows the vandalism was committed by three people, and it took about 10 minutes. He said they appeared to be experienced. The "average person," he said, couldn’t have created the "box-car type" art work in such a short time. While the majority of the graffiti has been removed from the old gymnasium, some antique bricks were permanently damaged, he added.