The Conway School Board voted Tuesday to hold the September board election by early and absentee voting only.

Superintendent Greg Murry explained board member Susan McNabb is running unopposed, and Dr. Quentin Washispack is the only person running for the seat of board member Lena Hancock, who is not running in September. Also, there is no millage issue on the ballot, Murry said.

As there is no challenged election and no millage change, the district can hold the election through early and absentee voting only with no polling places, he concluded. The board passed a resolution to do so.
Also Tuesday, the board heard a report from Assistant Superintendent Carroll Bishop that the district has made great strides on the facility improvements made possible by the federal stimulus funding the district received.

“We’ve accomplished more than we ever thought possible,” he said. “Next year we can see how much we have left in our stimulus pot and come back to you with another list.”

He noted the multipurpose turf on the field at John McConnell Stadium is almost finished, and the topsoil that has been removed is being placed at other schools where needed.

At last month’s meeting, the board voted to move any carry over in excess of $6 million to the building fund each summer. Some carry over must remain in operating funds to pay the bills during the summer. Murry reported about $525,000 has been moved into the building fund.

The board voted to hire a number of teachers Tuesday night. Among those were several who previously taught at Conway Public Schools but took advantage of a measure passed by the Legislature that allowed teachers to quit their job, start drawing retirement, and reapply for their job after a designated period of time, Murry said. Those teachers are not guaranteed their jobs back, he noted. One longtime teacher was not re-hired.

The board voted to hire someone else to replace the teacher who was not re-hired. Susan McNabb and Carl Barger voted against the hiring. McNabb declined to comment on why she voted against it, and Bargar was unavailable after the meeting.

Also hired Tuesday night were:

• Erica Gutierrez, secondary business education teacher

• Christy Hendrix, elementary teacher

• Bethany A. Lemley, ABC Preschool lead teacher

• Marcia Pierce, behavioral class instructional paraprofessional

• Rhonda Travis, special education instructional paraprofessional

• Patricia Bowers, special education instructional paraprofessional

• Aaron French, special education instructional paraprofessional

• Terri Seiter, elementary intervention teacher, St. Joseph School

• Diane Smith, secondary English teacher

• Roxanne Dunn, secondary social studies teacher

• Christa Morgan, elementary teacher

• Rebekah Stroth, elementary teacher

• Molly Moore, elementary teacher

• Danielle Creswell, elementary teacher

• Donna Whiting, supervisor of gifted and talented

The board accepted the following resignations:

• Denise Brown

• Rhonda Boyd

• Stacy Bacon

• Shawn Glenn

• Delia Branch

The board also approved the re-election of Haley Morris, special education teacher, Ruth Doyle Intermediate School.